Red Bucket Farm is an urban farm on a quarter acre property in an average residential neighborhood. We are located in Wisconsin, USDA Zone 5. We focus on chickens, bees, orchard fruit, and raised garden beds for fruits and veggies. We hope to reduce our footprint on the planet by growing some of our food, reducing our use of fossil fuels, and gardening with sustainable practices. Thanks for visiting!
Monday, May 21, 2012
Last year's strawberry crop was sweet, juicy and prolific. We ate fresh strawberries in June, and enjoyed them frozen (sliced) all winter. Of course we'd like a repeat performance every year, but it's important to maintain the strawberry bed to keep them productive.
Strawberries grow especially well in raised beds with rich soil amended with compost and organic matter. Our strawberry bed at Red Bucket Farm was established a few years ago, and by last year the plants were becoming crowded. I knew it was time to divide them, but I wasn't sure how or when. I hoped to let them flower and produce this year's crop, then divide them mid-summer, but circumstances didn't allow for it.
In April we moved the entire strawberry bed to a new location, from a raised 8x4 bed to a raised 12x3 bed. First we moved the wooden frame for the bed, then we filled it with amended soil from one of last year's beds. Finally we moved the strawberry plants, lifting them out of the old bed in handful-sized clumps and then tucking them in the new bed with straw mulch. I moved hundreds of plants to the new bed and still had enough leftover to share with two families. The plants were beginning to bloom just as it was time to move them, and I was sure this year's crop would be negatively affected.
Good news! The strawberries are very happy in their new location. They get full sunshine now, and the blossoms and developing fruit look very promising. Perhaps this year's crop won't be disappointing after all. In the future, I'll plan to divide the strawberry plants in early spring.
Growing strawberries is easy. Once the raised bed is built, strawberry maintenance is low and the reward is delicious. Give it a try!