strawberries

The (Accidental) Strawberry

new strawberry bed

the new (by accident) strawberry bed

Strawberries, which aren’t actually berries at all (but that’s getting technical) can reproduce in two main ways:

1. A berry, which is covered with around 200 seeds, falls to the ground and the seeds germinate. Often birds will eat berries, and drop those seeds right where someone doesn’t want them. This happens a lot around here with wild raspberries (but that’s another story.)

2. When done flowering and producing, a strawberry will send out a runner with another small plant.

3. (I know I know…I said ‘two ways’.) Strawberry plants can also be encouraged to form more than one ‘crown’, which then can be divided into more than one plant (but that’s a topic for another post.)

transplanted strawberry

free plants (from the pathway)

Now I’ve mentioned (I think I have?) that Mandolin is building some new raised beds.
I think I might be using the word ‘awesome’ when he’s done (we’ll see, but so far it’s looking that way.)

Now he goes by the old adage “Measure twice, cut once” and he did, but his measurement was incorrect (he subtracted when he should have added) and was left with 4 sides that fit each other perfectly, but were incorrect (a long story, but trust me- it was more than aesthetics.)

And I ended up with an unexpected new bed.
I also knew there were strawberry plants growing in the (needs to be weeded) pathway outside the current strawberry bed (I know, because like any gardening maniac would, I was carefully NOT stepping on them.)

So after properly filling the bed with the right combination of soil and amendments, I (carefully) removed the (flowering, in some cases) strawberry plants from the (needs to be weeded as I said) pathway, and (really carefully) transplanted them in the (new and accidental) strawberry bed.

(Oddly and coincidentally) the bed could hold 25 (recently transplanted from the (still needs to be weeded) pathway) and there were (exactly, no kidding) 26 plants in the (let’s not get into this again) pathway.

strawberry plant budding

I see berries (in my future)

So I figured there were just enough plants (with one for good luck) after all (because I couldn’t leave one to sit in the (still needs to be weeded, I know- I’ll get to it eventually) pathway).

More on Growing Strawberries (with recipe links)

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How to Grow – Strawberries

how to grow strawberries

A self-planted strawberry.

Strawberries are easy to grow once they are established, but many die because of improper planting.
The strawberry above planted itself from a runner that landed in a mulched pathway.
You can see how shallow the root system was, just barely below ground level.

how to grow strawberries

strawberry crown

This picture is a close-up of a strawberry crown.
When you plant, be sure to keep the crown above ground level, or the plant will die.

Been there, done that.

how to grow strawberries

delicate and pretty strawberry flowers

If you pinch off the strawberry flowers the first year, your plants will put more attention into their roots.
These are second year plants and are loaded with flowers.

how to grow strawberries

It won't be long now.

Then all you need to do is thin out your plants every few years so you have more room for new growth.

Botanical name: Fragaria ananassa
Yield: Multiple berries per plant.
Spacing: At least 4″, best to leave room for the plants to spread.
Harvest: Spring through summer as the berries ripen.
Storage: Freeze, can as juice, jam, etc., dehydrate

Categories: How to Grow, strawberries

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Smarter Berries

I must say that I am glad that my two older kids (and their spouses) have taken to gardening.

My daughter just moved into her house last fall, so planting flowers this year is her and her husband’s (Mr. & Mrs. Jones-Ninja) first gardening experience as a couple.

My son has had a vegetable garden a few years now. He even took a successful stab at cooking and canning Salsa.

While visiting Mr. & Mrs. Jones jr. recently I was quite impressed with the system he built for growing and protecting strawberries.
It is 12 feet by 3.25 feet; and has four hinged lids with hooks and handles.
The lids have hardware cloth to let the pollinators in and still keep the birds and squirrels out.

He has reported getting the first berries over the Memorial Holiday weekend, a little early this year.
Check out the pictures he sent for more details.

how to build a strawberry bed

handles make the picking easier

handmade strawberry bed

each section has its own hinged lid

building a strawberry bed

nice berries

build a strawberry bed

easy access to num-num-ness

hooks and eyes insure the lids stay in place

building a strawberry bed

bugs get in, bunnies stay out

Twelve feet will grow a lot of Strawberries!

How-to Grow Strawberries
Strawberry-Spinach Salad
Triple Berry Cheesecake
Strawberry Brandy
More of our Recipes

Categories: How to Grow, Keeping up with the Joneses, strawberries

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Everything here is original (unless otherwise noted) and has legal copyright 2014 by Gardening Jones (tm), and cannot be re-posted or reproduced without permission. Any re-posting of information, photographs, and/or recipes is considered theft and subject to prosecution.

As gardeners, we love to share, so just let us know what your intentions are and we can work together. Please feel free to link any post you see. They say they call that Link Love.

How sweet.

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