we could have done a ton of research on variety, but i mostly wanted to get something in the ground this year, and my experience with strawberries is that every few years you have to rip them up and replace them if you really want to be productive. there will be plenty of chances for other varieties in the future.
fedco’s prices on bundles of strawberries were very fair and we ended up planting two varieties; sparkle and cavendish. these are not the most exciting varieties one could grow, but they should produce an abundance of tasty fruit that we can put in the freezer.
like our asparagus bed, i wish that we had spent more time preparing for it’s arrival in the fall, but again other things were more pressing. we may have regrets later on as we attempt to keep the berries weed free. strawberries are somewhat notorious for being poor at competing with weeds.
while preparing strawberry beds is not nearly as labor intensive as digging trenches for asparagus, i did want to make sure that the soil was loosened pretty deeply. our spading fork has been getting quite a workout preparing all these beds, and in the process of forking i was able to find plenty of buried concrete and brick aka urbanite. the small pieces i’m going to toss, but the big stuff i’m thinking will get saved to use as pavers at some point in the far future.
strawberries grow in a crown habit and so planting them at proper level is important, too low and you risk smoothing the tops, too high and you dry out the roots. it’s worth taking the extra time to plant carefully. my method is to make mound so that the roots are able to be planted more deeply than the crown and cover with soil. water them well and cover with a straw mulch. this will help to keep them from losing moisture and also keep weeds down. after the roots establish we will top dress with compost and an organic fertilizer.
what strawberry varieties are you growing? anyone growing alpines? musk strawberries?