Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Third time's a charm?

This fall we have started another round of Strawberries.   I had given up on them because the farm lost money big time on our two previous attempts. We have always managed to grow some berrys and certainly sold every one picked, we just never had the yield to pay for the investment.  After talking with a few of our perspective CSA customers who expressed an interest in them I decided to try again.  This time we are going with the spring bearing variety and not going with the day neutral types.  We never were successful getting a fall crop and the spring bearing plants we used as replacements in the past always had a greater yield.

We transplanted 1100 Chandler plants purchased from G & W Nurseries of Damascus. The NOP rules allow for conventionally started plugs over-wintered in an Organic system to be certified.
Last year we lost most of our transplants because we planted them too deep, it is critical not to bury the crown with strawberries.

We are leaving the advertisement side of our billboard tarps face up this year with hopes that the darker colors will warm the ground better.

We finished off the bay with another 75 bare root plugs that Bob Barnhill had extra from the 35,000 he planted.   So far after a week in the ground, the plants look good and we have not had any fatalities.

Fred's luminace colored poly was originally designed for strawberry growers in the UK and the diffused light it provides does seem to make them grow better than a field crop. If all goes well starting in early April of 2013, we hope to have many of these crates available.   Once our CSA starts in mid May of 2013, the members will have first pick of the strawberries and we will sell the extras at our markets.

And I wonder why we have not made any money growing strawberries!
Let's hope the third time is a charm for Strawberries at North Pulaski Farms!

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