The Resilience Hub & Portland Maine Permaculture Message Board › Strawberry Growing

Strawberry Growing

Lisa F.
lisa.f.organizer
Group Organizer
Portland, ME
Post #: 132
If anyone has a little bit of sunny south-facing slope available for food production, I strongly encourage you to swale it and plant up the crowns of each "tier." Last year we turned a fairly useless hillside (which drained way to much rain to a seasonal pool in the back yard) into our Strawberry Hill. We swaled it on contour, sheet mulched with lots of good compost and manure and I planted 25 strawberry starts ("sparkle" from Johnny's) on the tiers of the hill. Last year we pinched off all the flowers to send the energy down for rooting, and this year we're eating ourselves silly with strawberries. They are gorgeous and everyone says "I've never tasted a strawberry this good." We have bird netting over the whole hill right now to protect the fruit. No other pest issues yet and will be looking at intercropping with something else as we let the plants spread out...

See the PHOTOS area for a few snaps from this morning, including today's haul of berries and some other permaculture features at our place.
David H.
PostCarbonDesign
Oxford, ME
Post #: 215
What variety did you plant?
I assume your glasses found their way back to you.
Lisa F.
lisa.f.organizer
Group Organizer
Portland, ME
Post #: 133
Thanks - got my glasses.

The variety was Sparkle which I got from Johnny's. Everyone asks if we planted the "giant strawberry" plants (whatever that is) but the answer is no...just plenty of water captured in the swales and compost/manure I guess.

I think we'll get at least 5 years of production out of this bed, maybe more.
A former member
Post #: 16
Lisa, -- a curiosity question about your comment -- "...we pinched off all the flowers to send the energy down for rooting."

Have you done that for other plants too?

It's too late now for the cherry trees on our front lawn. We didn't think of snipping the beautiful blossoms in spring. Yesterday's heat must have ripened the sweet cherries overnight because they were a paler red yesterday but today taste delicious!

Elaine
A former member
Post #: 48
I have also read the strawberry blossoms should be snipped the first year. I have a patch of everbearing that is now four years old and I continue to get enough berries for one or two people all summer. What is funny is that the first year they put out runners, but none since! So I am getting berries from the original plants.

I have read that some apple trees, Liberty in particular, can be permanently stunted if allowed to fruit while still too young. I did go down and look at my apple tree and it is a mess. I am really sorry that I didn't try hanging the traps as I think it was Dave suggested.

But my pear is so loaded that I will need to make branch props as I have seen done in pictures. The plum still looks good too--it seems to be dropping many of the fruits that had a little insect puncture hole. The peach trees look great! They have been very good at dropping fruit that they can't manage to mature. Last year my (now dead) apricot had hundreds of pin cherry sized fruit and dropped every last one. I read up on it and it seems it is a real problem with some apricots and if you don't either remove some blossoms or some fruit they can just drop all the fruit.
Lisa F.
lisa.f.organizer
Group Organizer
Portland, ME
Post #: 135
Hi Elaine - I don't necessarily think you have to pinch off the blossoms of fruit trees the first year, but we specifically learned to do it with strawberries to develop hardier root systems (longevity of the strawberry patch?). We also snip off most of our garlic scapes to send growth energy to the garlic bulb rather than the flower - plus the scapes taste good too early in the season.
A former member
Post #: 73
Lisa...lucky you...my plants get infected with a blossom virus and a root nemotode.

New Patch this year, huge plants, many blossoms..virus stunted development of fruit from blossoms.

Wasn't always this way....when I first started there was much fruit, and bluejays gathered along with starlings, slugs and other 'wildlife'...we shared and held an annual STRAWBERRY FEST; as well as featured strawberry desserts in my bakery.

Now, nada...don't want to spray, perhaps switch entirely to blueberries, which are looking great! I'll try the johnny's variety and see how that does....I love strawberries ~sobs & heads out to pick at a commercial grower~

snap pea stir fry last night was heavenly....have plenty of 'scapes from the garlic patch for tonight. What a fantastic growing summer it's been!
francesco s.
user 3227838
Portland, ME
Post #: 8
Has anyone tried garlic scape pesto? Will try to bring some to the next meeting:

- chop a half a pound of scapes small enough to fit into a food processor
- add 1 cup of olive oil
- 2 ounces of Parmigianno-Reggiano cheese, grated
- sal and pepper to taste

In a blender or food processor, combine the scapes and 1 cup of the oil. Blend until smooth, stirring and adding remaining oil if the mixture is too thick to blend
Add cheese, salt and pepper. Stir to blend.

I sometimes add chopped walnuts.

It's great on top of pasta or crackers or toast or anything else that needs an extra punch of some serious flavor. Probably not on top of Sparkle Strawberries, but you be the judge.
A former member
Post #: 17
Francis and I are delighted to get this recipe, Francesco! We adore garlic and cook it in lots of recipes! I had to look up the word "scape." That's a new one for me. Eager to try it but I'm already making a copy of your recipe!

Elaine
francesco s.
user 3227838
Portland, ME
Post #: 9
I've seen scapes for sale at the Farmer's Market. -francesco
Powered by mvnForum

Our Sponsors

People in this
Meetup are also in:

Sign up

Meetup members, Log in

By clicking "Sign up" or "Sign up using Facebook", you confirm that you accept our Terms of Service & Privacy Policy