Thursday, September 22, 2011

Fall Strawberries

After months of doing virtually nothing, my 'Seascape' day-neutral strawberries are finally starting to take off. I had planted my crowns earlier this year and wasn't able to harvest a single strawberry all summer long because of the garden rodents. A better gardener would have applied some protection early on, but admittedly, I was rather ambivalent until now.

Now that the plants are starting to flower and fruit in abundance, I'm finally realizing that it would be foolish to let the critters continue to have their way.

Seascape isn't the only variety I'm growing currently. I have another ever-bearer called 'Sarian' that I started from seed. The plants are relatively compact and disease resistant and the small berries are somewhat elongated. Unfortunately, Sarian is nowhere near as tasty as Seascape.

It took me about 15 minutes to cover my strawberry bed with some bird netting. (Why did I wait so long to do this?) I'm sure the field mice would be able get though if they really wanted to, but I'm hoping that the netting will at least encourage them to move on to an easier target. We'll see I guess.

Now is also the time to root some runners. Surprisingly, my two dozen or so plants have collectively produced only five runners. Hopefully, they will be a little more vigorous next year now that the crowns and roots are well established.

For the longest time, I felt as though it was futile to try and keep the rodents away from my berries. Then the other day, I picked this perfectly ripe strawberry and yes, it tasted as good as (if not better than) it looked. Now I'm more determined than ever to protect my plants from any would-be attacker.


  1. That is so cool that you have some fall bearing berries. I am only growing the June bearing variety right now. I have to plant some more different types, maybe in pots!

  2. Awesome!
    Tell me about the containers that you use. I see a 5 gallon bucket? Do you put holes in the bottom for drainage? If so, do you go for number or size?

    What is the first container?
    What a great berry harvest you are going to have!

    And is that a regular terra cotta flower pot? Did you grow the plant in it or transplant?

    Sorry to ask so many questions.

    Don't feel bad. I am clueless about protection. I am going to book mark your page for referral. :)

  3. Oops. Forgot to have replies emailed..

  4. Those look lovely! Strawberries are always better when you eat them ripe off the plants. I have some everbearers in my garden as well as some tiny alpines that fruit in the fall - the little ones are quite possibly the best strawberries ever!

  5. Linda - yes, it's just regular old terra cotta pot. They were grown from transplants but I think I'll transplant them again into the garden next year. I know of only 2 or 3 varieties that are easily grown from seeds (Like Sarian and the wild varieties). Most of the time, it's not worth it!

    I'm not too picky about what container I use as long as there's enough space for an adequate amount of soil. I have a ton of 7 gallon plastic baskets that I bought from Walmart for 5 bucks a piece and yes, I punched holes in them at the bottom.

    Hope this helps!

  6. Thomas, thank you. It does indeed help. I will try that next year!

  7. fall strawberries you are so lucky! I hope those nasty pests stay away for you.

  8. Wow that's a big strawberry, and for such a late time as this. It's no wonder your feeling much less "ambivalent" now! We cover our strawberries with a kind tightly webbed netting that you can get at any fabric store. We don't even use hoops. We just lay it on top of the strawberries and secure its edges with stones.

  9. My problem isn't birds--it's pill bugs! They are on them before they even start to ripen. I need to figure out how to get rid of them. The children have filled up a bucket with them before, but there are always more!

  10. Your strawberries are just mouth watering. We hope your strawberries will continue to grow like this.