Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Strawberry Patch

A few months ago, a friend of mind asked me if I wanted to share an order of organic bare root strawberries. Our gardens are both patterned after Mel Bartholomew's Square Foot Gardening method, so we have a mutual interest and often share ideas (well, she's the real pro). I've been picturing my 3x3 box as a strawberry patch for some time, so I jumped at the chance to get it going. The bare roots were very inexpensive and easy to work with. If you want a strawberry patch of your own, this is the way to go.

I started by soaking the bare roots for a bit while I prepared my garden box for planting. Then I pulled them apart, trimmed the roots, and planted them about six inches apart, ending up with 48 plants in my box. Strawberry plants like lots of sun and lots of water (with good drainage), so I made sure they got plenty of both as I hung on their every hint of growth. I'm such a sucker for garden progress.

After a while, lovely white blossoms started to appear, a sign that the plants are ready to bear fruit. It took great self-discipline to pinch off the blossoms in anticipation of a more abundant harvest next time. Several weeks after the flowers appeared, I noticed runners springing forth to become new plants. Since we want the mother plants to be very strong, we pinched off the runners as well.

I wish I'd taken more pictures along the way, but here's my current strawberry patch: fruitless, blossomless, and runnerless, but strong and happy. There were 3 bare roots that didn't take (middle right), and I might eventually let some runners fill in those gaps.

Here are what the runners looked like after I clipped them off. A few of them had already sprouted roots to create new plants. This is so fun!!


  1. Lucky lady! Oh to have a strawberry patch. Can't wait to have a garden. What's so impressive about you is that you are renting the house, but still have put such energy into a garden. I need to take a leaf out of your book.

  2. I was wishing I had a strawberry patch just like yours, then when I was outside just now I realized that much of the weeds in our grass are wild strawberries! They're free, so we'll take them for now and make a beautiful strawberry box when we have the time and energy!