How many strawberry plants?!!!

Strawberry with first of the green fly

Every year I spend a small fortune on strawberries. I love them, the children will eat them until they ….. actually I’m not sure when they would stop, and my husband adores the little red berries too. We make them into jam, syrup, add them to ice cream and, of course, eat them just as they come.

I’m not talking about the type of strawberry that you buy in a supermarket. No, I’m talking about the sort that you tug off the plant yourself. Totally different breed. We are on first name terms with the owner of the local pick-your-own farm. In fact she inspired me to knit socks. I’ve become a bit of a regular.

Anyway, a couple of years ago I persuaded the family to buy me a double decker strawberry planter. It takes 20 strawberry plants in two growbags. That spring I went out and bought 30 plants to fill the planter and a few more for tubs. I went for a variety of types, so that we would have a long productive strawberry season. My husband feared that I was starting a small market gardening enterprise, without telling him.

Alpine strawberry in the rain

Then I made two mistakes. First one was to position the planter in the wrong place. It was out of the way and not easy to get to. Despite my best intentions it was neglected. We had a few strawberrries, but the pick-your-own centre lost no trade. Its a great place. Did you know that they know to almost the day when each variety will be ready for picking?

Alpine strawberries growing out of the side of the raised bed

Second mistake – I didn’t protect it over this cold winter. Strawberries are tough little plants. They want to survive. Out of the twenty originally in the planter, I think 5 have survived. I have a further 5 that I kept in the other greenhouse that survived and a lot more around the garden.

Action plan. We have moved the planter to a much better place. It is next to the water butts and will get maximum sun. I am nursing as many of the plants back to health as I can and I have my lovely compost to bolster the grow bags. This weekend I will replant and cross the rest of my finger and toes that I haven’t crossed for the runner bean house.

Just in case that doesn't work, I thought a fimo strawberry might encourage the plants.

I’m going to cultivate more plants from the runners, as I don’t think my husband has forgotten how many plants I bought last time. (He reads this, so I have just reminded him! Ooops!)

This has got to work, otherwise I’m not going to be able to show you how to make the best strawberry ice cream.

7 thoughts on “How many strawberry plants?!!!

  • Friday 14 May, 2010 at 4:05 pm

    I love strawberries too, though I have never tried to grow any. Hope yours do really well this year.

    • Friday 14 May, 2010 at 5:28 pm

      Fingers crossed… although looking after them may help more!

  • Saturday 15 May, 2010 at 8:39 pm

    Hi, found your comment on magic onions site that mentioned you are in the UK. Rare to find a fellow blogger here. I too have a big garden so will be following your blog. x

    • Saturday 15 May, 2010 at 10:57 pm

      It’s so wonderful to find like minded people and exchange ideas. Nice to meet another UK blogger.

  • Wednesday 12 October, 2011 at 9:30 am

    I cultivated a large strawberry pot with alpine strawberries which are incredibly sweet and delicious. They grew like crazy and I couldn’t wait to eat them. I looked at them one day and realized they were almost ready; bright and shiny red. I promised to pick them the very next day at their peak. The next morning I went out to pick them and there was a fat chipmunk picking and eating the very last one! I guess he knew exactly when they would be perfectly ripe too.

  • Saturday 24 March, 2012 at 12:36 am

    I made the mistake of putting a raised wooden box of strawberries in my flower bed. Oh what a mess. We lived in zone 5a when I did this a few years ago. So we got some heavy duty snow and ice in winter. Little did I know that the roots would travel down word in side the box. They met the ground. Whoosh! Them things traveled through out a few feet of the flower bed as a ground cover taking over everything.

    Our growing zone has stepped up a notch with global warming. Even though I pull the June bearing strawberry’s up every year, this time they spread more than ever. I will be pulling for days it seems to no end. It is my goal to replace June bearing strawberries with the ever-bearing kind to have strawberries through out the summer until fall.

    I bought some today with pretty pink flowers. They may produce summer and again in fall. my first try at strawberries I could not get them to produce for a couple years. Even with expensive fertilizers etc…

    The secret was rabbit droppings mixed with water and slash it on and water well. It worked like magic. Rotted horse manure also works well. You can protect your plants in winter by throwing piles of leaves on top of them before the snow and ice comes. Good luck with your strawberries.

    • Monday 26 March, 2012 at 10:55 am

      This year, I’m cutting back on strawberry plants. I’ll look after the few that have made it through the winter. I’m glad they do so well for you.

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