Posted on Leave a comment

How to have the BERRY best season!

There’s nothing like being able to step out into your backyard and pick your own sweet, juicy strawberries.

Strawberries are a perennial crop; this means that they’ll produce from the same parent plant for a number of years. On our farm, we plant them one year and then leave them in production for three more years. Strawberries start as a blossom, once this blossom is pollinated it then begins to form a berry. With the help of sun and heat, the berry changes in color from green, to orange/pink and then finally, to red! Like many other fruits and vegetables, when strawberries get to ripen on the plant you can certainly taste the difference. This is why we say eating local tastes better!

The planting

To plant your strawberry plants, you’ll want to make sure you have a mixture of soil and compost in the area that they’ll be growing in. Where they are a perennial crop be sure to leave enough space for the plant to grow and for you to harvest. We generally like to go with 1-1.5 feet between each plant and then about 1.5-2 feet between each row of plants. Once you have your strawberry plants planted; whether you have a garden, you’ve put them into a raised bed or containers, they’re pretty easy to manage.

When you first plant them be sure to water them every day to help get their roots established. Depending on what variety you have (June bearing versus everbearing) you will have to take off the blossoms for a set time in their first season that you plant them. Pinching off the blossoms forces the plant to put energy into growing a larger, more established plant which in turn will give you more berries. Strawberry plants will also produce “runners”. These are vines that have a mini strawberry plant on the end. These runners will help thicken up your plants! Simply place the runners where you want them to grow more plant, usually you’ll want to bring them in along the other plants to help keep your garden tidy and easily accessible for harvesting.

Overwintering

Once the season is over, it’s time to make sure that the plants will be safe and sound during the winter months. To do so, you’ll want to mulch your plants. We place straw over the top of our plants and then start to remove it the following spring. If you’re growing in raised beds or containers make sure that you have a way of protecting all sides of your containers. Burlap, evergreen branches and straw area great option for winter protection!

Strawberries are a great fruit to grow with all ages! We have strawberry plants available in our market now, and have three varieties available for you:
🍓Kent (bundles of 25 for $16.50 plus tax)-these berries will produce summer berries in year 2 and beyond -Currenly SOLD OUT but more on the way
🍓Valley Sunset (bundles of 25 for $16.50 plus tax)- these berries will produce summer berries in year 2 and beyond
🍓Seascape (bundles of 15 for $11.95 plus tax)-these berries will produce in the early fall of their first year and then each year after they will have a longer season

Keep checking in with us on more tips and tricks on how to have the BERRY best season!

Posted on Leave a comment

Itchin’ to get in the Garden

It’s that time of the year. You know; there’s barely any snow left, but there’s also not much “life” in things. It’s the grey area between Newfoundland seasons, which leaves us wondering will we have another Sprinter?? We hope not!

2020 has been an interesting year for Newfoundland to say the least. We started with a bang with Snowmageddon and now we’re all together (by a distance of course) in COVID. And now that we’re heading into the growing season we all JUST WANT TO GET IN THE GARDEN! But. It’s still a little early for that. So what can you do in the mean time?

In order to have a successful growing season on any scale of gardening it’s important to plan. And luckily, most of us have more time than ever to plan this year! It’s a great time to work your soil, turning it over, adding in compost and other fertilizers. By doing so now, you’ll be ready to go when the weather is a little warmer and more safe for planting in. No matter what you’re planning on planting this year we would suggest that compost is a good addition either way. For us, we also add a granular, slow release fertilizer. There are a few different options for this. In general, we like to add a 6-12-12 for root crops and then a 10-10-10 for other crops. Now a super brief science lesson on fertilizer numbers:

The three numbers on a fertilizer bag represent the amount of Nitrogen (N), Phosphorous (P) and Potassium or Potash (K). Nitrogen is for leaf growth. Phosphate is for root growth. Potash is for flower and reproduction growth. This is where the planning comes handy: before you can successfully fertilize you need to know what you’re growing. Think: are you growing the leaves, roots or fruits? Then plan accordingly.

Another thing you can be doing now is finding sources for your plants and purchasing your seeds. It’s still a little chilly for annual plants to go outside so if you don’t have a greenhouse you’re best of waiting until closer to June to purchase those. Luckily for you, we have a great selection of all of the above! Even better, we have a veggie gardening webinar coming up on May 26. Sign up today!

We know, your garden is looking at you and you just want to spend time in it! But trust us, the best thing you can do for your growing season at this point is the planning and prepping. Hold off a little longer, and you’ll be grateful you did in a few months time. Until next time, happy gardening!