Archive for the ‘Strawberry Fields’ Category
I took a wooden pallet we had left over from when we bought paving stones for an outdoor patio and turned it into my strawberry planter.
On one side “Old Castle” is burned into the wood. The pallet had a lot of character and I didn’t want to discard it but I didn’t know what to do with it. And then it hit me, Old Castle could turn into a new home for my strawberry plants.
First, I removed two of the boards so that I would have six square beds for the plants. I took those boards and added them to the sides of the pallet so that the soil mixture wouldn’t fall out of the planter. I left the bottom open to the ground so that the roots of my plants will have room to grow.
I took bricks and lined the perimeter of the ground to give the planter height and to create a barrier between the earth and the wood of the planter. Hopefully this way the planter will last longer.
I live in an area with soil that consists mainly of clay which means that it doesn’t drain very well. So, I added pea gravel mixed with sand to the clay and then added my fertilized soil mixture on top of that. I added my three Arkansas strawberry plants to the back rows of the planter and my Stark Bros plants to the three rows up front. The Arkansas plants were becoming root-bound in their pots and this planter is the perfect place for them. I left the one healthy Stark Bros plant in its pot because I didn’t want to disturb it.
The other two plants look like they are not going to make it so I went ahead and replanted them. I think they are dead but on the chance I’m wrong I am calling out for strawberry prayers to get them growing.
I love the idea of this planter because I am repurposing an item that was used to transport the paving stones that will be used in my garden. There is a lot of construction going on in my neighborhood and I see these pallets lying around discarded. Those contractors don’t realize what a gem they are throwing out. It doesn’t take up much space and allows my plants room to stretch out and grow. I have another one that I already have plans to use for my tomato plants.
In my family, a strawberry pie is a rite of passage from spring into summer. This weekend we indulged in our strawberry tradition. I have had several people ask for the recipe so I’m sharing it in my strawberry blog. I’m hoping my Stark Bros strawberry plants produce enough berries for a late summer pie!
- 2 (8 inch) pie shells, baked
- 2 1/2 quarts fresh strawberries (sliced or whole)
- 1 cup white sugar
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1 cup boiling water
- 1 (3 ounce) package strawberry flavored gelatin
- In a saucepan, mix together the sugar, corn starch and water; make sure to blend corn starch completely and get all of the lumps out. Bring to a boil. Remove from heat. Add gelatin mix, and stir until smooth. Let mixture cool to room temperature.
- Place strawberries in cooled, baked pie shells. Pour cooled gel mixture over strawberries.
- Refrigerate until set. Serve with whipped cream.
Sometimes I mix it up and add fresh blue berries or blackberries. ENJOY!
The plants are in new pots and hanging out with my container garden. I’m hoping my flourishing Arkansas strawberry plants will cheer them up–maybe they were just lonely.
Saturday morning I watered my strawberry plants and scooted the planter back outside–the sun was actually out that morning. We had a busy day of dance rehearsal, a birthday dinner, a dance recital, and then a long drive to Mena, AR (I was racing the mountain bike the next morning). Needless to say, I had a lot on my mind. We were just about to pull up at the auditorium for dance rehearsal when a question shot through my head. “Do strawberries have hair?”
I had been racking my brain trying to figure out why my plants hadn’t started growing and it occurred to me that I had planted the roots in the dark and hadn’t really had a chance to look at them until that morning. I immediately called my husband and told him that I had planted them upside-down. He was at work and said that he couldn’t check on them until later. I had to suffer through three agonizing hours before I could get home to check on them. Sure enough, after digging up the plants and looking, they were growing bottom up! These Stark Bros Tribute Strawberries are something else…they even grow upside-down!
The following day we had sunshine again and the plants continued to grow.
However, that was the last the plants would see of sunshine for several days. The plants were brought outside during the day but the skies were very overcast and sometimes dark.
We had a week full of tornadoes, hail, and strong winds and I was afraid to leave the young plants outside without protection (Arkansas has experienced over 60 tornadoes since April 1). Overnight, two of the plants started to wither and by this evening the soil started smelling bad.
Tonight I opted to replant the them into pots and set them out with my container garden. All of my other plants are growing leaps and bounds so I think the strawberries need to be outside full-time. At the moment, I have one stunted, thriving plant and two little guys on life support.
We are supposed to have a beautiful warm, sunny weekend and I’m hoping that is exactly what the plants need. I will finish constructing my awesome planter this weekend and if the plants are healthy enough, I’ll put them in their prize-winning new home.
If you have any suggestions about what I should do to make my plants happy again–other than turning them upside-down, please let me know. Now I’m going to sit back, have a glass of wine, and toast to a great weekend full of great strawberry growing weather!
No Strawberries today. I’ve got the FedEx blues. #CTSFproj #G2B11
I just received word that my strawberry plants are on their way to Arkansas! It’s a good thing that they are sending me three plants because I’ve already caught birds and deer checking out my garden. I guess I’ll have to be BERRY creative on how and where I plant these little gems because I’m not sharing my soon-to-be prize-winning strawberry plants with any Arkansas critters!
I recently attended the Garden2Blog event #G2B11 with the P. Allen Smith team. Among the fabulous sponsors were Corona Tools. I loved the demonstration they provided because I was able to learn about the feature of the garden and landscaping tools that they offer. I often purchase these tools but I don’t read packaging and instructions..yes, I’m a bone head when it comes to these things. I purchase several tools to fulfill a need in the garden not realizing that one corona tool would take care of several tasks. I can’t wait for the rain to stop so that I can go out there and get to work, using my garden tools as they were meant to be used. Another great thing I learned is that Corona Tools worked the University of North Carolina to develop ergonomic tools. This is why they are comfortable in our hands and are more efficient. They are designed for maximum comfort, efficiency, safety, and ease of use. For instance, they have a weeder that has a blade on the end for cutting through roots. The handle of this tool has a stop on the end so that your hand doesn’t slip while using the tool.
On another note, the company is passionate about teaching all of us that have quit gardening because of limited space that we can grow healthy food almost anywhere.
Each day, we are exposed to more and more unhealthy, processed foods, that are laden with sugars, starches, and saturated fats. Our fruits and vegetables contain chemical pesticides and unsanitary processing conditions have led to national salmonella recalls. Our meats contain growth hormones to produce more in less time, in less than desirable conditions and also processed in conditions that have led to e-coli outbreaks and death. In the US, it’s cheaper to buy a fast food cheeseburger than some organic vegetables. As a result we have become a fatter nation with alarming rates of obesity and children with diabetes, and food recalls. These days the only way to insure the quality of food is to grow it ourselves. There is a growing trend to grow at home for those fortunate with to have plenty of space, and a desire for small space gardeners with limited space. To increase awareness of this cause, they have created a contest for those bloggers that recently attended the Garden2Blog event. I am accepting the challenge and will soon detail out my plans for winning this challenge! Here is information about the Strawberry Fields contest:
The goal of Corona’s Strawberry Fieldproject is to demonstrate to everyone that even in the smallest of spaces, we can all make a difference by growing fresh, nutritious and organic food. Once entered, you will receive a package of 3 bare-root strawberry plants and a Corona trowel.
Once I receive the package, I have to determine how I will grow them in a small space. I must be creative with the goal, demonstrating how even in the smallest space anyone can grow.
I will be judged on 3 categories;
Creativity – planting method that maximizes space
Production – planting method that yields the greatest number of berries
Comments – the greatest number of comments and questions generated **this means you need to comment about my plants, often–oohs and ahhs are greatly appreciated!
The Winning Field: The “strawberry field” with the highest combined score will win a personalized iPad 2 and be featured on the Corona Tools website for promoting change even in the smallest of spaces.