The Effect of Pine Straw on Strawberry Plants

Overview

Pine straw is often used as mulch for strawberry plants because it is an acidic substance that adds a small amount of acidity to the soil when the straw breaks down. This can help with plants that like acidic soil, such as strawberry plants.

Study

A 1960 study conducted by the Florida State Horticultural Society showed that using pine straw did not help strawberry plants to yield more, despite adding some acidity to the soil.

Moisture

Even if it doesn't improve the yield of strawberry plants, it does help keep moisture in the soil. A 2-to-3 inch layer of pine straw mulch will keep water from evaporating out of the soil.

Features

Pine straw can help prevent soil erosion around strawberry plants. As it breaks down, it provides new organic material to add nutrients to the soil.

Function

Because pine straw adds a small amount of acid to the soil, an alkaline soil may need to have an acidic fertilizer added to the soil to raise the acidity further. Clay soil often needs a 10-10-10 fertilizer to add acidity.

Growth

The growth of strawberry vines can be hampered by pine mulch because the strawberry runners seek out the bare soil to attach themselves. Strawberry plants may stay smaller if they have pine mulch because the runners will be unable to attach and grow from different points around the plant.

References

  • FSHS.org: Strawberry Yield and the Soil Nutrient Levels
  • Plant Answers: Strawberry Culture
  • PineStrawInfo.com: Pine Straw Info
Keywords: strawberry plant, pine straw, straw mulch

About this Author

Lizz Shepherd is a freelance writer specializing in Web content articles, Web copy and PR. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from Auburn University and worked as a news reporter before becoming a freelance writer. She has written thousands of articles for both print and Web publishers.