Central Virginia Organic Gardener

"And 'tis my faith that every flower enjoys the air it breathes." - William Wordsworth, 1798

Wednesday, May 26, 2010


They call them strawberries for a reason!

My strawberry bed was about 8-9 years old and the berry plants really failed this year. I do not know if it was due to the freezing and thawing this winter that pushed their crowns out of the ground (which did happen- lots of dry, dead crowns) or if it was vole damage, tired soil, or poor care on my part. But, whatever the cause, I (read "my husband") had to completely dig the two strawberry beds and replant them (I did the replanting, the easy part), so we will have few strawberries this year (except for scattered ones from the front flower beds). In the past, I planted them into holes in landscape fabric, but I am getting further away from landscape fabric as I garden more. It blocks the transfer of humus (large, organic particles) which the soil needs to thrive and encourages voles (they love to tunnel under it and use it to line their nests). So I planted strawberries the old-fashioned way, into the amended soil (added compost and organic fertilizer), mulched with straw (you know the difference between straw and hay, right? Straw is the second cutting of hay and therefore has no or few seed heads to sprout in your garden. So don't get hay, unless you want to grow it). Of course, my idiot dog, Bob, who is a master at getting into the garden, but often cannot figure out how to get out, immediately dug in one strawberry bed (no plants lost, I discovered to it soon enough). So, not too many strawberries this year... and, no, this is not the best time to transplant them, but hope springs eternal for next season.Happy gardening!

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