Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Strawberry Fields Forever


 That bed of Tristars? I had hoped to gently clip off runners to populate another bed (who doesn't want double the strawberries?) and I kept waiting for runners.

Waiting.

Waiting.

Nope, no runners. And yet, that bed. . . it was looking kind of, kind of. . . dense. (Sorry about the crappy picture -- using a phone).


What is going on underground? A lift with a digging fork revealed --- aiiieeee! It's the Great Lumping Mass. These plants have multiplied. When I began, each berry plant was a teensy slip of a thing.


If I shake enough dirt off of the mass of clumpiness, it's easier to divide the soon-to-be separate strawberry plants. Notice those berries? This variety is still pumping out flowers and berries, some of them quite large. Unfortunately, they taste like watered-down strawberry jell-o, so no joy there. I still give them points for trying.



It didn't take long to fill up another bed, on a three/two pattern. Then I looked back at the original bed, and between a third and a half of it was still very thick with berry plants.



So I eyed another bed in the garden. Dig, lift, shake, separate, and it, too, will hopefully produce luscious berries in the spring. Alas, however, there were many, many, many more berries left to go. I got into a rhythm, flinging separated berries into a cardboard box until the bed was nearly all thinned and I was tired.

And then I turned to the local gardening lists and found homes for all of them. Go forth and grow, little berries! I even had enough left in the bed to provide a friend with berry plants days later.

Someone is going to get a strawberry cream cake for her birthday next year!

5 comments:

Erin said...

Nice surprise! You will have tons of berries next year!

Julie said...

I did the same last year--I was amazed at how much the plants multiplied! I filled two new beds, then took several flats of plants to my son's elementary school. Each classroom has a little plot outside their windows where they are encouraged to plant something, and we combined some edibles--strawberries, peas--with ornamentals. Although they had just a few berries the first year, the kids all got to harvest and taste them. Plants that keep on giving are the best! (Now I'm craving strawberries...and strawberry cake!) Cheers!

Stefaneener said...

Erin, yes indeed. It's funny. Toward the end of the season, when I say, "Go get strawberries," the kids actually moan! No one turns down cake, though.

Julie, it's true. Maybe I'll head towards the school next year. I'm a perennial convert. This spring will be asparagus, artichokes AND strawberries. And that cake is completely worth trying.

kitsapFG said...

I love how the strawberry plants create next generation beds for us. This coming fall will be time for me to rejuvenate (move) the main strawberry patch. I use the youngsters from the old bed to create a new one that I use for about 2 or 3 years ... then the cycle starts again.

kitsapFG said...

I love how the strawberry plants create next generation beds for us. This coming fall will be time for me to rejuvenate (move) the main strawberry patch. I use the youngsters from the old bed to create a new one that I use for about 2 or 3 years ... then the cycle starts again.