This section is from the book "The Gardener's Monthly And Horticulturist V20", by Thomas Meehan. See also: Four-Season Harvest: Organic Vegetables from Your Home Garden All Year Long.
To cultivate the Strawberry for family use, we recommend planting in beds four feet wide, with an alley two feet wide between. , These beds will accommodate three rows of plants, which may stand fifteen inches apart each way, and the outside row nine inches from the alley. These beds can be kept clean, and the fruit can be gathered from them without setting the feet upon them. We find from experience that no more convenient mode can be adopted than this. The ground should be well prepared by trenching or plowing at least eighteen to twenty inches deep, and be properly enriched as for any garden crop.
The season for planting depends upon circumstances. It may be done with safety from the time the plants begin to grow in the Spring, until they are in blossom. And again in the Fall from the time the young plants are sufficiently rooted, until the freezing of the ground. It is well, however, to plant at a time when the plants will at once commence growing. If in warm, dry, weather, as August or September, it is necessary to water the ground thoroughly before planting, and then to shade the plants until they have begun to root. The culture subsequent to planting consists in keeping the ground among the plants clear of weeds, and frequently stirred with a hoe or fork, to keep the runners closely pinched until after the fruit is gathered; and to mulch the ground among the plants before the fruit begins to ripen, with two inches deep of cut straw or short grass mowings from the lawn, or any thing of that sort, to keep the fruit clean and the ground from drying: In exposed situations or where the winters are severe, with little snow for protection, a slight covering of leaves or litter will be of great service. This can be raked off and the beds dressed at the opening of the growing season.
A bed managed in this way will give two full crops, and should then be spaded down, a new one having been in the meantime prepared to take its place.
For field culture, the same directions with regard to soil, time of planting, mulching, as given above for garden culture are applicable when planting on a large scale. We usually plant in rows three feet apart and the plants a foot to a foot and a half apart in the row. In this case most of the labor is performed with horse and cultivator.