Summer is just around the corner, and nothing screams summer more than the sweet taste of freshly picked strawberries. At Swans Trail Farms, u-pick strawberries offer the perfect opportunity to get outside, enjoy the sunshine, and harvest juicy, delicious berries with your family. However, with strawberries come weeds, which can be a major headache for farmers and backyard growers alike. But have no fear – we’ve got some tips and tricks to help keep your strawberry plants healthy and weed-free so you can enjoy a bountiful harvest all season long!

Choose Your Site Carefully

The first step to keep weeds out of your strawberry plants is to select the right site for them to grow in. Strawberry plants thrive in well-draining soil and prefer a slightly acidic pH of 5.5-6.5. Before planting strawberries, it is best to remove any weeds, grass, or debris from the bed and rake the soil surface smooth. Also, avoid planting strawberries where weeds have been a problem in the past. Feeding strawberries with a balanced organic fertilizer and mulching with organic materials like pine needles, straw, or shredded leaves can also help prevent weed growth.

Maintain Your Plants

Once your plants are established and growing, it is crucial to keep up with regular maintenance routines to prevent weeds from taking over. Hand-pulling or hoeing weeds is effective, but you should be careful not to damage strawberry plants’ shallow root system. Mulching between rows with organic materials can also slow down weed growth and help maintain soil moisture. Additionally, removing runners shortly after they appear can help channel the plant’s energy into producing fruit instead of continuing to grow.

Use Natural Control Methods

If hand-pulling or hoeing weeds is not enough, natural control methods can be used to help eliminate weed growth without the use of chemicals. One such technique is to use corn gluten, a natural pre-emergent that can be applied in the spring before weeds germinate. Another natural deterrent is to spray weed-infested areas with a mixture of vinegar, salt, dish soap, and water. These natural formulas have been proven to be effective in killing weeds and are safe for both strawberry plants and the environment.

Cover Your Plants

Covering the plants with black plastic mulch can be another method for keeping weeds at bay. This especially helps around the base of the plants, which tend to be problematic areas for weeds. Covering your plants can also help to regulate the temperature, improve moisture retention, and protect your berries from soil rot. Just be sure to keep the plastic tight and in good condition to avoid accumulation of moisture beneath the covering.


Hand weeding is probably the most effective way to get rid of weeds. It is essential to keep the area around the plants free of weeds. You can hand-weed regularly, like once a week or once every two weeks, to ensure fewer weeds are around the plants. Use a hoe and pull out the weeds by hand. This is a method that more people are switching back to because of the harmful effects the use of pesticides and herbicides have on the environment.


With a little bit of care, attention, and some natural deterrents, you can prevent weeds from taking over your strawberry beds and produce beautiful, delicious, and healthy berries for your family. Growing your strawberries can be expensive because of the equipment needed to keep them looking great. Alternatively, you can wait for the U-pick farms to open in June, gather your friends and family, and get outside and enjoy all the fresh air and delicious berries you can eat!