This section is from "The Horticulturist, And Journal Of Rural Art And Rural Taste", by P. Barry, A. J. Downing, J. Jay Smith, Peter B. Mead, F. W. Woodward, Henry T. Williams. Also available from Amazon: Horticulturist and Journal of Rural Art and Rural Taste.
Sir: I followed your directions last year in making strawberry beds, and with such extraordinary success, that I am induced to recur to the subject for the benefit of those who like myself would " take pains to excel as good cultivators" if they knew how. I began by collecting a dozen loads of good stable manure, rejecting all the Utter. I then marked out the ground to be devoted to strawberries, and commencing on one side opened a trench three feet wide, by wheeling all the top soil, for six inches deep, to the opposite side of the intended strawberry plat.
I then spread a coat of the stable manure 4 inches thick, over the lower layer of soil, laid bare in the trench, and turned it under, mixing it well with this soil. Then I threw the top soil of the next space of three feet upon the bottom soil in the trench already manured. This left a new space or trench 8 feet wide, which was manured and trenched like the other, and this was repeated till the whole plat was worked over. I then dug over and levelled the top soil again, mixing some decomposed manure with the surface of the beds on making them. Through these beds I set two rows of plants, the rows 14 inches apart - the plants 10 inches apart in the rows. I removed the plants early in August - -young runners with little balls of earth attached. I directly covered the beds with tan-bark, 2 inches deep. This kept the plants cool and moist, so that they struck root immediately, and made such extraordinarily fine plants, that I have had a fine crop this season, many of the berries measuring 8 to 4 inches.