View Full Version : Grass Control in Strawberries and Raspberries

05-28-2006, 08:01 PM
Grasses are driving me crazy in my strawberries and raspberries. I just do not have the time to weed the rascals.

Are there any herbicides you folks have tried??? Or any other solutions..... tried mulching with mowed grass with marginal results.

05-28-2006, 09:01 PM
DEEP mulch on the raspberries, then ignore whatever grass that gets through, the berries won't care:)

Strawberries, I would just tear out the bed whenever the grass gets too bad. I alternate between strawberries and veggies to clean up the perennial weeds.

I also used to apply Roundup to the individual blades of quack grass with a small sponge. Effective, but TEDIOUS.

Les Evans
05-29-2006, 12:02 AM
Hi Sundance,
Poast,Fusilade and Prism are herbicides for grass control in strawberries, and only Poast is labeled for strawberries that are bearing.

If you have weeds the best weed control for small areas of strawberries, is hand weeding and mulching between the rows.

As always read up on the herbicides I listed and pick the one that suits you but if I had to recommend one it would be Poast.

05-29-2006, 12:12 AM
An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

Planning your beds or gardens the season prior, using heavy much (especially when combined with solarization) will all but eliminate any cuprit weeds. Keeping it well mulched throughout the year will continue to boost the produce while deminishing the labor.

Think of the name... STRAW-berry.

Last year a friend hacked a garden in to his yard and mulched with grass clippings over newspaper or cardboard around his plants. It was terribly hard work to chop the sod. this year he replanted his garden with a spoon, he told me... the soil was so soft and light. Oh, and no weeds.

Check out the book "The Lazagia Garden" for reference on how to use varied layers of materials for mulching. Do what you have to this year and what you can for next year. And remember 2 inches of mulch looks nice... but that's about all it does.


05-29-2006, 04:50 AM
I know it sounds so commercial..... plant them on black plastic. don't really know about now, but at least it did work on strawberries 30+ years ago.

05-29-2006, 07:18 AM
Strawberry farms came before herbicides.

Geese, Geese, more Geese. There will not be a blade of grass left.

Oh, I forgot. A Goose will not touch a strawberry plant or berry.

[ May 29, 2006, 09:19 AM: Message edited by: iddee ]

PA Pete
05-29-2006, 07:32 AM
I hand-weed our strawberries, but we ony have about a 16 foot row. I'm new to strawberries and I think mine are too thick - getting tons of medium size berries. I should probably thin both the plants and berries.

I hand weed the raspberries and blackberries in the spring, and put on a thin layer of mulch as early as I can. Once the suckering raspberry suckers come through, I put on more mulch.

Couple years ago I put on too much mulch too early and smothered a bunch of Heritage and Autumn Gold suckers before realizing my mistake :(

I've used round-up on a calm day with a piece of cardboard held in place as backing when spraying.

Big Stinger
05-29-2006, 08:01 AM
You need to get a narrow leaf herbacide for you grass problem. Like post or something else and will need a licence to buy it.

05-29-2006, 09:11 AM
Thang guys......... I am leaning toward Poast. Then when I get the problem under control I'll probably go with mulch in the raspberries at least.

Is Poast a restricted use herbicide??? I was under the impression you did not need a licence for it, like Roundup. No matter as I am a commercial licenced "right of way" applicator. Just no strawberries or raspberries in the ditches. ;)

power napper
05-29-2006, 09:34 AM
One more hint to the above! When your bed gets overcrowded with plants just take the rototiller through the bed, leave a swath of plants then till a swath and so on, the runners will fill in the tilled swath for new plants next year, then the next year just reverse and till the old berries and the first tilled berries will fill in etc--a perpetual patch of new berries. ;)

Michael Bush
05-29-2006, 09:56 AM
>I am leaning toward Poast.

If you can't fix it, poison it. smile.gif

05-29-2006, 09:59 AM
MB............ I hate to use poison for sure. Things just got away from me last fall with family issues. I haven't committed to it yet, but may have to if time doesn't allow hand weeding soon.

Why do we need to sleep anyway!! A major defect ;)

05-29-2006, 11:01 AM
Maybe you thought I was joking, but when I was a kid I never saw a strawberry patch without geese. They will eat every blade of grass and never touch a strawberry or plant.

05-29-2006, 12:28 PM

I've got a couple of chinese geese, the big white ones

https://secuservices.com/ideal/descriptionsearch.asp?Product=White%20Chinese%20Ge ese

I've been told farmers used to call them "weeder geese" for exactly the reason you describe
I must say mine will eat a strawberry from my hand but they don't touch em on their own
funny how they'll eat anything from the hand of the person who feeds them


[ May 29, 2006, 02:31 PM: Message edited by: drobbins ]

05-29-2006, 01:28 PM
Geesse feed on grass >>>>>>>> My dogs feed on geese.

05-29-2006, 04:11 PM
So start with 3 geese each with a gaggle of goslings...The mother geese will take care of the dogs...educate them well... :D :D :D
Be ready for a blind dog or two.

Big Stinger
05-29-2006, 05:18 PM
Sundance here in N.C. poast is restricted. So thats why i got my herbicide licence for farm use and to do side jobs for other people. But it might not be in your state. So if you got some use it for grass i mix it about half strengh. Also i have a dog thats good at weeding but realy he's looking for moles. :D :D :D :D :D :D

05-29-2006, 07:12 PM
LOL....... I got a couple mole/mouse dogs too.

As far as geese........ being an avid goose hunter I don't want my dogs being educated that way. ;)

05-29-2006, 07:28 PM
well, then you don't get to have no strawberries smile.gif
you gotta pick your luxuries

ps: fence the strawberries and the geese, that works for me smile.gif

[ May 29, 2006, 09:32 PM: Message edited by: drobbins ]

05-30-2006, 06:25 AM

do you recommend any breed? I've wanted some ducks or geese, so now I have a good excuse! How about the Canadians? I guess they might fly away. Will the geese eat any other garden plants? The geese would have access to the rest of our garden.

My strawberry patches have always been small, but I've done this for weeds.

Leave all the clover when hand weeding. They will help fill in the gaps and provide nitrogen to the soil.

In early, early spring, Dig them up, till a new patch, and replant.

[ May 30, 2006, 08:28 AM: Message edited by: MichaelW ]

05-30-2006, 06:44 PM
I am referring to 50 years ago. All I remember is every where we went to pick strawberries had white geese in the patch. The oldtimers told the story why. They would eat all the grass, but not the berries or plants. East Tenn. should have a small cafe where all the old men gather every morning to make all the rules for the world. Every small town in NC has one. ;)

Just ask some of the old farmers over 60 and I'm sure a half dozen of them will give you a full rundown. :D

05-31-2006, 05:36 AM
They used to gather at a many decades long time trading/farmers market, but the shopping center run them off a few years ago. Now the spot is just an empty gravel pit.

I'm sure I can find somebody though. The Hardees has a usual morning crowd.

06-02-2006, 07:34 PM
Ornemac can be bought at local farmers co-ops you probably won't need a licence to buy it. It will kill all grasses but will not harm broad leaf or woody plants. 2-4-d is the opposite it will kill broadleaf plants but will not harm grass.

06-02-2006, 10:49 PM
Sundance: If you can get old carpet (hotel throwing it out, etc.) you could use a 30+ yr old "Mother Earth Magazine" plan, or an adaptation thereof. Cut long, narrow strips of carpet to lay UPSIDE DOWN (important for water to pass through.) This smothers the grass between rows. Next season, cut squares out of the carpet, plant strawberries, etc. in the openings. Then lay carpet strips between those rows to kill remaining plants, grass. The carpet will last for several years depending on its material. Caveats: Its a bear to get out when it finally starts to degrade years down the road, and you should wear knee pads when cutting out and planting next season. I did about a 16' X 20' garden, crawling up/down cutting out squares to plant in and my knees peeled three times! They healed in time to pick a bumper crop of bush beans though

06-03-2006, 10:47 PM
Good idea as a way to keep carpet out of the trash for a LITTLE while longer. But I'm not keen on putting things in the garden that will become part of the soil unless it is naturally part of the soil. There's a surplus of yard debris that is going into the landfills that would be of better service being used as a mulch.

I AM keen on doing anything that reduces the amount of chemicals that get sprayed on the soil, however. so if it's a single choice between mulching with carpet or weeding with chemicals, I'll help my neighbor "cut a rug."


06-04-2006, 06:57 AM
With sore knees, and knarled fingers, I hand weeded the strawberries and raspberries. Tough on an old faart.

I will be going with thick grass mulch on the raspberries and not sure yet on strawberries.

06-05-2006, 06:25 AM
Newspapers usually use soy ink I'm told, I sometimes lay them on thick between rows of veggies and put mulch (clippings, etc.) on top of them. An occasional branch helps hold it all down. By next season it will be soil. It Works good unless you have crab grass. Or high clay soil in which case it keeps the ground too wet.