Since we talked about renovating my raised strawberry beds, I thought I’d mention a few tips on strawberry culture. Strawberries are well adapted to Michigan home gardens.
- They are hardy and the easiest small fruit crop to grow.
- They will produce a good crop in less time than other small fruit crops.
- One cup of strawberries will provide more than the daily requirement for vitamin C.
- Strawberries are sold as plants rather than seed (except Alpine variety).
- Two basic types grown in Michigan, June-bearing and everbearing.
- Strawberries require full sun and prefer well-drained sandy loam high in organic matter.
- Prefer slightly acidic soil.
- Strawberries should be planted in early spring.
- For June-bearing, remove the flower the first season so the energy is directed to producing daughters.
- Apply 12-12-12 fertilizer before planting, 2 wks after planting and again in another 6 wks; don’t allow the fertilizer to touch damp leaves or the crown of the plant.
- The following year, fertilize after fruit harvest.
- Minimize winter damage by mulching with straw and remove in spring.
- They require 1-inch of water per week on average.
- To renovate June-bearing strawberries: mow the plants after harvest leaving 1-inch of stem above the crown, till between rows, thin the plants and fertilize.
- Harvest fruit early in the morning after the dew has dried off; leave the green hulls attached to the fruit by twisting the stem.
- Avoid washing the fruit until just before it’s used to prevent softening and decay.
Now, the strawberry make-do (above) is made with hand-dyed 100 % wool, needle felted, stitched green wool ‘hull’ and a few black beads, glued to a glass candle stick base. AND….
I just couldn’t help myself…had to add a needle felted sheepy dangler!