Friday, November 16, 2012

Is It Possible To Have Homegrown Strawberries In The Fall? Yes!

My strawberry plants always reward me in the fall without any work. I planted Everbearing plants (as opposed to June bearing plants).  Everbearing plants fit our lifestyle better. They produce from spring until fall. While you never get an overabundance of strawberries at one time, you get quite a bit in spring and then again in fall. I also get some strawberries in the summer, but they tend to ripen quickly and are usually nibbled by something else before I get to pick them. 

In my role as a Master Gardener, people sometimes ask me what kind of strawberry plants to get. I usually tell them if you want to make jam, get June bearing. If you like to eat them all year long, but don't need a lot at any given time for jam, get Everbearing.

Here are pictures I took of some of my plants this morning. These strawberries are going into a batch of homemade yogurt I will make next week.

The last picture is of a wild strawberry plant that I grew from seed last year. Wild strawberries are quite small but super sweet and full of flavor.

Strawberries can grow almost anywhere. Commercially grown plants from the garden center are easy to establish in your yard. For maintenance, I really don't do anything except remove dead leaves during the summer. However, each spring I give them a high feeding of calcium. Bone meal is a good choice. One problem I do run into here in the South is ants. To keep them away, I feed the bed peppermint antacid tablets instead of bone meal. Crush them up and sprinkle between the plants. Honestly, that is all I do! There is very little work involved in maintaining a strawberry bed.

I hope you will consider growing strawberries in your yard. Strawberries even grow well in containers! You can get quite a few strawberries every year from just a few plants!

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