Tuesday, February 8, 2011

A little work,

Goes a L~O~N~G way! Of course this was only a  little bit of work, but it did take hours to complete. The work I refer to is the strawberry patch that was divided (and conquered!)
It began with 4 mats of strawberry plants much like this one. flowers abundant under the thick cover of green leaves.

*pardon the freaky lines I promise that isn't my camera it's the blogger. I swear the picture thingy hates me here!*

Anyway, the beds were so smashed together under the mats that they stood nearly no chance of pollination. The flowers themselves were hard pressed to even open fully and expand their petals.

I had mentioned previously that the strawberries were growing too low to the ground and I couldn't figure out why. Now I know why! The landscape fabric that I had put in the garden not only kept the weeds out, but kept them from getting to the nutrient rich dirt underneath. I just hadn't realized how much the plants had grown and needed to be released from their confines.

I went from 4 mats of strawberries to over 50 individual plants! It nearly made me cry each time i had to dig up the roots and separate them. But, I knew it was better for the plant. It may set me back a couple weeks but in the long run I will get more berries this way, the plants will be healthier and I will be richly rewarded for my somewhat heartbreaking efforts.

The results? I am pleased to say that by the end of the year the strawberry plants will definitely take up the entire area of this planter. Seeing the plants now makes me sad that I didn't do this for them sooner.

The twigs in the picture are a dormant tree that has been pruned back. This is the last year that it will be allowed to wallow in misery. I've nursed it for 3 years. It either makes a miraculous come back or it's gone. I had to write that because I've been saying it for a while. Now it's in print. No going back. LOL I moved it from our original home 5 years ago and it made the first move easily enough but when we moved again 3 years ago it didn't fair so well. Last year we had a really hard freeze several times and a severe winter (for Florida) so i took mercy on it. This year our winter was blissful, not without cold weather but no massive freezes.
The berries seem happy already. I expected some sort of transplant shock. I mean I did rip their roots apart and all but so far nary a pip from the little beauties.
It must feel good to finally stretch the roots that have been cramped and receive the nutrients that they have strived for. I'll keep a close eye on them the next 2 weeks and then feed them. I think March is going to be a very yummy month around here. Though not many berries make it inside. I wonder if more will make it in now, or less?  And so we went from 3 square feet of strawberries to a 4'x3' box filled!
 Do you know what else? I'm preparing....

Any and all strawberry thoughts, recipes, ideas or other berry goodness is graciously accepted in the comment box.  :-)
I see fresh strawberry jam in my future.

'Till next time!


  1. It looks like you did the right thing by separating the plants. They look very happy and healthy!

  2. Organic strawberries, homegrown... yumm! And that is really the way to go. I hope you have a plentiful harvest.