June 07, 2011

Strawberries Gone Wild

Since buying a house, gardening has become one of my favorite new hobbies (along with decorating, blogging, and generally spray painting everything in sight).  Last year I planted a strawberry plant in a container, but later decided to give it more room to spread and planted it in the ground.  But I thought my strawberry plants were duds though since last year I only grew two tiny strawberries and they were half eaten by birds when I found them.

Turns out, strawberry plants just don't bear fruit until year two because this year it's strawberries gone wild in my garden.  My little plant has spread into this pretty bush.  Plus I transferred some off-shoots of this plant into another part of my garden and I still have another small strawberry plant in my original container.


And guess what? This year it's actually producing fruit!


The strawberries are smaller than store bought berries and have a more tart, but still delicious flavor.  Some of them even have funny little faces:


Here's what my first crop of strawberries looked like:


Since taking this photo, I've been picking a handful of strawberries per day.  My dog has been doing a pretty good job of keeping watch over the garden and keeping birds and other small critters out of my strawberries (by chasing basically anything that comes into the yard), but over the last couple of days I've started to find some half eaten strawberries in the garden so birds must be nibbling on them when my pup is off-duty.

So I guess it's time to put some chicken wire or other netting around my strawberry plant.  I know Marigold flowers can keep small critters away too (I used to get a packet of marigold seeds every summer in elementary school and plant them), but I'm not sure if they work to keep birds away?  Any other suggestions to keep strawberry theifs away?

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