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I can’t! We are now into summer, and our strawberries are starting to wane.They are one of the first plants in spring to leaf out and fill their bed. I can hardly wait when I see the strawberry plants spreading across the ground. Here, is my first strawberry patch that was inspired by others in my community growing strawberries. I would listen to their stories about their strawberry eating and drool with envy. Not anymore for I have my little patch running through my Urban Potager.

IMG_8363I have to admit by late spring or early summer; I am overwhelmed with strawberries. I don’t mind for I usually freeze them for winter eating. Nothing beats fresh strawberries from the freezer that were picked fresh and put away the same day!

IMG_8379I use to purchase frozen “organic” USDA certified strawberries from our local grocery store and they were pricey. You hardly got any in a bag which cost about 5.00 and lasted for two servings.I then would try to purchase some fresh ones when they were in season, but they were expensive. I looked at my lawn one day and thought, I have some sun in this area, and I do not need all this grass. The rest is history. I have strawberries now in my garden, and they are amazing picked fresh from the garden.

IMG_8506This year will be the Year of the Strawberries for I have put in two new patches and decided strawberry plants make great ground cover. It is a  simple plant that provides an abundance of nutrients. A variety of studies “show 2 days as the maximal time for strawberry storage without major loss of vitamin C and polyphenol antioxidants. It’s not that strawberries become dangerous to eat or invaluable after 2 days. It’s just that more storage time brings along with it substantially more nutrient loss” which means when we grow our own we are getting the most nutrient dense strawberry possible to help heal our bodies. (read more about strawberries and how they help you stay healthy).IMG_8504I will be spreading some fresh compost in the strawberry bed and usually they will start blooming when the weather cools off a bit in the fall.IMG_8497I decided to squeeze another bed of strawberries in as a ground cover. I have found they are easy to grow for they don’t require much attention. The perfect plant for city lot food growing.

IMG_8530So, If you have a patch of grass that could be taken out and replaced with some strawberries.  I HIGHLY recommend putting in about 50 plants. Trust me once you make room for that first patch and taste fresh picked strawberries you will be searching for other places to add more. They are addictive.  Maybe we should start making strawberry plants the new GREEN lawn!

 

 

Written by Robbie

M.S. Education, , Organic Gardener, soil + nature lover, former modern dancer

49 comments

  1. My grandmother grew strawberries on a terraced slope and I would eat them fresh off the vine when I was a kid. They’re so delicious when they’re warm. 🙂

    1. too often they do not make it to the house! I am the first to pick them and often they don’t make it inside-benefits of being the gardener!:-)

  2. Delicious, mouth-watering post! They look so wonderful and you are most convincing for the ease of raising a patch of my own. But I’m afraid the chipmunks, mice and birds would eat every one of any I grew. The patch would have to be well-netted, like Ft.Knox! We have wild blueberries, too, but the birds (and bear) eat the most of them. We get about a quart and then the word is out!

    1. Bear-OH MY-you do have the critters that eat your stuff!I am still working on the blueberry patch in our yard. I guess we are spoiled in the city with fewer “large” animals that eat our food. I do have to admit I put in a few extra patches for the raccoons and chipmunks. I put one near the back of our lot and they eat those on the edges and leave my others alone up closer to the house. I put more in to share + they are kind enough to share with me-but love to taunt me ( non verbally-LOL) with their half-eaten berries. Always the “ripe” ones!

  3. I love this idea and your photos are so lovely and delicious, Robbie! I wanted to plant some strawberries this year, but instead had to focus on cleaning up most of a buried concrete mess along one side of my yard and fill it in with 5 yards of new dirt. (The next smaller concrete patch will have to wait until next year.) But now that I have a fence that keeps deer out of my yard. I saw the columbine bloom for the first time this spring and I was able to plant a grape vine and 2 blueberry bushes (hardy to 40F below zero).

    1. :-)awww-Carol, I understand when clearing out and preparing. I am enjoying all the “rewards” from long days working in the garden.Good thing about strawberries they produce very early in the development of a garden. Your rewards will be soon! I am glad they reward me early in the season and from planting- I would be discouraged if I had to wait 2-7 years as I have for other things:-) so worth the wait:-)

  4. What a fab idea Robbie – strawberry plants from the sidewalk to the front door! Nibble as you arrive…. pick your own afternoon tea – bring your own cream …… I would grow them like that if I could. I had some in baskets and pots last year but they got overrun by the tomatoes and sweet peas and didn’t do so well ……

    1. just think if we all grew them in our yards we all could “nibble” on a stroll down the street-LOL. I totally understand them being overrun. I started a new strawberry bed but due to all the rain some of them are disappearing in the weeds!

  5. Great idea Robbie! I read that Strawberries and lettuce were the two fruits and veg most laden with chemicals a great reason to grow your own organically.

    1. just imagine how healthy we would all be if we replaced our “turf grass” with strawberries:-) Now that is an edible lawn-LOL

  6. My strawberry patch is growing up all my paths. I pick and eat and have not really ever thought about freezing. I love the birds they attract, too – Robins and my favorite Catbird. I was lucky to tour an edible forest on Friday at Cross Island Farms on Wellesley Island. Dani Baker is growing so many things and one of them is Pineberry strawberries – she gave me a plant! I am so excited. I let wild strawberries grow as ground cover in most of my garden beds, too. They are a beautiful ground cover and yes, easy! Strawberry rave!

    1. Your enthusiasm is contagious:-) LOVE IT!!!! Cat bird, I have a bunch now and love how they call in the night:-) Just found out it was them making all that noise after dark.
      I will look for a post on your tour of the edible forest-please-pretty please-I love your tours of gardens-the best:-)

      1. Oh Robbie I didn’t take photos but what a great idea. I think I will ask Dani if I could come take some photos and post about it!!! Thank you!

  7. I had strawberries in big pots that I kept forgetting to water and they were on their last legs prior to us making the water wicked strawberry boat. Now they are running amok, spilling out of the bed and rooted in the ground all around it and it is the end of the first month of winter and there are big bunches of green strawberries hanging down from the boat. Is this weather mental or what?! I LOVE the idea of strawberry lawns. Seems John Lennon was ahead of his time again ;). Enjoy those strawberries Robbie. The slugs certainly enjoyed ours 😉

    1. The weather is mental!This is the first summer I have not had to water the entire month of June + May. Crazy:-) I am not complaining. The mosquitoes are driving me crazy, but better than drought!
      I had slugs on my romaine lettuce hiding in between the leaves-YUCK! I feel all this rain is giving teh bugs room to roam:-( The strawberries were good most of the time until one of my little critters decided to take a bite or two-LOL-I put a bed at the edge of our property for them to forage! Enough to share here and there but they can’t have them all:-)
      Sounds like you will have strawberries all over the place this spring!

      1. We had the same. 3 weeks of “summer” and straight from rain into frigid cold of winter when Autumn hit. I am thinking that I might populate the bottom of the blueberry hut with strawberries now. They are hardy and will love the fact that they are growing in the same medium that’s in their wicked boat. I need to thin them out so this will be perfect and they will keep the soil from drying out (living mulch) so win-win situation 🙂

      2. I read they have the “most vitamin C” of them all, but don’t quote me on that one. Depends on where you read??? They are so worth the effort. I am finding blueberries a bit fussy here in our garden and they are “native” to USA! What is up with that:-)LOL
        Our weather is so wet out there and the mosquitoes are so bad-but I would rather have too much rain than drought-hmmm- I keep saying that a lot!

      3. Yeah, we get drought in our summer so enjoy that rain and if there are a few mozzies, might be time to make yourselves some nice natural mozzie repellent. It’s cold and windy here today but I love the cold. Brunhilda is cooking up 2 vats of soup tonight. One minestrone for Steve with chicken stock and lots of hearty veggies and beans and one of our regular soup dragon soups for me. Happy days! I love winter 🙂

  8. No, I can’t imagine it! We don’t grow to strawberries but we used to drive to Michigan to U-pick strawberries. I also grow wild strawberries as a groundcover, but they aren’t very good to eat.

  9. I have taken a while to pop in here, just not on WordPress much at the moment Robbie….look at your site!!! Oh my gosh, soooo pretty, what a feast! We love our strawberries here, often the first to fruit and do you know – here we are in the middle of winter and while weeding last week I found a most beautiful & perfect strawberry there! We have a wild strawberry that runs along the ground but while they look pretty I am not keen on the taste.Hope you are well Robbie and enjoying your season 🙂

    1. Hi Wendy!!!So glad you stopped by + I know how busy you are with all the projects you have going on in your life. I have not been on here much either. It has been so rainy and just a weird summer for growing. I can’t keep up with all the work( weeds!!) which means I can’t visit blogs or write many posts lately. I can’t find the time. Things should slow down this month but “now” it is time for fall crops to be started-succession planting in an urban potager never ends:-) but being outside is so much better than inside under snow-lol:-) I agree the wild ones are not too tasty!

    1. I wish I had an acre to devote to these tasty fruits! I did freeze about 15 bags so that helps with winter eating. I hope they taste good this winter when the snow is all over the ground. I would of loved to make jam but I know during the winter we need “Fresh” fruit ( frozen fresh from garden) more than ” white sugar” treats:-)LOL

      1. The birds and the hedgehogs would love me forever if I had a strawberry lawn. My dog would be cross because he loves rolling in the grass. Strawberry plants wouldn’t be the same.

      2. I know what you mean:-) I have to have some grass for my dog, too. But if I had an extra lot it would be filled with strawberries, raspberries, black berries and blueberries! So worth the space:-)

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