Tag Archives: strawberry

Everbearing Strawberry

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

Before the Curtain Closes

And Before the Rain Washes Them Away

It’s raining again tonight, actually it has been raining on and off for the past two days.  It’s just drizzle now.  Luck was on my side yesterday; gave me a chance to take some photographs of fall colors before the rain washes them away.  Not much left of the garden, really, just a lot of leaves on the ground and some flowers here and there that push their last bit of energy before going to rest.  The whole visual of fall garden gives me a sense of ending.  That is what gardening has taught me: a life cycle.  I see plants sprout, grow, blossom, fade and die within one season.  Then it starts all over again, maybe in a new place, or a new form.

Anyway, I don’t mean to be philosophical here.  It is just that gardening makes you keep your feet on the ground, working along side mother nature and enjoying what she gives us.

Even at the end, she still paints a beautiful picture that artists through the centuries have struggled to match.

Japanese Maple & wooden bench

The bright red of Japanese Maple leaves provide a very beautiful contrast to the bright yellow of western maple leaves in the background.  The Tree Swallow family was long gone, but a male Eastern Bluebird came to check this birdhouse for a potential roosting place a week ago.  This bench is a great place to sit and watch the sunrise and contemplate the beauty that surrounds us.

Pineapple sage

Pineapple sage (Salvia elegans) is still flowering and the Bumble bees still work on the last drop of its nectar.  I will be picking the leaves and drying them for tea before the frost comes.

Salvia ‘Black & Blue’

Salvia ‘Black & Blue’ is still flowering as well.  I grew them for the first time this year and have no idea whether they will last the winter so I’ve collected the seeds, just in case.  I will try to plant them next to the Pineapple sage next year; the color combination should be great.

Strawberry

We still pick some Roman strawberries, with lovely pink flowers, at this time of year.  The fruits are small but very sweet and the plants never stop producing them.

Knockout

Rose ‘Knockout’ is a continuous bloomer.  Once it starts in late spring, it never stops blooming.  This one managed to evade the hungry deer so far.

Swiss chard

The bright bold colors of Swiss chard are one of a few vegetables left in the garden.  Chinese celery, Kale, Scallion, and Parsley are also still standing.  Some stray garlic seedlings have sprouted up as well.

Iris ‘Lenora Pearl’

Re-blooming Irises have bloomed on cue.  Once October comes, they shoot up new flower stems for the second time.  They tempted me to up-root the other Irises and plant all re-bloomers, but there are not that many color choices to choose from.