Tuesday, January 10, 2012

The New Strawberry Beds




The weather cooperated and we were able to finish putting in the paths around the new strawberry beds.  Then we filled the beds themselves and then put in the strawberries.





This is where we left off on New Year's Day.   Paths dug, drainage worked, beds built and set. 

The first thing we did next was cover the paths with geotextile and then fill them with gravel.   It was back breaking.   Shoveling gravel is not my idea of a good time.  

Having paths full of gravel is my idea of a good time, so it all works out.

Then we cut the geotextile and stapled it around the edges of the inside of each bed.   This keeps the sand and good dirt from washing out of the bed under the sides and between the boards.   It works pretty well.    It's easy enough to drive stakes through the textile if we need to.

Then we put about 4 inches of sand in each bed, then about 4 inches of chicken manure, then another 4 inches of sand.   It will settle quite a bit, but that's enough to get things going for now. 

Since the weather was nice and we had plenty of strawberry runners that had rooted in the paths already, I decided that we'd pull up the runners and plant them now.   

If they live, we'll have a huge head start on next year.   If they die, it's not a loss since they'd have been a loss in the paths anyway. 
We planted 40 in each bed - June bearers in the far bed and everbearers in the near bed.    I watered everything very well and then covered them with a light bed of straw to protect them from the inevitable winter that we'll see yet this month and next.  

The weather has been ideal this week and I expect they'll take off just fine.   Once they're well established, we'll keep putting more straw on them.   Next fall, we'll load it up with manure again to raise the level of the soil inside.  The plants grow up through it.  Works like a charm.

3 comments:

  1. My back hurts just thinking about it! Great that the weather held...it's supposed to start changing tomorrow...

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  2. We'd be happy to feed you if you want to come do the same for us! ;)

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  3. That's a lotta strawberry beds. I'm excited to see the recipes that will come out of your yield.

    The back-broken gravel looks great! Nice way to do the paths.

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