July 15th was the last day I picked strawberries from our patch this year. There were a few more berries ripe and ready after that but I had had it. Did I tell you what our total strawberry harvest in pounds was this year? AN ASTOUNDING 174 POUNDS AND 6 OUNCES. I'd call that a pretty good strawberry year.
Hubby went out three times after the last time I picked to gather just enough for his lunch time smoothie, but I let any that ripened after that go.
This is the strawberry patch as it looked this past Thursday. All spent, weedy, and ready for a rest. (That's a good description of how I look right now.)
Now it's time to cut the plants down. We mow them with the lawn mower and bag all the old leaves and stems. The mower is set high enough so that the crown of the plant isn't touched. The debris gets put in the compost heap.
Going, going . . . two of the double rows have been mowed here. One more double row to go.
Hardly looks like the same patch of strawberries, but it's remarkable how quickly they grow back.
Cutting down the plants after they're finished bearing for the year is a process that works for us. Shortly after being cut, the plants' new growth will make them look like healthy, young plants again. They won't form blossoms again this season but stay as green and growing plants until we cover them in late fall with a heavy layer of mulch for the winter months.
Their nice long rest from now until next spring is well deserved because they sure did provide us with an abundance of beautiful, nutritious berries this year.
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