Starting more Strawberries: Creative Solution

Strawberry plants come like this in case you didn’t know- they are dormant so it’s okay they aren’t in soil. You can get a pack of them for $7-9. I found them in Mid April at all of my local greenhouses. Strawberries.org is also a very helpful reference for finding the strawberry type you might need.

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Just a reminder, there are three basic types of strawberries, June-bearing, Ever-bearing, Day-neutral.

  • June-bearing: produce strawberries in June for about 2-3 weeks. These are great for canning, strawberry pies, and jam because you really get a lot in a short amount of time.
  • Ever-bearing: I call these ‘garden snaking strawberries’ because they produce just enough strawberries all summer long to snack on.
  • Day Neutral: I don’t really ever plant these because the strawberries are small and they really don’t produce as much as the June-bearing.

This year I planted three different varieties. They are all technically June-bearing, but they will produce fruit at different points in the strawberry season:

  • Honeoye: Early-season
  • Allstar: Mid-season
  • Sparkle: Late-season

My thought is that I will have strawberries the entire way through the strawberry season. I might be giving strawberries away!

The problem? I do already have a strawberry raised bed located beside our house, not at the garden but there is no room for additional strawberry plants by the house or in the garden. So, I had to get creative. I’m not quite sure it’s going to work at all… I have no idea.

I made strawberry boxes. I figured you can plant them in planters or plastic hanging bags, why not in a crate? It will have good drainage and full-sun and that’s what strawberries love.

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So, I lined it with a straw blanket (The stores were out of burlap so I had to get creative). The straw blanket is usually used for newly seeded yards to help the grass grow, but I figured it would help the soil drain great. It also has a plastic netting inside so it’ll keep in the dirt.

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We (by we, I mean Tony) screwed them into the garden fence and added soil: (FYI- the bag was full of rain water too, so it was HEAVY. That’s why the hubs is making such a strenuous face). 

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I planted the strawberries. I’m thinking I over crowded the box (the recommendation is 1 plant per square foot or in a row-12-18 inches apart), but I don’t care I’ll just pull them out if they stop producing. If you want the actual planting strawberry suggestion instead of my ‘we will see if this works’ way, you can check out this great Youtube Video: How to Grow Strawberries, but honestly I just don’t have that kind of room. We are planning on extending our garden next year, so maybe then I do it the right way.

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I’ll keep you posted on how they do!

 

 

 

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Growing Strawberries

I’ve never been good a growing strawberries. I always had strawberry plants, but I could only get a few strawberries to grow, until I discovered a few tricks. I am proud to say that the strawberries are already turning red. I picked these after school. 🙂

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After speaking to a few of my colleagues last week, I discovered I wasn’t the only one that didn’t know much about strawberries, which prompted this blog post.

There are 3 different kinds of strawberries. I discovered this from going to my local greenhouse. I always wondered why the strawberries I had didn’t give me a lot of strawberries. I finally figured out that I had only one type (everbearing).

The three main varieties are:

  1. June Bearing- Usually produces a crop in late spring (I have quite a few of these for jam). Soon, a bunch will all come in at once. Once I pick them, they won’t really do much for the rest of the summer.
  2. Everbearing- I have 3 of these plants. I can pick a few about 2-3 times a year, but it doesn’t yield much. It seems like just enough for snacking while I’m working in the garden.
  3. Day Neutral- These are like the everbearing and the fruit is usually small. I don’t have this type.

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A Few Tips and Tricks:

  1. Full Sun: I originally planted mine in part shade and they didn’t grow well. As soon as I transferred them, they seemed to finally produce strawberries. Choose a sunny spot!
  2. New Strawberry Plants: Strawberries typically do not produce their best fruit if they’ve been producing fruit for more than 3 years. My strawberry garden is now divided into 3 sections. I plan on buying new crops and rotating them. If I buy one section a year and replace them, it will be easier on the budget.
  3. Well-Drained Soil: Strawberries will typically grow in any soil condition, but when I moved my strawberry bed to an area that was sandy/rocky, they grew just fine. I thought I was giving my strawberries a death sentence, but it was the only place I had with full sun by the house.
  4. A Raised Bed: I think this helps with drainage. Strawberries do not like sitting in water.
  5. Water! Water! Water! Although strawberries don’t like sitting in water, they need watered regularly.
  6.  Weed: Seems simple, but this is where most people lose the highest possible yield.

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I am sure I will learn more at some point, but for now I’m happy to say I have strawberries to enjoy. I could quite possibly have incorrect information. Remember, I’m still learning. 🙂  There is nothing like a homegrown strawberry! Even the dog loved eating one!

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