Strawberries

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When I was a boy I had my own vegetable patch. I became interested in growing strawberries when someone gave me some old plants they had dug up. My grandmother intervened and provided me with some young plants that would yield a more abundant crop.

My grandparents were fruit growers. In addition to teaching me that I needed young healthy strawberry plants, grandma taught me to lay straw beneath the forming fruit (to prevent the fruit from getting soiled) and to make a cover to keep birds off.

I have retained this information about growing strawberries for more than 35 years. When I spotted a lone strawberry plant in my allotment I didn’t have the heart to discard it, even though it was an old plant. Recently I noticed that some strawberries were forming, so I placed a bed of straw around the plant.

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The straw was easy to come by. It was in our future garden shed. The builders bought a few bales some months ago; they spread it around the worksite when it’s muddy to keep things clean. It’s a clever idea.

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To protect the ripening strawberries from birds, I created a makeshift cover. I cut mesh from a discarded window screen and stapled it to wood corner supports.

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As my grandmother could have foretold, the fruit is quite small and the crop is light; I picked one strawberry yesterday and two today. The first one I gave to someone at the allotments; Dan and I ate the ones that I picked today. We both agreed that they tasted a bit watery.

Regardless, I am enjoying my little project and will keep an eye on it. Runners will soon start to shoot, and I will be able to use them as new plants. I am already anticipating a better crop next year.

live. enjoy. repeat.

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