How do you renovate June-bearing strawberries?
A June-bearing strawberry planting can be productive for 4 to 5 years if the bed is given good care. One important task is to renovate June-bearing strawberries immediately after harvest. The renovation process involves leaf removal, creation of 8-inch-wide plant strips, and fertilization. After the initial renovation steps have been completed, irrigation and weed control are necessary throughout the remainder of the growing season.
Start the renovation of June-bearing strawberries by mowing off the leaves 1 inch above the crowns of the plants with a rotary mower within 1 week of the last harvest. (Do not mow the strawberry bed after this one week period as later mowing destroys new leaf growth.) To aid in disease control, rake and remove the plant debris.
June-bearing strawberries grown in 2-foot-wide, matted rows should be narrowed to 8-inch-wide strips with a rototiller or hoe. When selecting the part of the row to keep, try to save the younger plants and remove the older plants. If the strawberry planting has been allowed to become a solid mat, renovate the bed by creating 8-inch-wide plant strips. Space the plant strips about 3 feet apart.
Fertilization is the next step in renovation. Apply approximately 5 pounds of 10-10-10 or a similar analysis fertilizer per 100 feet of row to encourage plant growth and development.
Water the strawberry plants during dry weather. Strawberries require 1 inch of water per week for adequate growth. Irrigate the planting during dry summer weather to insure optimum production next season. Irrigation during the summer months encourages runner formation and flower bud development. (The flower buds on June-bearing strawberries develop in late summer and early fall.)
Control weeds in the strawberry planting with shallow cultivation and hand pulling.
Some June-bearing strawberry varieties are extremely vigorous, producing runners beyond the 2-foot-wide, matted row. These runners should be placed back within the 2-foot row or removed to prevent the planting from becoming a solid mat of plants.