Know Thy Plant: Strawberries

May 3, 2010 Comments Off on Know Thy Plant: Strawberries

My  rooftop garden is growing  completely out of control…. I  have doubled the amount of pots I  started a year ago, I know have succulent, flower seeds,bulbs, vegetable seeds, herbs, fruit, and trash cans full of water.  I feel accomplished and uneasy at the same time  and constantly think I am getting way over my head and have to fight the urge to dog paddle. I started to garden on the roof in large part , as a way to eat sustainable  food but I have obscured my mission with  pretty things, which may be for the best as my lettuce  and broccoli  are punking out of me while my flower seeds are coming up in full force.  But luckily for my ego I am getting my first  ripened strawberries already, so I dedicate this post to them and myself, as I write these Know Thy Plant post so that when I feel crazy overwhelmed by my hobby I can come back to them and remember how not to kill things (this is the most important part after all) and  that gardening  scan be and is supposed to be easy.

Strawberries, A short love story

*Strawberries, like most fruit need to be pollinated in order to produce fruit.  Most Strawberries are self pollinating meaning you don’t need a ton of plants  to bear fruit, because like the term suggest one plant pollinates itself,now doesn’t that sound like some plant pron?  However its good to have other plants in your garden that will attract natural pollinators like bees, because more pollination means for flowers, and  more flowers make more deliscious fruit to put in your mouth. Plus you will make all the little Hectors(bees)  happy.

* Strawberries come in a couple varieties, ones that have one bigger crop, ones that fruit a few times over the season, or ones that are everbearing and fruit all season long. You can do a quick search on google to find out  which varieties are which. The everbearing and   multi season  varieties  produce less runners( new plants.) I have no clue what type I have because I threw away all the tags( a no no) before looking into stuff, so I guess I’ll figure that out as the season goes on. I have a feeling it is ever bearing , considering the way nurseries love to appeal to consumers.

* Despite what the grocery store would have you believe strawberries come in lots of different shapes and sizes, so experiment in planting different varieties.

* They like loamy   and /or sandy soil, mine are doing fine in  regular potting soil, but if you have really dense clay soil (like in Virginia) you will have to prepare your bed ahead of time by adding these in, you can build a raised bed or do raise rows.

* I’ve seen them grow in all kinds of places, raised beds, as ground cover, hanging pots, regular pots, window boxes, so if you have somewhere inventive to put  a strawberry its worth a try, if it work outs send me a picture, I love new ideas.

*  The mount of information on fertilizing these babies is overwhelming, so I’m going to say fertilize  at the beginning and end of the season with an even fertilizer(5-5-5 or 10-10-10) or if your strawberry is really suffering, look drab, not fruiting or leaves are yellowing. I am going to experiment with  fertilizer by trying a few things, but without applying a ton of fertilizer.

* you’ll have to look up your zone to determine when everything is supposed to happen, as usual it will be slower in colder climates and faster in warmer climates.

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