June 16, 2006

The Best Breakfast

They are small and ugly and they taste about the same as other strawberries I've had but, I grew them so to me they are the most beautiful thing in the world.

This morning I went out and watered my garden with a hose for the first time this season. Maybe I coddle a little too much but, up until today I had only watered my seeds and very small or newly planted plants with my watering can because it has one of those gentle rain spouts on it. The hose can be a little STRONG. I have a fancy hose spout that I got last summer (I'll post a photo soon) but, I still have trouble sometimes with the water flow being too rough. I might have used the hose sooner but, then we had all this rain. Finally, it has been warm and sunny for the past 5 days and its supposed to be HOT and sunny for the next 3. I always worry about too much heat without watering so I watered for a good while today. Oh and I should mention, for good measure, how GREAT it is to have water in the community garden. Before I ever lived here, or gardened, people on this same site had to lug their water from home. Progress is good.

When I was done I decided it was time to pick a few strawberries and try them out. Strawberries weren't even in my plan for this year but, another gardener offered some plants and I couldn't refuse. I don't know that much about strawberries but I've learned a lot in the past few weeks:

1) Strawberries are perennials so they keep coming back each year. Amazing!
2) They send out "runners" to form new plants so you're best bet is to plant the strawberries with some room for the runners. Make sure to water those too when you water.
3) After a year or so the "old" strawberry plants don't produce as much so it's best to rely on the "new" plants year to year.
4) You can grow strawberries in a pot and they even make special terra cotta pots for this purpose.
5) They like straw. Most people I've seen put straw around the plants as a mulch.
6) Birds like them too. If you don't grab your berries fast some other critter may beat you to it.

Based on all of this (and my spying in other people's plots with strawberry plants) I think the plants I got from my neighbor were "old" which is why the berries are so small and the plants aren't super-healthy looking. I am not sure I'm right about this though. I might have transplanted them at the wrong time (should be very early spring, I was a little late) or near other plants that they don't like or maybe the soil wasn't ideal for them. All I know is, even though some other people seem to have bigger, healthier strawberry plants these little runts are mine and I love them.

Breakfast this morning was cereal and soy milk with strawberries -- a bowl full of satisfaction!

Click Here for more info on growing strawberries.


Jenifer said...

mmmm... I sure would like to try THOSE!

wink wink

nudge nudge

Genie said...

I don't think they look small (OK, that might be the camera angle), and they definitely don't look ugly! Glad you enjoyed them -- they're mouth-wateringly red.

The Inadvertent Gardener

snappy said...

they look great.Im waiting for a lady at work to give me some strawberry off shoots in september.Cant wait to see them grow.

rachelle said...

it might be the type of strawberry plant. alpine strawberries tend to be bigger, and larger, but produce once a year (i think). yours look like mine, which are everbearing. they produce 2-3 times (if you are lucky) but produce much smaller berries.
this year: i planted in a pot. i did not clip the runners this year, so the energy was not put into fruit production, but off shoot production, so my berries were TINY. this may be what happened with yours if you did not clip the runners.

next year, i should be good with enough plants from the runners this year, that i should be able to clip all runners and have a fantastic strawberry patch. i hear you may want to leave the runners every 3 years or so. just some advice you probably already knew!

snappy-if you are getting smallish runners from your lady at work, you might want to try rooting powder.