Strawberries

July 6, 2009 at 8:15 pm 3 comments

strawberries

I’m still learning about strawberries. I purchased a small package of them last year for a hanging basket. I’d read somewhere that you should pinch back the flowers of strawberry plants during their first year, so I did this and only harvested a handful of berries. In the fall, I planted the strawberries in a small patch of dirt along the sunny, west facing spot along fence; small shoots also went in a couple of spots in our front yard. I mulched the strawberry plants heavily for the winter, and when spring came one of the first signs of life was these three bits of strawberry. The largest clump along the fence is flourishing and now has numerous flowers that I hope will turn into delicious berries. The two tiny shoots are both in shadier spots, but they’re coming along nicely. I was so encouraged by their early, healthy start that I purchased more strawberry plants this spring. Two were planted in a sunny spot under the large cherry tree in our backyard, but they’ve unfortunately already met their demise at the hands of the hungry (and destructive!) squirrels that live in our backyard. I also have a cute little strawberry pot stuffed with plants on our toasty warm south-facing backyard deck. I can’t bring myself to pinch off the flowers on any of the new ones, even after seeing how healthy last year’s plants look after having done so. I will do some more research on this question of pinching back the flowers of new plants in the first year. For now, I’m too keen on living in the moment and enjoying some fresh berries this year to do the deed!

The plants in our yard will probably only yield a few small handfuls of berries. There are a number of U-Pick berry and vegetable farms in the Calgary area and I’m interested in making a trip out to harvest some strawberries for snacking, baking, salads and maybe jam if I’m feeling really ambitious. During our last trip to Victoria I experienced the most amazing strawberry-rhubarb jam with my toast when we had breakfast at the Blue Fox Cafe – still can’t get it out of my head and I’m keen to try to make my own.

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Entry filed under: Cooking, Gardening, Travel. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , .

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3 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Heather  |  July 6, 2009 at 9:02 pm

    I love strawberries! Sounds like yours will reward you with many sweet treats. Looks great in that cute strawberry pot too!

  • 2. Tatiana  |  August 17, 2009 at 1:40 pm

    What did you mulch your berries with for the winter? The almanac says it will be a green winter, so mulch is likely a must this year. My strawberries are on a small hill, and I worry about typical mulches like bark will simply blow away over the season.

  • 3. nestandsparkle  |  August 18, 2009 at 3:50 pm

    I had stored up some yard waste over the summer last year and used that for mulch. Things like branches and twigs that we’d pruned from our trees, leaves that we raked up, and even some grass clippings. I just kept putting these all in an old wheelbarrow in our garage throughout the summer and fall and then used this to spread over the plants and garden. It was a bit messy in early spring, but when it started to warm up most of the mulch disintegrated into the soil. Any larger bits were tossed in the compost. Easy and free.

    As long as you have a decent layer of whatever mulch you decide on, you probably don’t need to worry about it blowing away…remember, it’s frozen and a bit wet from snow and frost, so it’s pretty solid.

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