Expanding the Strawberry Patch
A stroke of excellent luck and timing: Our new strawberries arrived in the mail yesterday! It was a perfect day to get them in the ground, as yesterday was a balmy 70 degrees. Nice and sunny.
And from here on out, it's supposed to rain every day, so we're lucky these arrived when they did. Nice day to plant, and then they can soak up a few days' worth of rain to get settled into their new spots.
Our strawberry bed is laid out with one plant per square foot. That may sound close, but we maintain that spacing by making sure to pick off the runners. That keeps all the energy in the mother plant, and should lead to bigger berries. In a few years when the plants are spent, we can experiment with letting runners produce new plants.
You can see our new Honeoye plants laid out above, ready to be put into the earth and given a couple handfuls of compost as top dressing. Honeoyes are June-bearing, which means that all 25 of these will come into fruit at the same time. That's a crop of strawberries for preserving in jams and freezing for winter, since we won't be able to eat them all at once.
This year, though, we have to pick off all the flowers so the plants set strong roots. We won't be tasting any Honeoyes until next spring. That's okay, though, since we have our Tribute strawberries from last summer in another part of the bed. These are everbearing, and we did the pick-off-the-blossoms-until July thing when they were planted last season, so we should have plenty to snack on throughout the summer.