Today we transplanted 1,000 strawberry plants. Tomorrow we’ll plant the other 1,000.
This is a job I look forward to every year. It usually signifies the first time we are planting directly into the fields. While we’ve been working in the greenhouse for months, there is nothing like getting your hands really dirty with beautiful rich field soil.
The crawling on the ground, the dirty knees, the earthworms, the sun warming my back, the soil that will be under my fingernails until December. Oh, these wonderful things—the firsts, but not lasts, of many plantings.
Check out those knees and hands!
Dormant strawberry plants look nothing like their all-out leafed future self. They are a rooty mass. The little “crown” at the top will eventually burst into leaves and flowers if the transplanting goes well.
There is a technique to planting strawberries: they must be planted at just the right height or they will die. Too deep, not good. Too high, not good either. The crown must be level with the top of the soil. It must not be covered. Like a little crown perched atop King Soil.
The roots are fussy, too: they mustn’t be bent at planting, but placed deep enough to go straight down.
The real trick to a successful strawberry patch planting is to make sure everyone knows all of the right things to do and does them.
It was a great day in the dirt. Now I’m off to try to get a little of it out from under my nails. (Wish me luck.)
Click on any picture in the gallery below for a slideshow.