Such is the case with my strawberries. The first year I acquired some bare root stock, that someone dug out of their frig for me. It was late in the season when I got the bug to plant, none of the nurseries were still carrying them and I was anxious to get my patch started. I soaked the root mass, carefully planted and watered, and waited. Nothing happened. The roots were dead.
Live and learn. The second year, I was more organized and got an early order from our nursery. Junebearing and Everbearing. Same procedure. Soak, plant, water. Success! This time the root stock sent leaves up immediately and I was off and running! Except. First year strawberry plants need to develop a strong root system and therefore it is advised that all flowers and offshoots be pruned to allow the plants to focus on root growth. Which means no strawberries. Boo!
My third season was also a bust. The winter closed shop early and we found ourselves with summerlike temps in February and March. Crazy! All the trees and flowers bloomed and the strawberries too. Then, in April, a devastating freeze. All of our tree fruit was lost for the year. The strawberries also took a big hit. Luckily, the plants rebounded and even though we missed the big June harvest, the Everbearing plants continued to bloom during the summer. Mindful of the competition for these sweet berries, I covered my plants with fencing wire to keep strawberry thieves at bay.
Well, technically, they didn't eat them all. I did have enough berries to snack on and baked some wonderful muffins.
First though, I had to lock up the plants.
And then, finally. Strawberries.
This is the second story in my Lessons Learned from The Gardenfront series, that I am featuring during the month of June. Be sure to check back next week for more gardening insight, TPF style. You can also chat with me every day at fb.com/thepocketfarmer or find us on Twitter @thepocketfarmer. Hope to see you there! :)