Planting Strawberries

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Last Friday, my strawberry plants arrived from Territorial.  They had promised to ship them “when the time was right.”  I guess it was time by the calendar, but, it has been so wet that I was worried that I would not get them in the ground before they suffered.  We had high hopes that Rob would be able to get the topsoil on Saturday and I would be able to clear the area.  We woke to a deluge!  All of our plans had to be postponed.

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This is where I wanted to plant them.  The previous owner had some strawberries planted in there, but the bed was quite overgrown with grass and weeds.  I had no idea how old the berries were, and they usually only last about 3 years before needing to be re-done.  I chose Seascape this time because my mom had given me some gorgeous Seascape plants that were just starting to fruit beautifully when we moved.  The few I tasted were delicious, so I wanted more:)  I’ve had good luck with Tri-star and Quinalt in the past.  I did notice that Quinalt did not make very many runners, though.  They did produce well, as did Tri-star.

After an extremely rainy Saturday, Sunday dawned clear and gorgeous.   I had slightly over 1 hour of free time during the middle of the afternoon.  It was still very wet and soggy, but I tackled the job anyway because, well, there was that package of strawberry plants sitting on the counter.  I dug up the sod and weeds,  separated and moved some of the old plants, sprinkled coffee grounds from McDonald’s on the entire bed and finally, in desperation, stuffed the bunch of strawberry roots into a flowerpot with some potting soil until I could get back to the job.

One day after work, Rob grabbed 4 bags of topsoil from Walmart for around $2 per bag.   He poured the dirt on the bed. I had removed a lot of dirt along with the grass, and the bed had sunk over time.  I slipped out this morning while the girls were typing up their language arts assignment and planted the plants properly.  I have all the new ones down on the far end, and the old ones on the other end.  If the old ones don’t produce, look diseased, die, etc. I plan to ruthlessly pull them and throw them away.  I then hope to fill in the blanks with runners from the new plants.  I had also planned to add some bone meal as well, but the store was out so I will have to stir it in later.

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Then, it rained and watered them in.  I’m one happy camper.  It took almost a week, but they are planted!  The new ones don’t look like much, but they will take off now that they are in the dirt.  I can look forward to strawberries all summer and fall once they get going. The first year, a new bed produces lightly.  With everbearing strawberries,  I usually get a fairly good crop by the end of the summer and into the fall, but much more berries the second year.   The bed should be good for 3 years, then I will move it and renew it.  In the past, I have started a new bed the 3rd year so I always have lots of berries.

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I am very pleased to have begun the transformation of my new yard.  I have many more plans in mind.

 

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18 thoughts on “Planting Strawberries

  1. Proud you were able to get your strawberries in.. They will be worth ALL that hard work… We got lettuce , onions, english peas planted in our garden… Now, need to get the rest broken up , fertilized..It won’t be long, until time to plant everything.. Looking forward to sunshine and summer. Hope you have a wonderful weekend.

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    1. I’m glad you were able to plant. Our garden is still so soggy that I can’t get in there at all, even though those early things could be planted. I’m glad I have that little patch that was planted last fall, and can’t wait to plant more!

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    1. Thanks! They are not inexpensive here, yet. I’m glad you can enjoy them. I love having the overbearing kind so I can have a bowl full into the fall, and I just freeze little cartons, or even partial cartons which I keep filling until full as I get more ripe ones. There have been several years when I have been able to grow enough for the entire winter, including a batch of jam or two, but I don’t think I will get that many from a first-year patch. So, I will likely u-pick a few in June for jam.

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  2. Lovely picture.
    I inherited strawberries with one of my community garden plots. The garden is on the same grounds as an elementary school. My crops really comes in when school lets out – I think the kids eat some as afterschool snacks!

    Last summer was the plants’ 3rd year with me. Like you, I had noticed fewer fruits. So last year, instead of ruthlessly pulling runners, I just let every other one go and develop. By the end of the summer I had lots of new little plants. When I cleaned the plot for the winter, I replanted these new freebie plants. Will see if my crop improves this year. Like you, I’ve go the everbearing kind. Since I inherited them, I’m not sure the variety unfortunately.

    Nice job on clearing out the grass sod. Been there, done that. That’s a lot of work to establish a new garden!

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  3. So nice to see a picture of your smiling face, Becky! Looks like it will be a lovely strawberry patch. We decided not to redo ours because we can buy them so cheaply from pick-your-own farms around here, but that don’t compare to picking them fro your own garden when you are outside working.

    Hugs
    Jane

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  4. Both Granny and Grandmama had strawberry plants. The aroma of the plants in the sunshine is what triggers memory for me. Neither had ever bearing types but just the seasonal ones. Some improvements are good things, agreed? I wonder how deer resistant (and rabbit and possum and raccoon) they are?

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  5. I love the picture of you at the end of the post. 🙂 You look very happy. 🙂 YOu reminded me that my strawberry bed needs some serious purging and replanting. The runners have run amok out of the beds. Maybe I should start a new bed with all of them and see how the old bed does this year also. Either way, I need to clear those runners out of the side garden because I need that room to grow other things. 😉

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  6. That is such a good picture of you. So glad you will get to enjoy strawberries at your new house. We have dear friends that have oodles of strawberries, when she gets done with all she wants to put up, they let us come pick all we want, or sometimes he even picks them and delivers! We did however, just receive our blueberry bush plants from Burpee. Got to get those set out. This is a new adventure for us. Hopefully this will go well. …Vicky in Ky

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    1. I have to confess that I’ve killed every blueberry bush I’ve ever had. I’m hoping the 2 bushes at this new house are established and very hardy because I really want those berries! They did have a few berries on them at the end of the summer when we moved in, but I hadn’t had much time to kill them yet:) So far, I’ve pruned them a little bit and put a bit of fertilizer on them. We shall see. I have high hopes.

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