Wow. It is heaven around here with strawberries ripening all over the place! Sweet ambrosia. Home grown is so much better than store bought!
My parents have tried growing strawberries in several different places the last few years and none of them worked out until they planted them in the well drained Mittleider soilless mix of peatmoss and sand. Now they are multiplying like crazy and giving us beautiful fruit.
I fertilized them with the Mittleider weekly feed when they started to grow this spring, again when they flowered and I will feed them in the next few days now that they are producing heavily. I didn’t have to water them at all until a few weeks ago. Now I make sure they don’t go too dry and they are doing very well.
This fall or next spring we will need to thin them out quite a bit and start a new strawberry patch. After a few years in the same spot the mother plant sends off so many shoots that the berries start getting small. If we were more diligent about cutting off the shoots that turn into new plants we wouldn’t need to thin them.
See the yellow in the middle of that flower? It is a baby strawberry! We haven’t had to water the strawberries at all this year or really take care of them except to pull the mulch off them in the early Spring and give them some Mittleider weekly feed. It seems that such goodness should come with a much higher price. If you haven’t had a fresh strawberry you just can’t imagine the sweet perfect flavor. The under ripe, chemical laden excuse for strawberries in the stores pale in comparison. Oh how I am excited for strawberry season!
I have now planted the things that can be put in 2 weeks before the last Spring frost date. These include:
If you live where it is quite dry then you can put in Potatoes too. Where I live the rain still comes down quite frequently and the potatoes can rot before they sprout so I will wait a few weeks for them.
All of the seeds I started a few weeks ago are up and growing beautifully so now I start feeding them the natural Mittleider fertilizer mix once a week.(get it at www.growfood.com and learn how to use it HERE.) A few weeks ago I told you to get your micronutrients ordered and now is the time you will be using them.
I like to set aside one day a week (Mondays for me) to fertilize any garden plants that have sprouted. I stop doing this weekly feed when they are a few weeks from being mature. The fertilizer stays with them a few weeks so I don’t want to waste fertilizer on things I am going to be harvesting.
If I am fertilizing a 30′ x 18″ bed, once a week I will add 16 oz.(a soup can) of weekly feed to the bed near the roots of the plants. You don’t have to till it in or anything, just put in on the surface and when you water or it rains, the fertilizer will go into the soil. Messing up the surface of the soil and getting good contact with the fertilizer will actually help the fertilizer get into the soil better but it is not necessary.
In a 3×8′ bed put down 8 ounces (1 cup) of weekly feed).
As it warms up our plants will shoot up and we will be so grateful for the work we have put in!
Another thing to be doing right now is disturbing the soil in our garden beds. When you do this, weeds that have gotten started will be uprooted and won’t be able to grow. You are not disturbing your seedlings, but the rest of the soil. You aren’t watering the isles with this method of gardening so weeding will be kept to a minimum but to keep it even less, move your soil.
If you are growing straight in the soil, break down the sides of your garden beds and build them back up again to kill any weeds that have been germinating. You will be glad you took the time to do this. Eliminate the weeds while they are small and you will have much less work to do later.
It is warm enough for us to take the mulch off the strawberries. It probably could have been done a couple weeks ago but this spot gets a lot of shade in the morning and has still had frost at 10am so we decided to wait until now to pull off the thick layer of leaves we had mulched them with in the fall.
That was a long sentence! 🙂
Under the mulch the plants are healthy and green. This is their second year and they are doing awesome.
Now that the mulch is off we will apply some fertilizer. We use the mix from www.growfood.com. It works awesome and will give you a ton of nutrients in the soil which translates to nutrients in your food.