Monday, April 9, 2018

Planting Strawberries

If you follow my blog, you know that last year I tried growing strawberries in some cattle supplement tubs we obtained from a friend.  They flourished in the tubs and this spring I thinned them rather drastically.  I wrote about that in my blog last month.  Today, I want to show you what I did with the plants I that I thinned.

In my raised bed garden, I had a empty bed in which I had grown cilantro last spring.  The cilantro went to seed and died during the summer.  And, I didn't get around to planting anything else in the bed.  I thought this would make a good bed for strawberries, so a couple of weeks ago I cleaned it out and worked the ground up.

I had quite a few strawberry plants from thinning the cattle tubs, more than I could plant in this one bed.

The important thing to remember when planting strawberries is to not plant the crown of the plant too deeply.  In the picture below, the part of the plant above my thumb should be above the soil level.  This is the crown of the plant.

It didn't take long to dig a few holes and get the plants in the ground.  I spaced the plants about 12-16 inches apart.  As they become established, they will send out runners which will root and make new plants.  So, you want to leave enough room for the runners.

I didn't remember until afterwards that I had to do something to keep the chickens from getting in the bed and digging the plants up!  It is funny, but they will be completely uninterested in a garden bed until they notice me digging in it.  This acts as a magnet for them and they can't resist scratching in a bed where they see the soil has been recently disturbed.  

See what I mean.  Fortunately, I found a cattle panel that fit over the bed just before this hen came to investigate.  The grid is too small for her to scratch much.  Plus, it is not evident from this picture, but the panel is raised about an inch off the ground.

That didn't stop her from walking across the bed trying to figure out how she could manage to scratch between those wires in that nice soil.

In the end, she lost interest and went elsewhere.  However, when these strawberries bloom and set fruit, I will have to come up with a better way to keep them out of the bed because this will definitely not keep them from eating those nice red berries.  

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