Sunday, March 21, 2010


One of my favorite summer memories from when I was a kid was driving out to a pick-your-own orchard with my mom, sister, and aunt to pick strawberries. We'd pick enough to cart home and spend the rest of the day making strawberry jelly. Well, my mom and aunt would make jelly; my sister and I would mostly wander off with a handful of strawberries and whine until someone took us to the pool.

But the picking was fun and so when I saw that a producer in my food co-op sold live strawberry plants, I jumped on it.

These plants arrived on Thursday and the late blizzard was due to arrive on Friday night. I read somewhere that strawberry plants that have had some exposure to freezing temperatures actually produce better tasting berries in the summer. True? Maybe not, but I thought that these would fare better in the warm raised beds covered with straw than they would in my garage for several days, so I opted to plant them.

I'm trying the everbearing Ozark Beauty and June-bearing Albion varieties. These plants will produce berries for at least 3 years, so I wanted to give them a somewhat permanent location. 

In order to help the plants establish a strong root system which will result in a good yield, I will be pinching off the blooms until July for the Ozarks, and all summer for the Albions (which won't produce berries until next year). 

Right now these plants are covered with several inches of hay and a fabric row cover until the temps come back from below freezing. I hope they make it!

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