Monday, July 25, 2011

On the third day …

she finally got the strawberry bed weeded, trimmed, clipped, watered and mulched.

I started cleaning up the strawberries Saturday morning, before it got too hot. There are just three rows of strawberries in my garden, and they're pretty short rows, maybe 20 feet. While my intent was to do all three rows on Saturday, I quit after I'd finished the first.

Sunday was more of the same, and today I finished the third. It was the worst – choked with clover and crabgrass and various and sundry unwelcome greenery. I don't use chemicals to control weeds, so it was just me and a few hand tools. And a lotta sweat.

Strawberry plants send out runners – long stems with little baby strawberry plants on them, much like spider plants. If the baby plant landed and rooted in a good spot, I left it, but I cut back most of the runners and trimmed all of the plants. I replanted some of the baby plants that had pretty good roots.

Oh, and I ate one delicious and very late strawberry. Heh.

I watered the whole bed well, then spread an entire bale of straw over all three rows, then watered all the straw.

My hope is that next spring's weed crop will be greatly minimized while the strawberry crop will be better than this year's.

Gardening strengthens my back, shoulder and leg muscles. And I'm saving money. (Each plant – three dozen – should produce a quart of berries. I spent $15 for some of the original plants [the bulk of them were someone else's clipped runners] and $4.50 for the straw. You do the math.)

Clearing all those weeds and adding a straw mulch is good for the soil. Hard physical labor is good for the soul.


J-M said...

Nothing compares to the taste of homegrown strawberries!

denise said...

I'm exhausted just reading this. Makes me glad my strawberry plant is just the size of a window box. Of course, it doesn't yield much of a crop...

Someone told me that strawberries usually don't yield much until the 2nd year - does that sound right to you?

I think she was just trying to make me feel better!

Debbi said...

Denise, I hope you're reading (or subscribed) follow-up comments. Yes, the yield is much better the second year. My theory, untested right now, is that if I plant a few runners every year, I should be able to get good production for a long time. We'll see ...