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.
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.
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.
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
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."
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.
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.