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From June to Frost

I put my first strawberries in the garden three years ago when I discovered that strawberries from a conventional farm are usually loaded with chemicals.  I started with four plants of ‘everbearing’ strawberry, the type that produces fruit from June to frost, just to see how difficult it is to grow them.  I picked a few strawberries in that first year but the slugs ate most of the rest.  But the plants have produced many runners that became new plants where they touched the ground.  Last year they took over one side of the vegetable garden.  They have become weedy and invasive if delicious.

This year I bought a planter early in spring, eight feet long, waist high and moved the healthy looking strawberries into it.  I gave some to whomever wanted them and left the not so good looking ones in their original place.  My problem solved, sort of.  The slugs can no longer steal my strawberries since the planter sits high up on steel legs.  The birds have no chance either as I covered them with a net.  So I’ve been picking strawberries daily since June and there are still more strawberry flowers and young fruit growing.

Strawberry in April

Strawberry in April

Moved them up to the planter in April, with six to seven inches between them, and mulched with hay

Moved them up to the planter in April, with six to seven inches between them, and mulched with hay

In May, covered them with a net

In May, covered them with a net

May, when they started to flower

May, when they started to flower

Plenty of strawberries in early June

Plenty of strawberries in early June

One problem still exists: they proliferate too fast.  They fill the planter in one growing season and the runners are draping down to the ground. I thought I left enough room between them but I guess six to seven inches is not enough.  I will have to find more space to plant them.  The guilty conscience of throwing perfectly good plants in the compost is very hard to overcome so just thinning them is out.

August, still flowering

August, still flowering

Some ripening strawberries in August

Some ripening strawberries in August

Picked on September 4th, and still picking daily since

Picked on September 4th, and still picking daily since