Thursday, March 1, 2012
This past weekend, I decided to force the strawberry crowns that I'd dug up from the old garden last fall. I'd recently purchased a strawberry jar and was excited to fill it. Most of the crowns in this jar are 'Sarian' - a day neutral variety that is easily started from seeds and will produce in the first year. I'd started these last spring but the field mice had gotten to most of the strawberries before I could.
As you can see, the crowns are already starting to wake up and produce their first leaves of the year. I'll keep them inside the green room until about mid-may. Hopefully they'll like their new home. Whenever I see these jars for sale, whether in a catalog or on a website, the picture accompanying the offer always shows seemingly dozens of strawberries spilling out of each hole. I wonder if such results are really possible. I guess we'll just have to fertilize regularly and see.
I'm currently in Massachusetts for work. Last night, I dug up eight of my 'Seascape' strawberry crowns, which I'll force in a second jar. Seascape is another day neutral variety that produces excellent tasting berries. While the ground is still frozen solid in Vermont, the soil in the old garden is completely frost free. I was pleasantly surprised by how easy it was to dig them up.