Hoophouses VS Snow

Brian and Jacqueline Potzkai potzkai at hotmail.com
Thu Dec 6 13:14:41 EST 2001

>I want to know how your strawberries were this year - I plan to go back and
>read your description of how you mulched and planted them - I lost most of

We used a turf fibre cover to mulch the strawberries with, pulled it tight 
and stapled it into the ground with 6 - 8 inch staples (we had to make our 
own staples so we could have them long enough and tough enough - used a # 10 
gauge wire).  It would have been a good idea to have laid a bark mulch or 
hay over this to protect the fabric cover from any sun damage and to help 
prevent weeds from coming up beside the young strawberries - but the weeds 
only have to be taken care of once after that the strawberry plant is big 
enough to cover the small hole that was cut into the fibre.

We got our turf fibre cover from the mushroom farm - for free - right time 
right place, but you do risk carrying over disease, etc.  The nurseries here 
strongly recommend the mushroom manure as fertilizer and use it quite a bit 
(so do we now) by looking at their plants we were comfortable with using the 
covering.  You can get a no-evergreen bark mulch from the sawmills that 
don't use cedars, pines, etc for $0, we have one in our town, the cost was 
$60 for the hire of a dump truck to pick it up.

I think if we were to do it over again I would do as a fellow strawberry 
farmer does and rotate the crops using the black plastic mulch (the stuff I 
absolutely swore off).  She plants yearly and harvests off of 2nd year 
plants only, this is done because of the problem with mice and damage to the 
plastic.  As soon as her crop is harvested she rips out the plants and 
plastic.  Jacqueline

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