Square Peg Post

January 15, 2011

Planting Strawberries

Filed under: Uncategorized — Administrator @ 2:31 pm

When I was a kid my dad wouldn’t eat bananas.  “I ate real bananas during the war in the Phillipines.  Those things from the grocery store are not the same,” he would declare with contempt.   I feel the same way about strawberries – I eat real strawberries in May and June in the middle of my strawberry patch.  Those things in the store are not the same.    Let me be unequivocal – I am a strawberry snob.  I do not eat California berries because no decent berry can withstand the packaging and shipping.  I will eat local berries in august and september that come from “everbearing” varieties but usually just to be polite.  The best strawberries come in the spring and are done before summer really gets going.  We plant two such varieties of June bearing strawberries: Hoods and Shuksans.  These two are top tier for flavor and that is why one eats strawberrries, no?  Some other varieties make bigger berries which means less labor to fill a pint and still others bear throughout the spring, summer and into the fall.  None of these approach the quality of our favorites.

Lot’s of work happens before the flats show up at the market.  We planted a new patch in July 2010 that we will begin to harvest late in the spring of 2011.  Below is the story of how we plant them.

Amy trims the roots of the strawberry plants we bought from a nursery.

Amy trims the roots of the strawberry plants we bought from a nursery.

The trimmed plants are placed in a kelp solution which stimulates the roots.

The trimmed plants are placed in a kelp solution which stimulates the roots.

On the left, the trimmed plants are much easier to plant without doubling over the roots.

On the left, the trimmed plants are much easier to plant without doubling over the roots.

Amy loads the plants into the planting cups on the transplanter which is pulled down the row by the tractor.

Amy loads the plants into the planting cups on the transplanter which is pulled down the row by the tractor.

Several plants line up waiting to be planted by the machine.

Several plants line up waiting to be planted by the machine.

Several rows of planted strawberries waiting for drip irrigation tape and some delicious water.

Several rows of planted strawberries waiting for drip irrigation tape and some delicious water.

The same rows in early January.  The foliage will fill in as the days get longer.  April's flowers will be May's berries!

The same rows in early January. The foliage will fill in as the days get longer. April's flowers will be May's berries!

1 Comment »

  1. So that’s why some of my new raspberry plants died! Thanks for the root trimming tip.

    Our berry patch was there when we bought the house in 1979. It has been a blessing over the years, but either they are getting burned out, overshadowed by the neighbors’ pine trees (not to mention the pine needles) or a combination of both (not to mention poor/marginal care on my part). They were not doing well. I bought 20-30 plants from an online supplier and planted them (they were the same fruiting pattern as ours, June and Sep producers – can’t remember the variety’s name). What I didn’t do was trim the roots! The majority survived my ineptness, and, hopefully, the 2d year and beyond they will impart their genetic imprint on the patch and it will again start to fruit like days of yore (unless they need full sun, then they’ll never reach their full potential.

    Another “problem” may be that the grandkids go out and eat them all up before I even see them! Oh well, they will have fond memories of the patch.

    Comment by Jerry Vargo — September 13, 2011 @ 9:58 am

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