Thursday, April 14, 2011
Oh how I adore strawberries! I buy them every week in the spring to add to my morning bowl of cereal or oatmeal. We also like to mix strawberries in with our lettuce salads.
But I'm pretty picky when it comes to strawberries. I only buy them when they are in season, and I have to stop and "sniff" the cartons of strawberries at the store until I buy it. If it smells like berries, I know they are ripe. I also have to check the bottom to make sure there are no squished or moldy strawberries in the package. Unfortunately, I still usually come home with some moldy strawberries.
I loved picking berries from a local strawberry patch last year, but the season is so short, and I usually only have time to visit the farm on the weekends. I've always toyed with the idea of growing my own strawberries, but I don't like the look of backyard strawberry beds. They usually end up looking weedy by mid-summer.
A couple weeks ago, I visited a local Earl May garden center to buy a few spring bulbs, and I saw a table of tiny strawberry plants. There were two varieties -- a June-bearing strawberry and an ever-bearing strawberry, which is supposed to continue producing fruit throughout the summer. On a whim, I bought the ever-bearing strawberries. I figured I could plant them in one of my bucket containers and see if they will grow.
Well, when I got back home and looked up some information on growing container strawberries, I discovered that it's best to grow strawberries in specially-designed strawberry pots, which is pretty much a clay pot with holes along the side for planting strawberries. Strawberry plants have shallow roots, so they overcrowd each other and need room to grow.
Based on this advice, I searched Amazon.com for a "Stack-a-Pot" to plant the strawberries. I'm glad I ended up buying the 14-quart Stack-a-Pot (not the more expensive 30 quart), because it looks great on my back porch. If the strawberries don't grow, I'll just use these stackable pots to grow herbs. (I left the bottom stack empty for flowers or herbs. I'll probably move the bottom to the top later in the summer.)
If you're wondering why there's water collected on the bottom, we received a half inch of rain before this photo was taken.
I'll keep you updated if I end up with any strawberries this spring. All I want is a few berries for my cereal bowl. Hoping for success!