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Strawberries - Re: [nafex] How does my garden grow
On one of my other lists they were chatting about growing potatoes in hay
bales, the discussion wandered, and we came up with a strawberry
experiment that needs to be tried.
Collect and old, large, round bale of hay, and push it over on it's side.
Dig some holes into the sides ant top of it, add some soil, and plant
strawberries into the sides, and top of the bale. It should look like a
huge mound of plants when done.
Keep the plants high enough off the ground to discourage pests. To reduce
the amount of water needed, start with a bale that is wrapped in plastic.
You could plant 5 to 6 as many plants in the the same garden space. Get
the crop off the ground, and never have to bend over to pick a berry. It
would also be easier to net a single "bale mound" of strawberries than
This is all hypothetical to this point, as no one has tried it yet (at
least I have not heard of it done before).
Just a thought.
Ontario, Hardiness Zone 6a
On Sun, 24 Jun 2001, Ginda Fisher wrote:
> So far, the season is very promising. The 3 year old Crandall currants
> are covered with fruit. I haven't noticed chipmunk damage yet - maybe
> because I tied them up to a trellis this year, or maybe because there's
> so much fruit I haven't noticed the decrease, or maybe the critters got
> tummy aches last year from too many underripe currants - whatever, I'm
> grateful. The redstart currant (2 or 3 years old) has a nice crop, and
> the better of my feral red currants is looking good, too. The Consort
> black currant that I exiled to the woods is growing vigorously, and even
> has a small crop! It is in dappled shape, with no full sun.
> The everbearing fall red raspberry, now in its fourth season, has come
> into its own. It is taller than I, and so bushy I wonder if I should
> have thinned it last fall. I have just been removing the spent canes.
> Last year caneborers had destroyed the summer crop by now. This year,
> I've only had to cut out a couple of canes.
> I netted the currants and raspberries today, as the first fruits are
> showing color.
> After a bit of nibbling, the tomatoes are doing well. The early one is
> in bloom. (Jet something). Sweet 100s and Brandywine look happy.
> The blueberries set more fruit than leaves this year. I was
> disappointed, but a little relieved when a lot of it dropped. The crop
> is still looking promising. I continue to be pleased with St. Cloud.
> The new Rubel is growing nicely despite close proximity to plants that
> like sweeter soil. (It is in the same bed as the raspberries, tomatoes,
> etc., but I amended its corner with lots of peat and oak leaves.)
> I planted a bunch of evergreen huckleberries this spring in the shade
> around the edges of my property. I experimented a bit, planting some
> with soil amendments, and just dropping some in the ground, planting
> some where they would be easy to water, and others in difficult spots,
> putting some in dense shade and others in light shade. I thought I had
> lost them all to transplant shock, but it's now clear that a few have
> survived. I think I killed the others by adding peatmoss to the soil
> and not waiting long enough for it to be fully hydrated. The two that I
> just threw in a hole, and the one that got planted two weeks later are
> all looking good. (One of these was in a spot I forgot about, and
> didn't get watered at all during our April drought.) I'm very excited
> by this fruit exploration: A blueberry-like plant that grows in the
> shade and is attractive to boot - I do hope it works out. I'm
> thinking of covering one or two of these with cloches over the winter -
> such little plants, and I am one climate zone further north (zone 6)
> than they are usually rated.
> I also put in some cornus mas this year. So far, so good.
> The three year old canadice grape is now safely above convenient deer
> browsing, and is well on its way to covering my trellis. Alas, the one
> fruiting tendril was eaten by something, but I remain hopeful for next
> The chipmunks have had a bountiful harvest of strawberries. I give up.
> I think I will dig them out and replace them with flagstones, as they
> are too close to the raspberries anyway. I wonder if it's easier to
> exclude critters from one of those "strawberry jars" I see advertised.
> I know that if I don't pin down my nets, the chippies just walk
> underneath, and it I do pin them down, I snare a lot of chipmunks and
> junkos, but the strawberries disappear just as fast. Hope springs
> eternal, and I'm thinking of expanding the garden and putting some in a
> more convenient spot.
> I put my Myers lemon out in the garden this summer. It looks a bit
> yellow - maybe too much rain? It has good drainage, but there's only so
> much soil can drain if it rains every three days. The net has kept the
> squirrels off the fruits, though. My baby apple is holding its own
> after assault by caterpillars earlier this season. Some of my grafts
> took, and some died. Many of my late grafts seem to have done neither.
> These were whip and tongue grafts done a bit too late. Do you suppose
> they might grow next year - like dormant buds? Do you suppose the buds
> are dead but the wood's still alive?
> All in all, a good spring, and a garden full of hope.
> Hoping for more great growing weather,
> eastern Mass., zone 6
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