Q: Does anyone have a good way to get rid of wild strawberries? They're overrunning our yard and I can't possibly pull them all out by hand. I don't want to carpet bomb them with chemicals, but I'd like to get some grass growing instead. I'd appreciate any suggestions.
Hardiness Zone: 7a
Suzanne from Herndon, VA
Wild strawberries are one of the more difficult perennial broad-leaf weeds to control, especially once they've taken over. This is because they reproduce from runners, which makes them difficult to remove from turf. The runners can link to plants several feet away, so when removing them by hand, care needs to be taken to insure all of the plants and plant parts have been removed. Dense grass makes it difficult for wild strawberries to grow, so your wise to try and crowd them out with good turf management practices.
I'm afraid one of the best ways to control them is by hand and repeated attempts will probably be necessary. Their appearance is usually an indicator of acidic soil, so regular applications of lime may encourage the grass to grow while discouraging the strawberries. I have found that pulling them up by hand and then letting my grass grow longer (3 1/2 - 4 inches) eventually crowds them out. Perennial broad-leaf weeds are easiest to gain control over in the late summer or early fall.
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At one time our back yard was over run by wild strawberries. My husband just mowed extra low one time and they never came back. Good luck. (04/21/2006)
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