My Everchanging Garden

Gardening That Grows With Me

New Strawberry Beds. Trying Again in Raised Planters

I can’t believe we’ve lived here for 18 years and I’m finally getting around to planting a dedicated strawberry bed. I did try strawberries in the back when we first moved, but the only mammals that got to enjoy them were the chipmunks. I even tried covering the plants with an elaborate chicken wire cage and putting wire under the bed. It didn’t matter; they got them all anyway.

New strawberry beds in raised planters

This year, I’m hedging my bets in a few different ways.

  • First, I’m putting the strawberry plants in my new 4 raised garden beds (that are part of my greenhouse landscaping).
  • I’m only planting on the inner corners of each bed, hoping this helps with deer issues.
  • Each row of strawberries is covered by a chicken wire cloche that I will fasten down firmly when the berries start producing.
  • By spreading the strawberries out among four beds, I’m hopeful they won’t all get eaten before I am able to pick them.

I want strawberries mostly for everyday eating. I don’t like cooked strawberries in any form, not jam, not in a pie. Ideally, I’d like berries for as long a season as possible, so I planted several different varieties:

  • Jewel strawberries: planted in the northwest bed from bare root purchased from Heeman’s in London, Ontario. A June-bearing type, they should produce berries from mid-June to early July.
  • Wendy strawberries: planted in the northeast bed from bare roots, also purchased from Heemans. They are an early-harvest June-bearing variety producing large, bright red berries. Also, they are a Canadian variety, so are very cold-hardy.
  • Everbearing in the southwest bed. I have two varieties of overbearing, one from a neighbour (on the north side of the bed) and the second, Albion, from Heemans (on the east side of the bed). Both were planted as plants—my neighbour’s were planted last fall, and Albion was planted this spring.
  • Costco strawberries: I’m a sucker for nice looking plants, so when Costco had strawberry plants, I picked up a few. These were planted in the southeast bed. Interestingly, the tag said they were not cold hardy, so this may just give me a kick start with strawberries this year since any planted from bare roots won’t provide fruit until next season.

So, the beds look pretty, and I have varieties that should produce berries throughout the season. Now we wait to see if I can’t beat the deer, chipmunks and raccoons to the fruit!

 

 

Comments:

  1. Christine Baron on

    We are looking into the Hartley Greenhouse option. Your diary entries regarding the process were so valuable. Our contractors have never prepped a site for a greenhouse. I am concerned about the “questions to ask” Hartley to pass on to the contractor. I don’t want costly errors. Do you have any more tips not listed in your essays?

    Reply
    • Everchanging Gardener on

      Hi Christine, I think my biggest recommendations are to make sure your contractor understands they must follow the blueprints. There is no margin of error that can be fixed later like building a house foundation. The greenhouse is metal not wood that can be cut to fit. Also, you need to figure out how you will use the space and what services you will need in terms of heat, water, electrical etc. I added radiant heat after the fact which was much harder. Figure out these things up front if you can with your contractor and ask about options! Lastly, if I could to do it all again I would add a large extra empty conduit into the base for future service needs before any landscaping. I hope that helps.

      Reply

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