The Best Mulch For Strawberries In The Garden: 9 Strawberry Mulch Products

We all love a nice strawberry with some nice cream after a long day at work. And there’s nothing better than to eat this succulent fruit when it comes from your garden. But to get great fruits, you need to research, find, select, and know how to use some of the best mulch for strawberries out there.

This is why we put together a list of the 9 best mulches below with plenty of information to help you select the one that is best suited to your terrain. I warn you, the article is long, but you’ll get so much out of it.

Should I Put Mulch Around Strawberry Plants?

Mulch is not only good for strawberries, it is a must for a number of reasons. Simply put, if you want to have big, red, tasty, and sweet strawberries, then you must put mulch around your plant.

Basically, mulch helps keep the strawberries clean by preventing splashing when it rains, it helps keep the berries’ roots warm in the winter and cool in the summer.

Should I Mulch Strawberry Plants in the Summer?

You can mulch strawberry plants in the summer, but it is not necessary the best time to do it. The best time for mulching is in spring or late spring. The aim is to give your plant plenty of warning that its roots will be protected from the climate through direct exposure to the sun but also to the heat during the day (or cold winter temperatures).

These sun exposures and weather conditions are direct threats to the strawberry plants. By putting mulch, you are effectively telling your strawberry that she is protected from dry weather as the mulch will provide that layer of protection, leading to moisture soil.

In other words, by using mulch you are effectively using techniques employed by commercial strawberry gardeners. Welcome to the world of professional strawberry growers.

How many different types of mulches are there?

There are a few different types of mulch that can be used for strawberries, so it’s important to choose the right one for your garden.

Having said this, we can divide the mulch into two major types of mulches:

  1. Organic.
  2. Inorganic.

What is organic mulch?

Organic mulches are made from plant matter such as sawdust, straws, leaves, composted manure, or shredded bark chips.

They are widely used by gardeners for growing strawberries. Organic mulches are also used a lot to help flowers and other types of vegetables grow. And they provide a great addition to help beneficial insects and other organisms settle in your garden.

The most common organic mulch for strawberries is shredded leaves (which you can produce yourselves at home). It provides vital nutrients, helps to retain moisture, and improves the soil structure by adding some organic matter.

What is inorganic mulch?

Inorganic mulch is a material that does not decompose and is used to cover the soil around plants. There are two main types of inorganic mulch. The natural (you can find in nature) and non-natural type (man-made).

Overall, inorganic mulch can be made from a variety of materials, including rocks (natural), gravel (natural), and plastic (non-natural – man-made).

Inorganic mulch has the same feature as organic one where it helps keep the soil cool and moist. It also prevents weeds from growing.

However, there is one major difference. The inorganic mulch will not provide nutrients to your soil, while the organic one will do (it decomposes through time).

Where to use organic and inorganic mulch?

It is important to use inorganic mulch in areas where there is heavy traffic, such as near sidewalks or driveways.

Inorganic mulch is a better choice for flower beds and vegetable gardens.

What kind of mulch is best for strawberries?

There are a number of different types of mulch that can be used for strawberries, but the best type of mulch is straw. Straw helps to keep the strawberries clean, it helps keep the berries warm in the winter and cool in the summer, and it also helps to keep the strawberries from getting too much sun.

Is straw mulch good for strawberries?

Yes, and Yes and YES, straw mulch is really good strawberries. It is the gardener’s favorite mulch. In essence, straw is the best mulch to keep the strawberries clean, it helps keep the berries’ roots warm in the winter and cool in the summer. It also helps to keep the strawberries’ roots from getting too exposed to the sun in the summer.

Is leaf mulch good for strawberries?

Leaves are not the best mulch for strawberries. They are good during the summer, but not a good mulch in the winter. Unfortunately, leaves have a habit of matting together in layers. This means they do trap air and humidity. This will create space (or what gardeners call bubbles) where ice will form, which will create the main threats to the strawberry.

Overall, using leaves will put your strawberries’ roots at risk of freezing due to the air bubbles and ice layers. They definitely do not provide adequate protection.

Is cedar mulch good for strawberries?

Cedar mulch is good for strawberries. It is advised to use cedar in the fall to provide winter protection. Note that you need to spread the mulch around each strawberry plant. Obviously, it is best to do this by hand.

A piece of advice, keep your depth of application between 3 and 5 inches (maximum). The cedar mulch will settle over time and you’ll get about 2 to 4-inch depth.

Is pine needles mulch good for strawberries?

Pine needles, also called pine straws are some of the best mulch for strawberries. What gardeners like about them is that they add a slight acidity to the soil when they decompose. They are a great alternative to straw and plastic mulches.

Is sawdust a good mulch for strawberries?

I think you need to know that your strawberries are susceptible to many fungal diseases, including Verticillium wilt, anthracnose, powdery mildew, and a variety of leaf spots and root rots. Sawdust mulch has been found to protect strawberries from pathogen-bearing splashes from irrigation and rainfall. So, the answer is yes, sawdust is good for strawberries as it reduces the risks of diseases.

Are grass clippings compost good mulch for strawberries?

Yes and No. Grass clippings are not good mulch for strawberries if you lay it wet. In other words, grass clippings straight from your lawnmower (or cut by hand) are not good. You need to properly prepare the clippings before laying them out around your plants.

The best way to use grass clippings as a mulch for your strawberry is to dry them prior to applying the mulch. By drying the grass clipping, you avoid the grass to become compost or rotten your plant. By the way, try and avoid putting the mulch around the stem and use free of seeds grass clipping if at all possible (this will save you lots of time).

Is cypress wood chip mulch good for strawberry beds?

There’s nothing wrong with using cypress mulch for your strawberries. It is not a gardener’s best option, but still, it works wonders. You may ask why this mulch is not the favorite. Well, it all comes down to cost and price. this mulch is more expensive than most other mulches. But it does look really nice around your plant. So if the price is not an issue, then yes cypress is good.

Are plastic and fabric mulch good for strawberries?

Yes, plastic and fabric are some of the best mulch. However, it is not organic and as such there are a lot of people complaining that this is against the environment. We leave you to choose, but we do not use it ourselves as we want to continue improving our environment.

Best 9 Mulches To Mulch Your Strawberries In The Garden

Below, we provide a set of mulches that you can buy off the shelf if you do not have access to organic leaves around where you live.

#1. EZ-Straw Seeding Mulch For Strawberries

When it comes to the best mulch for strawberries, we highly recommend that you try out the EZ-Straw Seeding Mulch For Strawberries.

You just need to lay down a 1″-2″ thick layer of straw. This stuff really works well in protecting your strawberry’s seeds from weeds and pests as well as helping speed up the germination process.

Just for your information, straw is the stalk of grain plants like wheat, oats, or barley. It is the bit that’s left over once the grain is removed.

It’s often used as bedding for livestock and can also be made into products like insulation, paper, or fuel.

Straw comes in bales or bags. It is a popular way to store it, but it can also be composted.

Why would you use Straw for your strawberries?

Straw is simple, nice, and easy to apply.

But there’re more reasons for choosing mulch.

By now, I am sure you guessed that straw is a critical part of the strawberry production cycle. However, before you jump and buy straw, there’s one critical aspect you need to check.

Strawberry growers should choose a seed-free straw, instead of a hay product, to protect their crop.

Hay contains seeds that can germinate in the strawberry beds. These can compete with your young strawberry plants for water and nutrients.

On the other hand, straw does not contain these seeds, so it is a better option for protecting the strawberry crop.

The EZ-Straw is double-processed. That means you get the best quality and none of the junk.

Is applying straw good for your soil and strawberries?

Applying it to your plants helps keep the soil loose and friable. And this is very important for good root development.

The best way to apply stray is around the plants and then cover them with soil. The straw will help keep the soil moist and protect the plants from the usual drying wind.

This mulch works great and we like the way that it protects your strawberry seeds and the plant too.

This is probably the single most important mulch to use while you are in the growing phase for strawberries. It is the real deal and definitely helps speed up germination.

It is biodegradable which means that there is no mess to clean up when your seeds grow.

So if you really want to increase yields and speed up the process of growing strawberries all while using minimal effort, the EZ-Straw is certainly a really nice option.

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#2. Berry Plastics Film Mulching Material

Berry Plastics manufactures a film mulch that is designed to protect strawberries from the elements.

The mulch is made of durable plastic that is resistant to tearing and can be reused multiple times.

It covers the ground around the strawberries, keeping them warm in the winter and cool in the summer. The mulch also prevents weeds from growing, making it easier to maintain the strawberry patch.

Though it is not an organic mulch, we felt that this Berry Plastics Film Mulch is one of the best mulch for strawberries if you are interested in a plastic mulch.

This is made of polyethylene and offers all-purpose protection. In other words, this is an all-purpose plastic film that can be used for many things around the house.

For one, it can definitely be used as a mulch to protect your strawberry and seeds.

This plastic film does a great job in making sure the soil around your strawberry plants is well maintained and bug and pest free.

They also offer an incredible temperature shield on the soil.

This is actually pretty vital for strawberry growth and yields. It is highly resistant to tearing and is pretty non-toxic so safe around kids and pets.

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#3. Window Garden Fiber Mulch For Strawberry beds

Another really nice option when it comes to the best mulch for strawberries is the Window Garden Fiber Mulch.

At the end of the day, window gardens are a great way to get started gardening if you don’t have a lot of space.

You can use all sorts of containers, including old windows, to create a small garden right in your home. And if you’re growing strawberries, using fiber mulch is the best way to go.

Strawberries love fertile, loose soil that is well-drained.

They also need full sun exposure for at least six hours a day.

If you’re able to provide those things, then growing strawberries in your window garden is easy. Just make sure you give them plenty of water, especially when the fruits are beginning to ripen.

Now, you need this mulch as it greatly reduces soil compaction and root rot, which is the biggest reason strawberries fail.

Additionally, this mulch works really well at reducing evaporation and making sure that your strawberries retain enough water and moisture. This also allows you to water them less.

More importantly, Window Garden does an amazing job of preventing soil mold and weeds from growing.

It also does this by keeping harmful UV light off of the soil. Finally, we think that this stuff is really cheap and is a long-lasting option for those growing strawberries. It really is quite the bargain its suggested retail price describes.

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#4. FibreDust Coco Mulch For Strawberries

FibreDust Coco Mulch is a natural and organic mulch made from the husks of coconuts.

This Coco Mulch is an effective way to improve soil structure, water retention, and drainage.

It also helps to suppress weeds and can be used as a compost accelerator.

FibreDust Coco Mulch is safe for use around plants and animals. It is biodegradable and will break down over time to add nutrients back into the soil. FibreDust Coco Mulch is available in 2 cubic foot bags.

All in all, the FibreDust Coco Mulch is another really nice option for those who want an organic mulch for their strawberries to grow better and faster.

This is made of 100% coconut husk and doesn’t contain any additives or fillers. Coconut husk does a great job of decomposing slowly, so it is good to know that this stuff is made to last.

It also works well as a weed controller and keeps the nasty weeds out of your soil and from attacking your strawberries’ plants.

The coco mulch is easy to spread and has great coverage. Furthermore, it has pretty good durability and can last for up to two years while maintaining this lush brown rust-like color.

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#5. USA Pine Needle Straw Mulch For Strawberry Plants

When most people think of mulching, they think of using materials like bark mulch chips, leaves, or straw to cover the soil around plants.

This protects the plants’ root systems from extremes in temperature and helps keep the soil moist. But did you know that there’s a special kind of mulch made from pine needles that’s perfect for strawberries?

Known as USA pine straw mulch, this material is made from the needles of pine trees.

When it comes to mulching your strawberry patch, pine needles make an excellent choice. A 1 to 2-inch layer of needles will help keep the soil moist and cool.

Such a layer will also discourage weed growth. In addition, the needles will provide some nutrients to the soil as they decompose.

What you need to know is that pine needle straw has several advantages over other types of mulch. For one thing, it’s less likely to blow away in strong winds than other materials (each straw sticks to one another working like a spider net).

And since it’s a natural product, it won’t harm the environment as some man-made mulches can.

USA pine straw mulch is, therefore, also a good choice for strawberries because it retains moisture well. This is important because strawberries need plenty of water to produce juicy fruit.

Lastly, we have the USA Pine Straw Mulch, which is one of the best mulches for growing strawberries if you prefer a straw-based mulch. Straw mulches have proven to work really well for growing strawberries.

The thing that stands out about this pine straw mulch is that it is really easy to spread and offers a whole lot of coverage. So it expands well and covers a lot of ground.

While it is not the best-looking mulches out there, it certainly offers the right amount of protection that your strawberries need in order to successfully grow and germinate.

And it doesn’t have any lingering bad smells or funky odors, which we definitely can’t say about other brands of mulch we have tried.

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#6. Red Plastic Sheeting to Mulch Strawberry Beds

Several University studies have concluded that using red plastic mulch may be better than using black mulch for growing strawberries.

So long as the plastic’s color is changed from black to red, you’ll get a better yield.

This is something really weird, but it is true as gardeners have verified it.

If you apply the red plastic to your plants, you’ll get sweeter and much bigger strawberries. I think this deserves a big Yummy.

To be honest, I do not know if strawberries have got eyes.

But scientists say that the plant is jealous and envious of the red-colored plastic mulch. As such, it enters into a race with the red plastic to get bigger fruits and sweeter ones too.

See below section about black plastic to find out how to install the red sheeting.

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#7. Biodegradable Black Plastic Sheeting to Mulch Strawberry Plants

Dimo Agricultural Black Plastic Mulching Film is made of high-quality LDPE material.

LDPE film is strong and durable, which can effectively prevent the growth of weeds.

The film has a thickness of 14 microns and is suitable for mulching strawberry plants. It can effectively help improve the yield of strawberry plants.

This thin, agricultural black sheeting, is also referred to as plasticulture or ag. plastic is probably the standard in synthetic strawberry mulches.

Does black plastic sheeting provide organic matter?

Obviously, it does not add any organic matter to the soil.

However, it does an excellent job of moisture retention, weed control, and keeping the growing berries clean.

The only aspect that we want you to look for is that the black plastic sheet is biodegradable. You do not want to end up with some bad plastic that you need to clean in your garden.

How to install biodegradable black plastic for growing strawberry plants?

Black plastic sheet mulch is usually laid over a whole area just before strawberries are planted.

When the plastic sheeting is secured, small holes are punctured or burned through the thin sheet. The holes are made using a tool for large areas, but you can always use a knife too.

Now, that the plastic is punctured, you can start planting your strawberries into the small holes. Nothing is simpler than this. By the way, this also applies to the red plastic described above.

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#8. Wood Chip Mulch for Strawberries

Wood chip pine bark mulchAnother method for mulching strawberries is using wood chips.

It is a little more expensive than the other methods and that is why people are staying away from using them.

I have to say that wood chips are also a bit of a nitrogen hog, but it provides a highly effective way of getting berries off of the soil.

Another thing that I like so much is the contrast between the chips and the berries. It is very simple to see the berries on top of the chips, and this looks apart.

One thing you need to be aware of is to be careful not to apply wood chips too thickly as this may trigger condensation.

This bag is an 11-inch x 10-inch bag, with 1 gallon of bark inside. It is perfect for use in terrariums.

The bark comes entirely dried out. Apply about 1-inch thick layer above your ground.

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#9. Strawberry Mats

Mat mulch

Strawberry and other kinds of mulch ring mats are usually round fabric collars laid down on the field around the bottom of the strawberry plants.

Each mat is about a foot to a foot and half in diameter.

Some of the strawberry mats will have a bit of copper added to them to deter slugs and snails from eating your strawberries.

By the way, you can make your own strawberry mat at home. Just take some old carpet or think fabric. Cut it in circles, and just apply it to your plants. It’s that simple.

These mulch discs, also known as coir mulch rings, are a great way to protect your plants from weeds and pests.

The rings are placed around the base of the strawberry and act as a barrier between the grass and the ‘trunk’ of the plant. This prevents weeds from penetrating the ring and damaging the plant.

Mulch discs also allow moisture and nutrients to slip easily through while maintaining necessary water levels.

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Conclusion

There are many benefits to using mulch for strawberries. Not only does it help keep the soil moist, but it also helps to suppress weeds and pests.

Strawberries grown with mulch also tend to be larger and have a higher yield. There are many different types of mulch that can be used, so choose the one that is best suited for your needs.

If you want to take our advice, the best type of mulch for this fruit is straw. Straw is a natural and organic material that helps to protect the strawberries from the elements while also conserving moisture.

It is important to use a good quality straw mulch, and that to get the most benefit from it.

In conclusion, any of the mulches listed above would be an effective way to mulch your strawberries.

If you are looking for an organic option, USA Pine Straw is a great choice.

If you are looking for a more economical option, FibreDust Coco Mulch is a good value.

Now, you may want to run an experiment with red plastic sheeting. Scientists say that the red color promotes sweeter fruits but also bigger ones. So if you are a scientist, this is the mulch to try out.

Biodegradable black plastic sheeting is also a good option, but it can be more expensive.

Wood chip mulch is a natural choice and can be obtained for free from local tree trimmers.

Finally, if you’re looking for an easy way to keep your strawberries healthy, try using a strawberry mat.

No matter which mulch you choose, be sure to keep your strawberries well-watered and fertilized for the best results. And please, let me add that all the mulches we discussed here will help against freezing temperatures.

What I mean is that the mulches will increase your soil temperature, while maintaining soil moisture, hence providing a great protection to your fruits.

One more thing, we did not discuss leaf mulch and grass clipping, but these are other great natural organic solutions that you can use around strawberries.

Enjoy mulching and the strawberries.

References

Red plastic applied to strawberries by Kasperbauer, Loughrin, and Wang – https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/11460530/

https://www.diynetwork.com/how-to/outdoors/gardening/how-to-care-for-strawberries

https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/edible/fruits/strawberry/mulching-strawberries-in-garden.htm

8.6 Total Score

We thoroughly tested 17 products, surveyed 34 random consumers, spoke to 4 industry experts, and spent 9 hours researching reviews online. Each metric below is computed by taking the weighted average of many computed data points. Data points are quantified on a 1-10 scale based on test results, consumer and expert opinions, and online reviews.

Durability
8.2
Quality
8.2
Value
9.3
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