Tuesday, June 1, 2010
How NOT to Grow Strawberries
Last season was filled with new plantings, new ideas, and new ways to prepare my new crops. You read about them nearly everyday all season long. One of my ventures was 100 strawberry plants going into the ground with hopes that future year's harvest of strawberries will fill my freezer. O.M.G. Little did I realize that this year I'd start turning into a strawberry. My 100 plants started ripening my first day of vacation and 10 days later I had 22 boxes of berries in the freezer and more to come. I'm spending about 2-3 hours a day finding them (I planted them WAY too close together and they are a matted mess and the berries are hiding deep under the debris of crumbled, brown leaves), picking, slicing and freezing. I'm ready to mow them over and start over when I'm retired. So a word to the wise: whatever you do, if you want strawberries, start with about 25, give them a bunch of space, mulch well with straw, and cut off the runners until you are ready to start new plants. I made the mistake of letting the runners root and when 100 plants send runners out and start rooting; the patch becomes crowded way too quickly. I have a mess, stress, and a LOT of work to restore some order to the patch. I'll be digging and tossing probably 100 plants or more. This is one of my biggest blunders to date, and hubby LOVES to remind me about it - every single day. ARGH!