Monday, May 2, 2011

Strawberry Fields (Forever)

This is a bundle of strawberry crowns. The tag identifies the variety.

Last week we picked up 9500 strawberry plants, also called crowns, from a nursery in Deerfield, MA. These plants are for 2012's strawberry crop. Lisa has been perfecting the field just up the hill from the greenhouses as a home for this new crop. We were lucky to have some local dairy farmers spread organic, composted cow manure on the field. In addition, we spread wood ash and granular fertilizer. We call these amendments a slow release fertilizer. The strawberries need this because they will be in the ground for a couple of years and we want them to have everything they need. We love our strawberries!

We dunk the crowns into fish fertilizer before we plant.

Today, we got most of them nestled into the ground, but not before they got a nice swim in some fish fertilizer to hydrate them and give them a boost for a strong root system. After 9 hours of riding the transplanter, we planted about 6500 strawberry plants! The field has thirteen 285 foot rows. That's a lot of strawberries! We will take care of them this year to ensure a good crop for next year. This season they need to establish themselves and to help them do so we will prune their flowers and their runners this year.

This is the new strawberry field!

We can't wait for some beautiful, red, juicy berries... soon we will taste the fruit of our labor.

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