In the Garden

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February Happenings:

February weather started with snow and has ending with snow. What about your weather?

Our garden has been covered in snow during much of February so very little gardening had happened until our family  went to the Snoqualmie Valley Seed Exchange. We try to go every year. It was exciting to meet up there with local farmers and casual gardeners. We met one family whose gardening passions led them to create the non-profit Dirt Reborn, which organizes volunteer-led organic gardens in order to give away hundreds of pounds of fresh garden produce to those in need.

We bought ten strawberry starts (Seascape, a popular day-neutral variety) from them! These ten plants were my first outside plantings of the season. I just had surgery on a problem left foot, so I planted the strawberries while wearing a calf-length medical fracture boot, half covered with a plastic bag to keep my foot dry It was a beautiful sunny day and I felt alive again! What a great day back in the garden.

In the Northwest, February is the perfect month to plant strawberries. You may have noticed that the strawberries in the grocery stores are finally tasting sweet and delicious again, after a couple of lousy berry months. Yum!

A few strawberry planting ideas:

  1. Plant strawberry starts not too deep but deep enough that the roots spread out well. The crown of the plant should be just above the soil.
  2. Strawberry runners will spread out from the plant and take up quite a bit of space, so plant strawberry plants at least 12 inches apart.
  3. When purchasing strawberries, consider buying several varieties–some which produce a flourish of berries in the spring (June-bearing), and others which fruit throughout the summer (Day-Neutral and Everbearing). How delicious to have strawberries ripe for picking all season long!

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