Posted in Plants

strawberries…strawberries everywhere

Last year we found out that along with our berry bushes, we had strawberry plants too.  It wasn’t long before I realized we had very large swaths of the yard and beds that were carpeted with their runners.  We haven’t ID’d what type they are yet.

It would be fair to say that our backyard is mostly carpets of strawberry runners.
Even if you don’t recognize this meme, the reactions hold true. On one hand, having a lot of strawberry plants is amazing! On the other…there are so many runners to make decisions about so we might actually get a decent crop of berries this year.

The runners are very dense in several spots.  One of which turned out to be under points set up for a clothesline run which actually worked out great. I had taken a chance last year to try to mow or hand hew with a grass whip only as much as needed to stay withing code so we could see what might present itself from prior years, as well as give any volunteers a chance to grow to the point where I’d see them too.  So even if the rest of the yard was almost knee high more than not, the path under the clothesline was always groundcover low.

I already had some clothesline, so we used the points last year up until my fingers started freezing in November, and we finally broke down and bought a dryer.  Very little grass could break through that carpet of runners, which was and still is fine by me!  I didn’t take close stock of the edge where grass versus strawberry runner was last year, so I’m not sure which might win at the overlap this year where you can see grass below.

Since there's no thorns, I'm happy to let them run! Less mowing.
I honestly wonder how long it took the strawberries to gain this much ground along this stretch.

Because of how effective they seem to be at grass blocking, I’m thinking of trying to train some for garden paths as we continue to shape the yard.  I’m not sure how effective this will be, but I figure it can’t hurt since we already have so many of them just bursting out all over the place.  One such path will go through the garage bed, where we already have an abundance of runners.  This bed is still a huge mess, but I hope to remedy that this month.

I still don't know what the wall creeper is there, but it's aggressive as all get out.
As you can see, there are lots of plants competing here. I hope to train the strawberry runners along the line to where you see the black “baking bag” at the top of the image. The flowers will be transplanted nearby.

They’re also in the safety glass bed, which had the only ones that fruited last year. I think they might be a wild variant, as they were a bit darker and weren’t the usual sweet I remember from my grandparents small patch. That tarter bite might have also been due to the fact that the runners were too long, so the fruit was small as most of the energy likely was being directed at the runners rather than the fruit.  I’m not sure.

First strawberry flower so far.
A hopeful sign that fruit will follow.

Another place they started cropping up last year was the strip that runs on the east side of the driveway. Today I found what you see to the left.  It’s the first to flower this year.

I honestly don’t remember if the garage bed had any blooms last year, but the carpet under the clothesline definitely did not.

Lastly on this topic, I do want to say that we did absolutely nothing to help nor hinder any of our strawberries other than walk on the ones under the clothesline area.  We just let them grow at will.

It will be interesting to see how much the changes we do this year to them affects them or not.

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