Friday, October 30, 2009

Still time to plant your strawberries!

Today I went to check on my secret garden.  My dear friend down the road allows me a few beds in his organic garden to plant as I please.  This year I just took 1 bed for corn.  I planted late, so the corn never fully developed, but according to my motto "nothing to waste", I cut the corn stalks to use for harvest decorations. I cleaned up the corn bed to ready it for my spring planting.  Maybe pumpkins will go in there next year or ???? 

Ben posing with my "miniature" corn

This corn got planted too late to produce

But it sure looks nice as a harvest decoration near my new greenhouse!

After that I turned my attention to my friends strawberry bed.  He has a lot of everbearing berries in there and asked me to thin it out a bit.  The great thing about gardening and friendships is that there's always so much to be shared.  Where there is bounty in 1 garden, there is often need in another, and that was the case with us.

 I thinned out some of his beautiful strawberry plants from his bed, being careful not to over thin or leave any "bald" spots.  Each little berry plant that I pulled out was placed gently in my bucket to be transplanted in my home garden.

What a beautiful and abundant berry patch in the "secret" garden

The grey clouds held on to their rain long enough for me to get home and start my new strawberry bed.  I grabbed my bucket of strawberry starts and got right to work.

It's good to have friends who garden.  These are free starts for my own
strawberry patch.  If  I had purchased these it would have cost a pretty penny.

I chose an empty bed in my garden that receives plenty of sunlight.  Earlier this year this bed had purple cherokee tomatoes.  When planting in my garden from year to year, I try to rotate crops.  This rotation of crops helps to curb transfer of diseases from one season to the next.

This little bed is in direct sunlight most of the summer, a good choice for
everbearing strawberries

Fall is the perfect time to start a new strawberry bed.  When planted at this time of year, the plants have 2 seasons to develop good healthy root systems before the plant puts its energy into fruit. 

One thing to be aware of when you plant your strawberries is the crown.  These plants grow from a base and all new leaves and berries grow out of the crown.  When you transplant your starts be very careful about the depth.  You will want to bury all of the roots, but NOT the crown.  Be sure that the crown of leaves is at or slightly above ground level.  If you do cover the crowns, you will risk the entire plant which can rot below the soil surface.

By next fall I'll be thinning my own strawberry patch and be able
to share some starts with other friends

With a little bit of work and the satisfaction of assisting a friend, I came away with a brand new full bed of strawberries.  These everbearings will set fruit throughout the spring and summer next year.  Even now, some of these little plants still have berries and flowers!

1 comment:

  1. Lucky me to have such great garden pals! My friend Cisco let me take all the runners and new plantlets from his strawberry barrel yesterday. I planted them today, so spring should bring a bounty of berries in my organic garden with 3 strawberry beds now!


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