Friday, June 17, 2011
My first (and only) strawberry
Hello, everyone! I told you I would give an update on the strawberry pot I planted way back in April. (Can you believe that was two months ago already?) So far, my potted strawberries are doing excellent. I highly recommend the Stack-a-Pot, which I bought from Amazon.com. The strawberries are growing fast, especially the plants on the top "stack." And the pot looks so pretty, I'm thinking about buying another for next year.
The only drawback of the potted strawberries is that the six little plants aren't producing many berries. In fact, I've only picked one red berry from the plants. I blame our crazy weather. We had a cold, wet spring, followed by a week of dry, 90 degree temps, then pouring rain the last couple days. Needless to say, I'm a little disappointed. I was hoping for at least a half dozen strawberries, so I could add a few to my morning bowl of cereal. But the one berry I picked was delicious -- very sweet and ripe.
There was actually a second berry that was ripening plant. It was pink and on the verge of turning bright red. But one night after I got home from work, I looked at the pot and the berry had completely disappeared -- all that was left was the stem. At first, I thought my husband had picked it. Then I remembered seeing a bird on that same corner of the deck.
I did a little research on the Internet, and sure enough, birds are notorious for eating strawberries. About 30 percent of strawberry crop losses are due to birds! That's why many backyard gardeners place nets around their strawberry gardens.
Well, lesson learned. Just when I think I've got this gardening thing figured out, there's always a new (frustrating) twist. I'm still loving my strawberry pot, though. The pot looks very pretty on my deck. The strawberries are an ever-bearing variety, so they should produce fruit throughout the summer. I can already see a new berry forming on a plant.
I'm trying to console myself with the thought that at least I'm keeping the neighborhood birds well-fed. :)
Have you ever tried to grow strawberries in a container garden? Any tips for a newbie like me?