Friday, August 14, 2009

The Strawberry Patch

Dave and I started our strawberry patch with a few runners from Dave's father's patch. The area was about 3' x 4' originally. Now it is about 3' x 12.' It is lined with 4x4s on the long side, bricks on the 2 short ends and a cement slab on the house side.

These edgings allow me to cover the patch with wire to keep out the birds at harvest time. Ha! Being lazy, I've learned to pick the berries just before they fully ripen. They get a day on the counter before being cleaned and stored in freezer bags. This allows me time to amass enough berries for strawberry rhubarb pie, strawberry crisp, and of course strawberry shortcake.

Every year I collect the seaweed from the high tide line to top dress the patch. Seaweed is an excellent fertilizer as it breaks down. It acts like straw to keep the berries off the ground where they rot quickly or get eaten by slugs. It also seems to deter mice which love straw and strawberries!

When the runners have filled up the space they've been allotted, I move the bricks out another 2,' line the ground with a thick layer of old newspapers, cover with a thick layer of seaweed and lay the runners on top so they know where to go. The next spring the new plants already have a foothold. The following year they are producing sizable berries.

When picking my strawberries, I would take the bruised, damaged, partially eaten ones and throw them up against the fence behind my veggie garden thinking this would be easier for the birds. Lol! The plants that are growing there rival my patch! So I pot them up, 6-10 to a pot, to sell out front - instant strawberry patch for the lucky buyer.

1 comment:

tipslifeandtravels said...

I love strawberries and have some growing in my back yard, that is until my dog decides to dig in there.
Rescued them this time though. great article

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