Saturday, November 10, 2012

Strawberries, garlics, and walking onions

 Couldn't ask for better weather!

 We're about to take off to put in a strawberry patch in at one of the other gardens we work. The area has already been prepped. Lots of compost turned in to fluff up the soil and add nutrients, stones that have surfaced have been removed.. all set and ready to go!

 We're relocating some everbearing strawberries. Dug up so that we could retain as much of the root system as possible.. even keeping the runners attached. Keeping a rootball on it makes it easier for me to transplant. Strawberries do best when planted at the proper depth. They also just love a surge in nutrients that well made compost provides, which results in larger more robust plants producing larger more robust berries.

 Also going in is garlic and some perennial onion sets. I was hoping to get several heads of some locally grown hardneck strains, but I didn't get there in time and it was sold out. So softnecks and the few hardnecks I have from the farmer's market are going in. No doubt I'll wish we planted more! (Isn't that always the case every year?)

 The bed that is getting garlic is also heavily amended with compost but will get a little extra by way of bone meal. Cold temperatures triggers garlic to break dormancy. The first thing it does is start laying down the root structure. In areas with really wet, really cold winters.. heaving is an issue. Waterlogged soil that freezes hard can break the roots and basically eject the garlic. Putting in a lot of well aged compost helps provide drainage but some areas may need to go a step further and mulch. We're not mulching. We're about as rebellious as Captain Kangaroo. Oh yeah. Gardening on the wild side.

 What I am also excited about (and it's making me wish spring was already here!!) is that I get to do some guerilla grafting. The apples we gleaned this fall we kept track of to figure out what we liked about them, early/mid/late production, size, storage qualities, uses. The owners of several exceptional apple trees have said I can collect some scions (cuttings) this coming spring so I can do some grafting. I'll be spreading it out quite a bit (with luck).. by grafting them on to some wild apple and crabapple trees.

 Well, time is flying by and days are so short. Good luck to you all!


  1. We tried strawberries one year- way to much work. I decided I would rather pay someone to do all the weeding. But they do taste so good.

    Got my garlic in too, planted 5 pounds. With so little rain the ground was like cement so I incorporated a bunch of compost- I sure hope that helps. The first year I planted garlic I did not mulch, everything turned out great. Now with all the straw/hay/manure that we have I put that on top and keep loading it one every time I see weeds (love gardening, hate weeding).

    Happy growing!

    1. Weeding is so not enjoyable.. unless chickens are helping. Then it's not much weeding but a lot of silly bird antics.
      Our strawberries did great. A lot of big berries and healthy plants- had to pick them asap because of strawberry sap beetles. We've been sharing the runners. Put in a strawberry patch for the neighbor and this coming year will be giving them to beginning gardeners of a church group. (Yeah- at the time it seemed like such a fun thing- but I may have bitten off more than I can chew!)
      Lucky you can mulch like that- major squash bug issues in 2013 and we couldn't, plus Leaf septoria spot also came in from the neighbor's nursery transplants.
      I saw your strawberry haul! Great job!! Awesome job with the garlic too!

  2. I didn't know about the fall onion. garlic deal.

  3. Miss you. That's all I wanted to say ;-)

    1. Aww ty OJD. Computer just crashed and didn't get around to fixing it until recently. Just no time.
      So sorry about your house. Hope you and yours bounce back quickly. So nice what you did for your co-worker! Inspiring!