Planting Strawberries

They are itty bitty, but the strawberry crowns are all safely planted in the new raised beds. Because I am using the French intensive method for my raised beds, I planted them closer together than the recommended 12 inches apart. It is more like 8 inches apart. I could have gone 6, but I didn’t want to. We ended up with 27 of the Sequoia Junebearing and 29 of the Eversweet everbearing. I guess they put in a couple extra in case some don’t survive the trip.

I am really happy with these crowns. They came from Peaceful Valley Farm supply in California, a place that provides organic bare root strawberries. They were very well packaged and easily withstood the shipping stress and sitting in the box since they arrived on Friday. I did water them while we spent the last couple of days building the beds and filling them with manure, used bedding, compost, and good soil. The crowns all looked pretty healthy. Almost all of them were already putting forth their first leaf or two.

I did try to find something closer that was organic, but most of them came from fields where they spray “as needed.” Oh well, from now on I will be able to grow my own by clipping off and cultivating any daughter plants they make, so they may not start out as local but they will be local to my yard from now on. And if I have a bunch of extras in the future I can sell them in a plant sale.

It has been a busy weekend here. My son turned 15 on Friday. The husband and I spent Saturday and Sunday building the raised beds and Monday filling them. They are nice and the perfect height to sit next to in a chair and not hurt my back and knees.

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On Sunday I also got some of my seeds started.

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I am using plastic cups that I will be able to wash and reuse indefinitely for my seedlings. I’m not a huge fan of plastic (other than PVC pipes and zipties), but unless I want to shell out a lot of money for little clay pots, this is my choice. I do have some larger pots from previous years that I will be able to pot up in when they get bigger. I also have a larger size of plastic cups. I did see one person who was using toilet paper rolls cut in half to start their seeds, but they live in a warmer climate and will be able to plant those directly into the ground before they would need to pot them up. Here we can’t really plant until the last week of April except for a few small exceptions like peas and carrots, so I will have to pot up at least once. And for the tomatoes, probably twice, since I doubt I will plant them before May.

The seeds I have planted so far are:

10 Opalka tomatoes
10 Constoluto Genevese tomatoes
10 Lillian’s Yellow Heirloom tomatoes
10 Abraham Lincoln tomatoes

I also started some Flashy Trout’s Back Romaine lettuce and some Hyper Red Ruffled Waved Looseleaf lettuce. I did 2 seeds per cup on the tomatoes and a few seeds per cup on the lettuce since they are so tiny and hard to separate. I can separate them if they all germinate when I pot up. Or I can just pick the best seedlings per cup on the lettuce and snip off the extras. I planted double what I thought I needed on tomatoes. If they are all good, I can always sell the extras. Everything is heirloom, organic, and open-pollinated.

I sent for some pepper seeds since I forgot to order them in my first round of seed ordering. I got 5 kinds of peppers, 3 sweet, 1 jalapeno, and 1 paprika. I want to try making my own paprika. I don’t know how successful it will be, but since I am trying to grow as many herbs and spices as possible, I’m going for it.

DH got the t-posts put in to move the fence back. He also got the new gate made and put up and the bottom 3 feet of fencing put up. Still need to put up the top 3 feet of fencing, but at least this keeps the ducks out of the new garden area, if not the chickens. Hopefully it will get put up tomorrow, but we need to buy some more, so it will be if they have it. It’s not like we’re planting yet, but we’ve mounded raised beds on the dirt, so don’t want the chickens pulling them apart and undoing all the work.

I am sore and tired and don’t want to move for a week.

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