I got a lot of questions last year about gardening and when to plant things so I decided to start a little "garden tip" series. Keep in mind, I live in Oklahoma so these tips are for what works best in my area and I'm not a professional gardener, my husband and I just do it as a hobby and a way to keep fresh food on our plates and for our kids.
That said, today I'm talking strawberries.
If you are wanting to start your own strawberry patch - now is the time.
First need to find an area that is in full-sun and prepare your beds by turning the soil so it gets nice and loose and mixed. Get a shovel, dig, turn the dirt out and repeat.
Once your soil is ready, go get your strawberry plants. We have found, and been told by my master-garder-grandpa, that Cardinal strawberries work best in these parts. They are June-bearing plants and tolerate our hot summers. Don't try buying your plants at the chain stores like Home Depot and Lowes. They have out-of-state green houses and farms that grow their plants so they don't grow varieties that do best in OK. We learned this the hard way and had several years of unsuccessful strawberry growing.
So where do you get strawberry plants? I'm glad you asked.
We get ours every 3 years or so from Stringer Nursery.
They carry Cardinals and a couple other varieties. They are located in Tulsa, between Sheridan and Memorial on 41st St. Call before you go to make sure they have the plants in.
Now that your soil is prepared and you have your plants - plant them!
Lay out the plants where you want them to go. Make sure there's a good amount of space between each one, at least a foot or more, because these things shoot off runners and spread like crazy!
Once you have them all laid out where you want, dig and area wide enough for the roots to spread out and mound it up a little. Fan out the roots, put the crown of the plant on the top of the mound and cover the roots with soil.
Repeat until all your plants are in the ground. Then water them really well.
It's really important to keep strawberries watered, especially in Oklahoma when our summers get really hot and dry.
The plants will shoot off runners which root and become new plants so before the end of summer, you'll have a bed full of strawberry plants, not to mention, bowls of strawberries throughout the summer to enjoy!
|This is the growth in that same bed over the summer months.|
Also, just a little fyi, the plants don't put off a ton of berries the first year.
So go, get some beds ready. You'll thank me later.
Oh, and here's a little heads up for you, Feb 14th is not only Valentine's Day - it's also when you plant your onions, radish seeds, greens and herbs. More on that next week.