It’s June 1 and with that comes another in my continuing series of gardening oops confessions – I call it GOOPs for short. We all tend to learn from our missteps, and hopefully do the same from those of others. So on the first of each month I fess-up one of my GOOPs hoping you might learn from my faux pas. (Read through past GOOPs posts here.) Today If you are so inclined you can share one of yours below in a comment or on your own blog (just leave a teaser and a link below).
The focus of my June 2010 GOOPs is strawberries. Warm weather seems here to stay in south-central Connecticut and with it comes the sweet flavor and intoxicating scent of fresh strawberries – but not from my patch of land. In my world, big, juicy, fresh strawberries come from the local farm. They are delicious and I love supporting locals, but oh how I wish I had created a spot for a good sized strawberry bed years ago.
I currently have a few Alpine strawberry plants – note the photo – edging one of my perennial beds. Alpines produce tiny – less than an inch long – berries from clumping plants. The berries have a distinctively different flavor from the larger standard strawberries, but they don’t keep well and don’t produce nearly enough berries to ease my cravings.
Standard strawberries do well in a designated bed. Plant the starts one year and pinch off the blossoms to encourage runners. As the runners spread from the main plant, you can ‘arrange’ them – anchor the rooting ends with small rocks or plant staples so they are well spaced from the parent plant. Water, weed, and mulch and you are rewarded with strawberries the next season.
Sounds simple enough but it’s just one of those wants that continues to be one of my visions rather than my reality. Other garden needs always took precedence. I had only so much room in my fenced-from-deer planting beds, and deer will eat strawberries. Then came my ever escalating Battle of the Voles which forced me to plant edibles in sturdy plastic pots I sunk into the planting beds – all to keep these voracious plant eating machines from consuming my work from underground. The Battle of the Voles has pushed me and my ever supportive husband into the major decision to completely redo the gardens designed for food production.
This season, the vegetable/berry garden is in a state of chaos. Soils will be dug out, stone edging repaired, and the base of the main bed will be completely lined with fine mesh sturdy metal hardware cloth. We’ll replace the newly amended soil and keep our fingers crossed that the mesh will keep voles from tunneling into the beds from underneath and consuming whatever I plant. My vision is to turn one of these beds into my strawberry patch. If my plan works, you won’t see another GOOPs on my cravings for fresh-picked, straight from my garden strawberries.
Now it’s your turn. Do you have a GOOPs to fess-up?