Growing Organic Strawberries with the Help of Fabric
This spring I began my project to grow strawberries organically with the use of a nonwoven propex fabric. With the help of my family, I tilled the area where I wanted to plant, laid the fabric and staked it down. Next, we cut small slits (x’s) in the fabric 1 foot apart from each other. We then planted the strawberry plants. We scattered barley seed over the fabric and covered it with straw. This was to help protect the fabric and then the barely seed would grow, go to seed and we would pull the plant and lay it down for more protection over the fabric – then the cycle would start over again.
It wasn’t too long before the mother plants started producing daughter plants, and I would cut them off and root them in peat pots. Once they were rooted, I would plant them into the fabric which made my original strawberry patch grow. I found it difficult to keep up with the number of daughter plants that were coming off and didn’t get all of them re-rooted. I am curious to see what will happen to those daughter plants for next year. Will they be able to root down into the fabric or will they just die off? So far, I have found that I have gotten a lot of new strawberry plants started and my strawberry patch hasn’t had very many weeds.
In the fall we participated in a farm tour that was given by our local Extension office. I had the opportunity to tell the 30 people who were on the tour about my project and show them my strawberry area. I have also had a phone call from a man who read about my project and was interested in learning more about it. I have also been able to share my project with people in our community as they come to our on farm store and want to learn more about our farming practices.