Tuesday, December 13, 2011
Strawberry Patches Are Overrated
I'm getting rid of my strawberry patch. Period.
When I expanded my garden a couple of years ago I devoted one of my four 4x8 foot beds to a strawberry patch. I dreamed of the endless pints of delicious strawberries my strawberry patch would produce. I scoffed at other gardeners who complained incessantly over how invasive the strawberries were. Stupid gardeners, I thought. Just put them in a raised bed!
I love the leaves of the strawberry plant. Deep green, like giant clovers except the leaves are veiny with pointed edges. I love how they turn red in the fall then shrivel up and die like there's no hope for next year. But alas every spring they return dutifully and multiply.
These plants are a pain in my ass. There is no better way to say it. They manipulate me into thinking I'll be in fresh organic strawberry heaven when the bed is a carpet of beautiful green strawberry plants. But they don't produce that much. And they attract all manner of birds and squirrels. A big percentage of the fruit I harvest has a bite taken out. Eventually I'll cover the bed with bird netting which protects the fruit but always ends up tangled with weeds and it makes harvesting strawberries dreadful. And the weeds! God! Weeding that strawberry bed is virtually impossible because the vines running along the dirt are so intertwined. They remind me of tangled cords behind a TV entertainment center or the wires on a giant computer server. Imagine trying to find a weed, green like the strawberry vines only more slender. The weeds, the strawberry vines, they are all tangled together like a woven basket. I grab hold of the base of a weed and yank it out but its bindweed, tightly wrapped around the strawberry vine. The bindweed breaks at the base leaving an inch sticking up from the dirt but the roots of some strawberry plants are yanked out, too. Causalities of war.
They've had their chance. In the Spring of 2012 when the plants come in, I'll dig them all up and give them away. There must be a better use for that bed. Maybe I'll grow more herbs or tomatoes. Good riddance, strawberry patch! Thanks for nothin.