Many, many people love to eat strawberries. However, when strawberries are invasively growing on your property and obstructing your lawn and gardening areas, they can be much less enjoyable.
Unfortunately, wild strawberries are stubborn and persistent, meaning that they are incredibly hard to get rid of. Thankfully, there are a few different methods that you can try to remove all of the wild strawberries from your lawn.
Getting Rid of the Strawberries Physically
First things first, you are going to want to remove any and all strawberries that you see growing. You might want to take an afternoon just to walk through your yard, uprooting any wild strawberry plants that you come across.
If you can come across younger strawberry plants, this will be best as they are much easier to uproot than plants that have had time to develop a complex root system.
When you are getting rid of the strawberries by uprooting them, you are going to want to make sure that you bring along a hand trowel. This will help you find the roots of the plant so that you can uproot as much of the strawberry plant as you can in one go.
It is incredibly important to get rid of as much of the roots as you can, so that there is no chance of the strawberries growing back.
Speaking of the roots, it is a good idea to know the root system of the plants you are digging up. This will help you know what you are looking for, and how to handle the roots when you come across them.
Generally, the root systems of a fully mature wild strawberry plant can be several feet long. Because of this, completely uprooting the strawberries is going to be a long and arduous process, but it will be well worth it to have a lawn free of invasive species.
Using Herbicides and Glyphosate
If you are not in the mood to uproot each and every wild strawberry plant that you find, this is perfectly understandable. Thankfully, there are other methods that you can rely on if you want to get rid of the wild strawberries on your property.
For these methods, you are going to want to find a product that wild strawberry plants do not appreciate. This can include herbicides, glyphosate, or white vinegar, depending on what is easiest to obtain for you.
Herbicides tend to be best for when the strawberries are growing close to plants that you care about, as you have to apply it by hand. Preferably wearing gloves, you are going to want to dip a cloth into the herbicide and wipe the surface of the wild strawberry.
If you only have a few strawberries near your garden, you will absolutely want to rely on this method as it allows you to have complete control over where the herbicide goes.
If you are dealing with a general invasion of wild strawberry plants, you will want to rely on either glyphosate or white vinegar. For glyphosate, you are going to want to find a spray bottle or something similar that allows you to coat a wide area with the liquid.
Once you have placed the glyphosate into something akin to a spray bottle, you are going to want to generously coat the surface of the weeds with the liquid. You can do the same with white vinegar, just make sure that it is white vinegar that you are using, and not some type of fruit vinegar.
After a couple of days, you are going to want to check back to make sure that the strawberries are dying and that everything else is alive enough to repair the damage done by this invasive plant.
If the strawberry plant is still alive, you can simply repeat the process of spraying it with vinegar or glyphosate as many times as you need.
You will want to try to aim for when the plant is flowering, or just about to flower if you want this to be the most effective method. This generally means that in the early spring, after the last predicted frost for your area, you are going to want to spray the herbicide.
This goes a long way when it comes to keeping strawberries and other plants out.
Protecting the Plants You Have
If you are dealing with an invasion of wild strawberry plants, you might be concerned about how they would affect your garden, and you have every right to be concerned.
These plants can cause a lot of damage by taking up all of the soil’s nutrients, causing trouble for your plants. Because of this, you are going to want to make sure that you know how to protect the plants you are currently growing.
If you have plants that are beginning to get taken over by the wild strawberries, you are going to want to do what you can to protect them. You will want to dig up the plants you want to save, being mindful of the root system.
From here, you will want to move the plant to a temporary holding site, or depending on if you have it set up or not, you can move the plant to its new home. While you are doing this, you can also add some glyphosate to the soil to make it inhospitable for the strawberries.
Speaking of new homes, you are going to want to make sure you set up an adequate area for your garden where the wild strawberries can’t easily invade it. This area should meet all of your plant’s requirements for sunlight, shade, temperature, and soil conditions.
If not, you should take the time to make sure that it does so that you can keep your plants growing for as long as possible.
When you have the new bed set up, you are going to want to set a three to four-inch deep layer of mulch. This will not only add some degree of appearance to your home, but it will also keep the strawberries from finding any interest in growing up and through the mulch.
In some cases, this might even help deter other types of pests that want to mess up your gardens.
Growing up with a mom who filled her home (inside and out) with all sorts of plants, Lisa got her start in gardening at a young age. Living now on her own with a home and yard full of plants (including an indoor greenhouse), she shares all the gardening tips she’s gained over the years.