Our first little berry patch is officially planted! I made myself a map and plant summaries to help keep things straight.
Planted two seedlings, about 6-8 inch tall, February 29, 2020. These are under the outer branches of a tree, which will provide shade in the hottest part of the day. Thanks to their small size, it was easy to put flower pots over these plants during an early-March freeze.
Powder Blue Blueberries
Planted a young plant, probably about 2 ft tall, February 29, 2020. The lady at the nursery didn’t know how old they were. (I am guessing 1 year?) She did not suggest I pinch any blooms.
Planted a young plant, I guess a little under 3 ft tall, February 27, 2020. The sign at the nursery said “Very productive and vigorous. Medium size berries ripen mid-June.” With how thick the bottom stocks were and how much was pruned off, I am going to guess this plant is about 2 years old.
My daughter and I would really like to try pineberries, but we can never get the roots to develop into plants. I saved a slot in our berry patch in case I am able to find a started plant. In the meantime, I have planted 4 other varieties. I am curious how well they will do planted in a few inches of mulch. I am sure the main/mother plants will be fine, but I don’t know if the runners will be able to take root without a little help from me. This could be a good thing if it helps me keep the varieties separated.
2021 Update: The strawberry plants really loved my raised garden bed! In hindsight, I shouldn’t have planted so many. After a mid-summer injury made it hard to tend to my plants, they put out runners and spread all over the place! I have the above chart to help me remember what the main/mother plants are. But I can’t tell the baby plants apart.
Planted March 26, 2020.
Planted March 18, 2020.
These managed to get out of their pot a couple of years ago and are trying to take over a shady corner of my yard. I think they are Quinault Strawberries, but I really don’t know.
Planted March 25, 2020.
Planted March 18, 2020. It says this everbearing strawberry will produce strawberries on unrooted runners.
Ozark Beauty Strawberry
Planted March 26, 2020. Released in 1955, this Everbearing strawberry is said to be the best everbearing strawberry variety for Arkansas. I live in Texas, but I guess that’s close enough for it to do good here too. Something different about this variety, runner plants usually don’t produce strawberries their first year.
April 2021 Update: How did my berry patch handle the Texas Snowstorm of 2021?
You can read about the recent snow storm here: How did our garden fare the February 2021 Texas Snow Storm?
I considered trying to cover our berry patch, but with no idea how severe the storm would be or how much wind it would bring I decided instead to follow the lead of our local blueberry farm and mist all four of our blueberry bushes. We hoped that the thin layer of ice would help protect our plants from the cold.
As much as I like our strawberries, they got out of control last year. So many runners that I can hardly tell which plant is which. I hoped that the berry plants would survive. But I was not opposed to starting over if the cold did get to them.
Two months later, the blueberry plants are alive and covered in green leaves. But there are zero blooms and no berries. The local blueberry farm announced that they won’t have much of a crop this year either. They were surprised to see the varieties that normally bloom later in the year were actually hurt more by the freeze than the ones that bloom early.
Our strawberries, on the other hand, seem to be unphased by the cold. Most of the leaves were still green after the snow melted away and I plan to enjoy my second delicious berry of the year some time next week.