Sunday, May 18, 2014

Strawberry Bed!

the fruits of the students
labor last summer. . .
get it. . . fruit. . .
Last school year my Bio students begged to grow things in the spring. They had lofty aspirations of growing watermelon and other somewhat-exotic fruits and veggies, but settled for marigolds and a couple packs of strawberries that I randomly found at the hardware & garden store. They all dutifully tended to the seedlings from our return from April break until the last few days of school when they promptly forgot about them. Not one of them wanted them. Not even for their moms, even with Mother's day in the mix! And they wonder why I say no to class pets. . .

Everything did surprisingly well, and I couldn't bear to toss anything. The marigolds ended up in some of the barrels around campus, as well as over to my mom, and the strawberries went to a friend and into a few random pots that I had laying around. I didn't have high expectations, although they managed to survive the hot summer, and even bore some fruit after we made the big move to the new house in September!
obligatory artsy fruit-in-the-hand photo
(last fall's crop!)
Come winter, I tucked the pots away in the garage, under an old towel and wished them good luck for the winter. I sporadically checked on them, but decided not to hold out any hope, just in case they decided that one season was enough. A week or so ago, once it seemed to have warmed up enough, I pulled them out. They were looking a bit pale, bordering on albino, but I knew that they just needed a little sun.

Sure enough, this week they're looking much happier:
little troopers!
I've been debating where to put the strawberry bed, and what style I wanted. There are several good, sunny spots in the back as well as the front. I also wanted something more permanent than the random pots, and spent some time on Pinterest and the web looking at ideas. There are tons of ideas out there, and I was liking the tiered styles I kept seeing.

I'm on a definite budget these days, so had planned to raid my dad's scrap-wood collection for something worthy of a small strawberry bed. However, when I was over visiting my mom a couple of weekends ago, we happened to make a trip to my grandfathers house. There was an old wooden half-barrel in the yard, which I decided was exactly what I could put to use. We took a chance that the thing wasn't so rotted out that it would fall apart, and by luckily, it stated together after we emptied it and got it in mom's truck.

The same weekend, my sister and I helped mom clean out and sort through her gardening shed. She decided she didn't need an old wooden shelf, and I decided it would make a good lower-tier for the bed - I just needed to take out the middle shelf. I finally got both pieces over to my house, and spent some time today assembling the new bed. The barrel is sitting in the middle of the shelf; it's a perfect fit!
pre-strawberries, soil & compost.
I used sod clumps from the back garden to fill the bottom of the tiers and save myself some soil
berry plants in!
new tiered strawberry bed, chilling next to the future veggie garden
The strawberry bed and the (soon-to-be) veggie garden are towards the front of the yard, where they'll get the most sun. I'm losing a little bit of the flat yard, but there is still plenty of space for lawn games, when I get around to hosting a yard party (one of these days!). I debated putting the strawberries out back on the sloped area, but I like the idea of having things in the front yard where I can see them on a regular basis.

There will probably end up being a fence around the berries and the garden, to help stave off the deer that frequent the neighborhood (my backyard was a deer highway this winter!). At least, every other garden on the road seems to have a fence around it, so I'm thinking it might be a good idea for mine, too.

1 comment:

  1. The garden area is looking good, Meg! Can't wait to see it all planted!