It’s strawberry season here at Tilly’s Nest. We love growing strawberries for so many different reasons. Did you know that they are one of the easiest crops that you can grow no matter your gardening space? Strawberries will happily grow in containers, raised beds, and in the ground. They are incredibly prolific and shoot out new plants as runners along the ground. You can snip off these baby plants and plant them in the soil or you can let them run wild. Soon enough you will grow yourself your own very patch.
Growing your own strawberries also allows you to refrain or restrain from pesticide use. When out of season, we only purchase organic strawberries, as commercially produced strawberry crops are heavily treated. Some people even list them as being part of the dirty dozen!
There are several varieties of strawberries. Most crops are harvested in June. We love June Bearing and the Everbearing varieties best. They both seem to thrive here in the Northeast. Strawberries are perennials and will bear fruits year after year for 3 to 5 years. If you notice that your crops are tapering off, snip off some of the smaller runner plants, plant them and use them as your future crop. To keep pests at bay, if necessary, we treat with Captain Jack’s Deadbug brew (spinosad). Apply the spray during the early morning hours to the folliage, when the plants are not blooming to avoid harming honeybees. Once dried, this product will do no harm to pollinators.
Pick your strawberries during the early morning. This is when they are the juiciest. It is also okay to pick them when they are are still under ripe. Like tomatoes, they will finish ripening if placed on the counter top. This is also an easier way to keep critters from enjoying the fruits of your labor.
So if you are hunkering to try your hand at gardening, strawberries are a great place to start.
Photo Credits: Tilly’s Nest