General Discussion:

Wild strawberry invasion

Messages posted to thread:

Paul Raney19-Jan-08 10:16 PM EST 5a   
Ferne, Kamloops, B.C.22-Jan-08 03:44 PM EST 5b   
22-Jan-08 05:01 PM EST
Ceara31-Jan-08 10:42 AM EST 4   

Subject: Wild strawberry invasion
From: Paul Raney (
Zone: 5a
Date: 19-Jan-08 10:16 PM EST

I have a century farm in zone 5a and my lawn is inundated with wild strawberry plants. I've tried to eradicate it with Killex (am I allowed to use brand names?) but I might as well have fertilized it. Didn't make a dent. Roundup (ooops, there I go again!) might get the job done, but, since it's my lawn and Roundup kills grass like it kills everything else, it's not a good option. Does anyone have any suggestions?

Subject: RE: Wild strawberry invasion
From: Ferne, Kamloops, B.C.
Zone: 5b
Date: 22-Jan-08 03:44 PM EST

First of all Paul....Are you certain it is really WILD strawberry? I have lived in an area where wild strawberry grows very well (ditches et al), but wouldn't expect true WILD strawberry to compete well with lawn grasses...LOTS of other things do though.

Certainly cultivated strawberries can get out of control remarkably fast by spreading from their allocated spot with those famous over night runners. You need to limit those with a good barrier if you don't want them taking over....or do constant digging and pulling.

Maybe I am the wrong person to answer your question anyway, as I don't believe in using ANY of these invented chemical products. In fact, quite a number of places have banned the use of chemical pesticides and herbicides for lawn use in the last couple of years and more at looking at doing so every day. Do we really want to poison our waterways with such anti-life chemicals?...they add up very quickly in our ever more precious water supplies.

Corn gluten is the hottest new "natural" lawn herbicide around. This will discourage many things if applied correctly early in the year and possibly eliminate them if applied persistently. It is not only harmless to people and animals but also acts as a natural fertilizer at the same time. It is not a one application solution, though. NOTHING is, in my opinion.

So far, I have just hand pulled many things out of a large old inherited lawn....but it is more exercise than I can handle, I've recently decided. So I will be using corn gluten this spring, too.

I am also slowly turning much of my little used and very weedy old lawn into ground covers and berry producing shrubbery and inviting the birds to "come on back!". A far better use of this space, in my particular case, at any rate.

There are some attractive and tough ground covers out there. (Some would consider strawberry one of them!) Grass is quickly going out of favour with a lot of us, especially if we are subject to water restrictions, as so many are now. Lawn uses incredible amounts of water and is generally high maintenance, compared to many other things.

Whatever the nature of your "weed", my suggestion would be to do some research on corn gluten on the net. This website I've just looked up, will get you started but there are many others, if you do a simple search for "corn gluten" on Google or whatever search engine you might favour.

I am certain most of your closest garden centres would be happy to recommend another chemical company herbicide if that is what you decide to try. Many garden centres are now starting to carry corn gluten too.

Hope this might help a little or at least provide some food for thought...

Date: 22-Jan-08 05:01 PM EST

Subject: RE: Wild strawberry invasion
From: Ceara
Zone: 4
Date: 31-Jan-08 10:42 AM EST

Might try to lay down thick black plastic over a summer and let the heat bake everything underneath. Either that or lay carpet for a season. Maybe an extra thick layer of mulch? Depriving plants of light and water will do the trick but it takes some time.

I find the wild strawberries here live happily in the lawn and have ended up being cut regularly with the grass and it hasn't harmed anything. After the grass is cut they send up flowers which dot the lawn with a bit of interest.

We also dug some wild ones up to plant in the main strawberry bed and they have cross pollinated and we get hybrid berries which are larger than the wild ones but a little more tart than the cultivated types.

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