Tag Archives: strawberries

Freak Strawberry Sighting: Update

Sprouting Strawberry When I posted the photo and story about the freakish Strange Seeding Strawberry the other day, a lot of people asked what was going on and commented that they’d never seen anything like it. But no one could shed any light on the mystery.

See, typically strawberry seeds need to overwinter (a.k.a. freeze) in order to germinate. Having them germinate on a strawberry that was still attached to the plant seemed more than a little unusual.

Well, I’m all about local so I decided to give our very own Driedeger Farms, a local strawberry farm dating back to the mid-1940’s, a chance to weigh in on the topic.

Rhonda responded to my query asking a few identifying questions that I couldn’t answer about what kind of strawberry it was. “Uhm, a red one” was about as specific as I could be.

In the end Rhonda did her research online and found me an article on how to grow strawberries where the comments below referred to strawberries being planted in soil and sprouting that way. I appreciate that, but it was a bit disconcerting that the strawberry expert relied on eHow.com, even more so when her parting comment was, “It was definitely interesting to see them in their ‘natural’ state.”

I can cut Rhonda some slack given that strawberries naturally propagate via runners and on a 65 year old farm it’s not likely they’ve needed to rely on seeding in quite some time.

But it still doesn’t explain why a strawberry that has neither been frozen nor planted in soil, sprouted on the vine.

Strange Seeding Strawberry

One of my garden neighbours has a strawberry that has begun to sprout. Not the plant, the actual strawberry. Neither of us has ever seen anything like it, and I must say it’s a rather strange sight.

Each of the seeds on the outside of the strawberry has a green shoot extending out of it, giving it the appearance reminiscent of a just sprouted Chia Pet. Frankly, it looks quite alien.

Normally, strawberry seeds can only be activated or germinated after they’ve been frozen/wintered.

The key factor in successful germination is the cooling or winterizing of the seeds before planting.”
How to sprout strawberries.

The fact that this one’s seeds all spontaneously sprouted in relatively warm weather is unusual.

I’ve not found anything in my online search travels to explain what happened or whether you can plant the strawberry like this and grow it successfully. If you’ve ever encountered this, I welcome your comments.

Bumbling Gardener Update

Garden Jul19I am pleased as punch. My backyard garden on borrowed land — whether because of, or in spite of my attempts — looks awesome. I’ve been eating cabbage, kale, broccoli, snow peas, regular peas, and even the occasional yellow wax bean, with no end of tasty produce in sight.

I suspect that the soil, though clay-ish in some places and low lying (and therefore prone to pooling water) in others, is pretty darn good quality. That, or the manure and bone meal added in at the beginning has made a big difference. (Its nutrients certainly haven’t been depleted by anything other than weeds in the past 10+ years, so maybe it’s been stock piling!)

With all the other plant life in the area, the garden is prone to a multitude of weeds, but many of the crops do not seem to be affected. Plus, the straw mulch is doing its work rather handily in many spots.

There is a surge in clover growth along the edges of the garden, which I understand indicates good nitrogen content in the soil. This may also be why the peas are growing like crazy — they can’t get enough of the stuff. Clover was not in evidence in the yard at the beginning of this gardening experiment, so I’d be curious to know if it needed the cleared space that the walkways provide, or whether the improved soil conditions are to blame.

First StrawberriesI haven’t had much success with some veggies, such as carrots and radishes, but I’ve discovered in recent weeks that’s due to my own ignorance and lack of attention to detail — when they first sprout, you’re supposed to thin them out. Some of my seed packets said not to, but the successful radish grower at the local farmers market set me straight. Better late than never? Maybe I’ll try some in my box garden, which is closer to home where I can keep a closer eye on things.

The spinach and all lettuce seeds have had a zero yield, despite a second planting at the height of warm weather — I have no idea what’s up with that. There is an ant nest in the area where most of the salad greens were planted and I do wonder if they wandered off with the seeds.

There are lots of tomatoes on the vine, but none have turned red yet. They are getting very plump, though!

Aside from 3 that reached maturity, the strawberries are a complete loss. There were about 8 little berries that something (Mr. Squirrel, me thinks) got a hold of and munched at the beginning of the season. This prompted the construction of a sophisticated mesh covering, but no further berries, or flowers for that matter, have appeared.Strawberry Safety Net

The weird thing is, the stuff that’s supposed to be the easiest hasn’t grown for me and the “difficult” plants like broccoli and cabbage, are coming along nicely. But, despite some challenges and no baby spinach in sight, I am inordinately pleased each time I am able to harvest and eat something out of the garden.

Treasures at the Nursery

It’s true, The Scientist and I are pretty keen. Every little task takes on the spirit of a grand adventure.

And so it was with our first trip to the nurseries, a day trip into the bowels of Surrey and Ladner in early April. Now that the garden was ready, it must just be begging for some little green plants to welcome into its arms. Right?

I lot of people told me I was seeding awfully late and maybe even too late, so I thought it was important to get thee (me) to a nursery, post haste.

I should have known from the empty lot and not having to fight for a parking space, that we might be there a bit early in the season. But, anticipation can create a fever that overrides one’s good sense. Well, that and I’m a newbie at this urban gardening thing so I don’t have a lot of good sense yet.

nursery-plantingI’ll say one thing for a nursery, it’s a heady, intoxicating experience. It’s hard to remain reasonable in the face of such a dizzying array of options.

First there were the garden annuals that I didn’t think I’d have time or patience to seed: broccoli, yellow peppers, red peppers, 4 kinds of tomatoes, and cauliflower.

Toss in a few fruits: 4 different kinds of raspberries and 2 kinds of strawberries.

That lot and a lemon thyme (perennial), some marigolds to keep pests away, and some nasturtium (because they are pretty and taste good in salads) and we were in business.

Okay, it turns out we were a bit early, but I hope I can be forgiven for a bit of rash enthusiasm.