Caring for 15 acres of strawberries is hard work, and our summer interns have delved into weed control already in their first week at the berry fields. Weeds tend to crop up in bare soil, especially in areas that have been recently cultivated. The farm-produced straw that lines the walking aisles helps keep the weeds in check, but weed seeds find space to germinate in between the strawberry plants.
One of the weeds we’ve been tackling this week is oxalis (aka wood sorrel). This plant’s clover-shaped leaves and small yellow flowers seem harmless in the middle of a strawberry field, but once they start to grow seed pods the race is on to wipe them out. Once the pods open, thousands of oxalis seeds fly through the air and blanket the field in quick-growing weeds. If our summer crew doesn’t keep up with their weeding tasks, oxalis can overrun a field for years.
Luckily, this year’s summer interns have taken on the challenge of weed control and have cleaned up some of the worst areas of oxalis. Does that mean it’s time for a break? Nope, next up is the dreaded chickweed.