Strawberry Fields

Back in September of 2011, Frank and I bought some strawberry plants. They spread and filled their tiny bed but didn’t produce a lot of fruit, probably because they didn’t get enough sun.  So, almost exactly one year ago, I transplanted bunches of them to a new bed. The bed was in full sun and those strawberry plants rewarded me by bearing an incredible number of berries for months through spring and summer. Then they spread some more and filled the bed to overflowing.

Strawberries in Chatswood

Strawberries in Chatswood

This past weekend I spent some time thinning the plants for their own good and so I could take some with me when we move to the farm. As an aside, the farm is about 2 kilometres from where we bought those first 3 strawberry plants. Almost poetic!

Jas, Maria and Paul benefited from my thinning as well since I gave a bunch of surplus plants away on freecycle.org. I like thinking those 3 little plants have gone on to fill beds all over the region.

Back on the farm, a small hill was selected and some of the worst of the weeds removed (I didn’t want to totally clear it because I don’t want to lose my top soil if there is a good rain shower before the strawberries stabilise the hill).

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And in went my strawberry plants – about 50 of them.

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Now I simply sit back and wait for spring and bowls full of sweet strawberries. Just in case something goes wrong (that’s the voice of experience there), I have my back-up plants in a pot. I transplanted them a few weeks ago and they seem perfectly happy to live in this pot as long as I want them to (one is even flowering already and it’s mid-winter here). I’m as sure as I can be that I’ll be eating strawberries in a few months!

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About Laura Rittenhouse

I'm an American-Australian author, gardener and traveller. Go to my writing website: www.laurarittenhouse.com for more. If you're trying to find my gardening blog, it's here.
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8 Responses to Strawberry Fields

  1. It’s amazing how strawberries spread. I spent a lot of time planting up the runners in the spring and now have 2 beds of strawberry plants. some of mine are in flower and some have green emerging fruits on them, so I too am looking forward to a bumper crop.

    • What’s amazing to me is how easily they spread yet to buy a small plant at the store costs a bomb. There’s no sense in that. They should be as close to free as any plant can be, not $7 each (or whatever, depending on the size of pot which in a few weeks time becomes irrelevant anyway).

  2. pattigail says:

    Oh I hope mine spread! I got them as bare root plants and they were not expensive. But I have seen potted plants that are pricey. Glad yours are happy in the pot and hopefully on the hillside as well…..strawberry fields forever…..sounds yummy.

    • If yours are anything like mine, they’ll do fine. I can’t believe how some survive even on top of the wood border of the bed with no dirt – they grow anywhere (if they have sun).

  3. karen says:

    What a lot of work! (and reward) As always, I’m so impressed with your efforts.

    I planted a patch in 2011 on dad’s birthday. Here’s the photo http://www.growinginmygarden.com/strawberries/. They now fill the entire bed and are spilling over. We get so many strawberries and I eat every single one (that the bugs don’t get 🙂

    Before you know it, your entire hillside will be filled and people will come to see the bees and the strawberries!

    • My mother-in-law plants hers in rows and every 2 years rips out the older, less productive plants, and moves the new babies into new rows to start it all over. And you say I put in a lot of work! I plant and let ’em do their thing.

      I wish I was just battling the bugs, I have the parrots and possums to fend off as well 😦

  4. Wow! That is great that they are so productive. I hope ours do the same over the years.

    • I don’t know why everyone has a long list of plants that run wild and invade their garden but they never warn you about strawberries – maybe because it’s hard to imagine them growing somewhere where they weren’t appreciated. I’m hoping yours do really well and you get buckets of berries!

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