Last summer we started a new strawberry bed. As you can see, we grew a lot of grass and weeds along with a few strawberries.
The bed was started in a brand new place. We laid down sheets of brown paper, the kind painters use to protect windows or floors, and covered it with pine needle mulch, since berries and fruit like acidic soil.
Some nice, friendly armadillo dug around in the bed, tearing the paper in many places allowing the grass and weeds an avenue to grow. With gardening season keeping us busy, we didn't weed or tend to the strawberry bed much and it became very overgrown during the course of the summer.
Then I used a shovel to loosen all of the bare areas and make it easier to pull the grass out. After pulling up as much grass as I could, it rained so I had to wait a few days to get back to it.
I loosened the soil again with my hoe, then started planting my new plants.
I found some blooms on a few of the old plants. Maybe we will have a few berries to eat this summer.
Now that the new plants are in, I want to mulch the bed again to try to keep the grass and weeds down.
This time, I took thick layers of newspapers and tucked them in all around the plants with an extra thick layer up against the fence.
I covered all of this will another layer of pine needles that I raked up in the yard. It's nice of these trees to drop another layer of mulch for me each year. This wagon full of pine needles didn't even make a noticeable dent in the layer of needles under these trees.
To try to ward off the armadillos, I have spread around some dog hair from Pearl's last haircut. Maybe this will convince the them to go root around somewhere else.
It looks much better, doesn't it? Even though I don't have the whole bed mulched and finished off yet, it feels good to have this project up an running once again. Who knows, we may even get something to eat out of the deal. This is another possible source of perennial fruit that could add a few more handfuls of food each year to our diet. Besides planting, harvesting and preserving our garden each year, I am trying to establish some perennial sources of food that will stretch our food supply just a little bit farther. I pray we don't have to depend upon what we can produce, even though it looks like we may have to more and more with each passing day. What do you have growing?
Until next time - Fern