Thursday, September 11, 2014

Strawberry Bed: Revisited & Revised

Remember back in May, when I made this for the strawberry plants that my students had planted (then abandoned when school ended) in the spring of 2013?
little strawberry plants, all tucked in - they're practically lonely with all that space
By mid-June, they looked like this, and now had a garden to keep them company.
merrily filling out
And by the end of July, they were still producing a little, and practically exploding from the barrel. 
okay, now they need some elbow room
I knew from the beginning that the strawberry plants would likely outgrow this two-tiered planter that I constructed in the spring, and that I'd probably need to pare down the amount of plants I had. I've been thinking about this for a while, so with the kids off at ski camps, I decided to take advantage of some "free" time and get a new bed made. Especially since the berry plants now look like this:
if they could climb out, they would. . . 
I drew up some plans and estimated how much space I'd need for the plants. I thought I had 16 plants and intended to keep 11, arranging them in three rows.
always draw up a plan first
I picked up the lumber and played with the saw.
measure twice, cut once
I broke out the drill and assembled a 4 x 8 foot bed; I laid groundcloth to keep the grass from growing up through the bed and dumped a bunch of soil and compost in. The bed isn't super deep, but I cut through the cloth under each plant so they could send their roots down without fighting the groundcloth.
new bed frame!
Well, it turns out there were 17 plants, and I managed to fit 10 of them in the bed, in two rows. These guys are big and I wanted to leave room in the bed to get to the plants as needed, and to let them grow more. They were certainly happy with the soil in the barrel planter, considering how large they are. Almost too happy, though, as they were getting pretty root-bound:
more than a handful of roots, and not even the biggest clump!
I added some straw to the new bed, and set the extra plants back in the barrel for holding (they're headed to my brother & sister-in-law, and to my mom). Next spring I'll plant the barrel with herbs, or basil, or maybe some mint.
lots of straw!
even with the extra square footage from the new bed,
there was still just enough fence to close the garden off
10 very happy strawberry plants
most are nearly a foot in diameter all fluffed up - and check
out the big guy, second from the back on the right-hand side!
And your bonus produce shots:
a couple of handfuls of tomato - soooo delicious
Zoe has "helped" harvest cherry tomatoes this summer;
of course she prefers the perfectly ripened ones

No comments:

Post a Comment