Photo by Ethan Buchanan-ValentiGrowing crops outdoors is a constant struggle with weeds, and sometimes they get the upper hand — temporarily. That’s why our strawberry plants get plowed under after just two harvests, when the weeds in that patch become too aggressive to contain.

Each May, we plant an acre of strawberry plants and tend them carefully for an entire season, weeding, fertilizing and pinching their blossoms to prepare them for their first harvest the following year. Be careful when getting weed killers though. There are weed killers for a specific group and applying the wrong one might get rid of the things that should be growing. BestOfTools has a guide on their blog which can help you with the process of choosing the right one.

Each season’s harvest comes from one-year-old plants and two-year-old plants.
At the end of the harvest, the two-year-old plants — and the weeds that would choke them in year three — are plowed under to await next May’s fresh planting.
The one-year-old plants are cut back, watered, fertilized and generally pampered in order to provide a plentiful, delicious harvest in their second and final year.

Inset photo by Ethan Buchanan-Valenti. Text adapted from our book, Morning Glory’s Farm Food: Stories from the Fields, Recipes from the Kitchen. More strawberry news and recipes:

  • Here Comes Strawberry Festival
  • Strawberries: A Trickle Now, A Flood Soon
  • Our Favorite Strawberry Recipes: Shortcake, Salad & More