My Mother-in-Law came over yesterday, bearing tools in hand, ready to dig into my garden and start getting it ready for the strawberries. She read that yesterday and today were good strawberry planting days, so we got to work.
I decided that I wanted to use the mound system with my strawberries, so she showed me how to rake up the dirt into a long mounded row. She did the first row for me. While I was smoothing out the top of the row with the backside of a rake, she happened to notice some black plastic that was bunched up under some branches in the woods beside our construction trash pile.
She headed over to it and pulled it out. I didn’t even know it was over there. She said it would be perfect for covering the rows with, to help keep the weeds out. Awesome! So, we tugged and pulled it across the yard to the garden area. Before we could do much more though, it began to rain on us. So, we had to stop our work for a while.
Well, today I went out there and finished the job. It took me all day, but I’m finally finished, and all of my beautiful (and a few pitiful) strawberry plants are in their permanent home. Here is what we did:
First, we raked up the dirt into 2 long mounds, and walked in between them to create a path.
Next, I cut the plastic to cover the rows, just enough that it wouldn’t also cover the walkway in between. I used rocks and bricks to hold down the edges. This will significantly help to keep the weeds out.
Then I cut holes for the plants to go into, spacing them 12 in. apart. I made sure the holes would be a little wider than the plant itself, so that water could get in around the plant.
I then planted each strawberry plant into the holes. Don’t forget the rules for planting strawberries; you don’t want to bury it too deep or too shallow. Once they were in I gave them each some water.
And finally, they’re all in! Tomorrow I need to go back and cut x-mark slits in the plastic here and there to allow water to seep in. I have to admit, the rows are looking pretty ghetto with the bricks laying everywhere. Maybe I can get some mulch eventually to cover it, or to at least go in between the rows. But you know, it’s okay if it’s not exactly beautiful. When delicious strawberries start to grow, nobody will care what my mounds look like!
Oh, that’s another thing. I’ve read everywhere that I should pinch off the blooms this year and not let the strawberries grow. I guess doing this will ensure a better crop next year. But the problem is that I am very much an instant gratification type of person. I just don’t think I can do all of this work just to have to wait a whole year to reap the benefits!! So, I’ve decided to compromise. I’m going to pinch off some of the plants, and let some grow. That way Jada can enjoy the fruits of our labor this season as well… literally!
Once I was completely finished, I asked the Lord to please bless my efforts, bless my garden, and make it grow abundantly.
I was so dirty by the end of the day; and sore! It’s not that it was hard work, just time consuming, and lots of squatting and bending. Once the kids were sound asleep I took a nice, relaxing hot bath and scrubbed the dirt off my feet, hands and face. And now, finally, I’m going to bed! I am going to freak out if a rabbit eats all of my plants overnight!