I am such a fan of all berries. I would love to eat fresh berries all the time. Because of this, I decided it was time to start growing them myself. Nothing is better than freshly picked, ripe berries. After my success with raspberries, I decided I would try strawberries. But this needed a bit more planning.
There are a lot of animals in my yard. Not just our three adorable dogs and quite often our two grand pups, but also those of the wild variety: the bear, a few bunnies, a mama and baby fox, some turkeys, a few deer, tons of birds and squirrels, and even on occasion a bobcat.
It seemed like the best way to venture into strawberries was to use containers. Hopefully, with them being slightly off the ground, they will be less tempting to wildlife. I purchased a nice big round bin, made sure there were holes for drainage, filled it with fresh soil and fertilizer, and planted my new strawberry plants. Luckily, at foodgardening.com our guide on strawberries has a ton of tips and advice that I could follow.
That summer, I had my first strawberries. They were a little small, but so sweet and delicious. I was hooked. I continued to water, feed, and nurture these plants until the fall. Once it started to turn cooler, I realized that my planters were way too big to bring inside, and I was going to need to winterize them and keep them outside. I carefully trimmed them back, tucked them in with mulch, and hoped that they would stay cozy and warm all winter long.
The next spring came, and I anxiously checked my strawberries for signs of life. It seemed to take forever, but all of a sudden, new green leaves and stems started flourishing. Before long, I was seeing flowers that contained the promise of strawberries to come. As the bees happily flitted around my little plants, my excitement grew.
That summer, I had berries that were larger than the prior year but every bit as sweet. It is always so much fun to go out and pluck the fresh, warm strawberries that are just waiting to be eaten. Of course, with as much wildlife as we have, it is not always smooth sailing. I did go out one day to see a bunny nibbling on a berry that was dangling over the side of the container. I really can’t blame him, as the berry looked like it was just there waiting for him. I shooed him away and unfortunately had to toss out the damaged strawberry. He hasn’t been back that I have seen, but I am keeping a close watch.
In the meantime, I continue to go out to gather fresh sweet strawberries, and sometimes I even share them with the other people in my house.