Strawberry season is (almost) here!

Posted on May 31st, 2009 – 10:24 PM
By Jaime Chismar

Break out the chicken wire — My strawberries are blooming and bearing fruit!

new_strawberries.jpg

A year ago, I ordered three varieties of bare root plants from Stark Bros. They had a slow start and produced mostly shoots and leaves. A few flowered and I split my single ripe strawberry with chipmunk. It was unbelievably good. I was hooked. (Don” ask me which variety it was. I lost the tags.)

Since my first bite, supermarket strawberries just don’t cut it anymore for me. I started buying strawberries at the local farmers markets. They didn’t have a long shelf life and I would greedily eat them over the kitchen sink for breakfast.

This year, however, my strawberry plants are in blooming. My crop looks super promising. I can hardly wait to eat my very own berries!

In other berry news, my blueberries are in bloom! I know I should nip the buds to encourage stronger root formation, but I really wanted to see a blueberry bloom in person. Aren’t they sweet? They look a bit like Lily-of-the-Valley, no?

blueberryBlossom.jpg

18 Responses to "Strawberry season is (almost) here!"

Debw says:

June 1st, 2009 at 7:38 am

Do the blooms smell like blueberries? They are really cute with the pinky blush.
On the strawberry front: they ripen and put out more berries at an alarming rate sometimes, check for berries morning and evening.

Jaime Chismar says:

June 1st, 2009 at 8:55 am

These little plants are pretty spoiled in my garden. They have a raised bed all to themselves with straw mulch and a soaker hose. Friday, I cut down a neighbor’s tree so they could get even more sunlight. (Note: The tree was a crappy maple that was growing into our fence.)

Judybusy says:

June 1st, 2009 at 9:24 am

For a minute, Jaime, I envisioned you going after some nice tree in the middle of the neighbor’s yard just for the sake of your blueberries! That would truly be a dedicated, if unpopular gardener–

Debw says:

June 1st, 2009 at 10:05 am

I spent the weekend conducting a chainsaw massacre on the crappy sprouts that come from the next door neighbor’s seven silver maples, and someone in the area has a boxelder…they stink when you cut them off. NOW I can plant tomatoes and peppers.

jenyuki says:

June 1st, 2009 at 10:22 am

Debw- I understand your silver maple pain. We have one two houses down and it looks like we mulched with seeds! I’ll spend all summer pulling out silver maple seedlings.

I can’t imagine living next door to SEVEN of them…

Jennifer Twin Mom says:

June 1st, 2009 at 10:24 am

I ordered several bare-root plants from Stark Bros. this spring and have been disappointed. Only 5 of my 10 asparagus ever came up, and 0 of my 2 rhubarb.

2 out of my 3 blueberry bushes survived so they’re doing a little better.

At what point do you throw in the towel? Should I continue to check every day and hope for signs of life? This stuff was all planted in the first week of May or so, so it’s been a month. :(

Carlotta says:

June 1st, 2009 at 10:30 am

I made the unfortunate mistake of planting my strawberries close to the sumac. The suckers have been coming up through the terraced frame. Think I got the majority of them out before putting on the mesh to keep the birds from eating the berries. Our cat takes care of the chipmunks and rodents.

Robyn Dochterman says:

June 1st, 2009 at 10:33 am

I planted strawberries this year. 210 of them. It’s killing me to go out every day and clip off the blooms. Really, really looking forward to next year so I can join you in the happy strawberry department!

Jaime Chismar says:

June 1st, 2009 at 10:42 am

Jennifer,

I’d give your blueberry another month. Your asparagus may come back next year. The rhubarb sounds like a goner, but I bet you have a neighbor who’d be willing to dig up some of theirs.

Geoff says:

June 1st, 2009 at 11:26 am

Planted 3 blueberry bushes (1 Polaris, 2 Northblue) this spring from Gertens. They’re all doing good so far, and have decided to stop with the pesky blooms and start working on the growing. For this, they will be rewarded well with some sulfur and water.

Have had to keep a watchful eye out for caterpillars and inchworms. They’ve been the biggest threat so far. The foxes, eagles and hawks have been doing their job on the rabbits…amazing what you find in the city limit sometimes.

Jennifer, I’m in the same boat with my asparagus. Put in 25 roots from Gertens over 3 weeks ago, and nothing at all. I dug one up and saw a few feeble fresh white roots coming from a tendril, so they are alive. But annoyingly slow to show anything. GROW DAMMIT GROW! YOU WILL BE REPLACED WITH CORN IF YOU DON’T WORK HARDER!

Danika says:

June 1st, 2009 at 11:29 am

I am anxiously awaiting strawberries from cuttings that Jaime gave me (thank you!)… but should I be clipping blooms like Robyn is?

Jennifer Twin Mom says:

June 1st, 2009 at 2:56 pm

I think I know the answer to this, but I ask anyway:

If I plant strawberries outside of a protected fence, will the bunnies eat them up?

songgrrl says:

June 1st, 2009 at 3:11 pm

Anyone have ideas on how to keep the squirrels out of my strawberries? They come in from above….the climb over the privacy fence that the strawberry bed is next to and leap into it and eat them up before they’re even ripe!!! This year I put a mesh netting around and secured it tightly to the ground – no gaps. But I still think those suckers are gonna leap on top of the netting, smush it down, and eat the strawberries right through! We’ll soon see! I read one post somewhere else about a women who puts dozens of plastic forks, tines up, all throughout her strawberry bed. LOL! Who’s found something that actually works?

Robin says:

June 1st, 2009 at 7:37 pm

I have silver maples and boxelders all over the place. I hate boxelder, and the silver maple is starting to creep up on the list.

Jaime Chismar says:

June 2nd, 2009 at 12:34 pm

Songgrrl,

Squirrels are the worst. I have similar difficulties with these pests. This time of year, I leave my compost bin open to distract them from the garden.

This weekend will be all about securing my bed with chicken wire. I might make this funny DIY enclosure:
http://adventuresinsidewaysliving.blogspot.com/2009/01/making-chicken-dome-day-4.html

Geoff says:

June 3rd, 2009 at 8:58 am

If you really want to pamper your strawberries, you might want to look at Woolch to mulch with.

http://www.mlwp.org/woolch.htm

You can always turn the squirrels into gravy. The rabbits are good as a main dish with a side of the greens they didn’t get to eat. ;-) I’m going to try to farm some venison soon too. It’s amazing what kind of produce you can get out of your garden!

Other side of the river says:

June 12th, 2009 at 1:09 pm

I’m looking for suggestions from anyone who has grown strawberries in containers. How do you overwinter them? I am running out of yard to plant anything more at this point, but we have a huge deck (former homeowners made odd choices).