Weeds can be a hazard to any crop, but they’re especially hazardous to strawberries. Growers typically rely on strawberry runners called Stolons to efficiently propagate them. In a production system like matted row strawberries, weeds can crowd out new plants and endanger their yield. Here are a few key tips on how to keep weeds out of your strawberries.
Leverage Pre-Emergent Herbicides to Your Advantage
The best kind of action in regards to weeds is often preventative action. Pre-emergent herbicides employed in the early fall and when weed plants have barely sprouted allow you to kill the existing weed plants and prevent future growth during the winter. This is a crucial time for weed control in strawberries when the plants that are strong enough to last through the fall populate in staggering numbers.
If weeds do spread in the spring, the only options you will have is to hand pull them or use burndown herbicides, which don’t even get at the roots of the weeds.
Watch for Certain Varieties of Weeds
Some types of strawberry weeds pose a greater threat to your strawberries than others, such as chickweed and shepherd’s purse. Common chickweed is capable of producing up to 10,000 seeds at a time and grows in a large mat that can heavily cover the area on and around your strawberry crops. Shepherd’s purse also produces tens of thousands of seeds and tends to make an appearance in the late summer or early fall. A few other weeds to control around strawberries include dandelions and Canada thistle. Once these weeds are allowed to grow, they can be extremely difficult to get rid of.
Rotate Your Crops for Optimal Weed Control
Some growers see herbicides and manual removal as the only way to prevent the spread of weeds. However, crop rotation can be a viable strategy. By rotating your crops and growing beneficial plants, you can better manage the weeds and apply herbicides that might otherwise be too strong for contact with your strawberries. Some great plants to add to your crop rotation for controlling strawberry weeds could be oats, rye, wheat, and corn, just to name a few.
Source the Tools You Need From Fruit Growers Supply
The right tools and herbicides play a vital role in the success of your crops. Contact Fruit Growers Supply for excellent customer service, competitive pricing, and flexible solutions to help you meet all of your growing needs.