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My traveling strawberry plant

 
pollinator
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This strawberry plant has been getting around my neighborhood!  



A couple years ago, it lived in a big boring plastic pot filled with strawberry plants, abandoned beside a community garden plot.  Summer was beating it down with heat, so I gave it some compost and watered it regularly, wondering who owned it and whether they were travelling.  Back to thriving it went!  Nobody had claimed it come fall, and I had gradually started propagating it, taking runners (the long stems with leafing branchlets)  nestling them into as many smaller plastic pots as I could scrounge.  Covered with compost, they took root and became many new plants.

At some point I told myself "I've been caring for these plants when nobody else has.  It's time for me to steal adopt them."  Got to get yourself a yield, right?

I took the rooted runners and transplanted them along the south of an apartment complex for winter.  I thought "maybe it will offer us some fruit and inspire others to guerilla-plant edibles?"  Well, it was a good thing I rescued it, because the original potted plant got tossed when management cleaned up the gardens in winter!  Phew!  

But, unbeknownst to me,  the apartment complex where I planted the guerrilla transplants  was going to get worked on!  Would the plants survive?  Or will they get trampled by workers and machinery?  Answer: trampled and destroyed.  Not only that, but one of the surviving transplants grew legs and disappeared!  But good thing it did, because it would have died too!

Fast forward a little, and I learned a good and friendly neighbor of ours was the one who noticed and rescued one of the transplants!  Time passed, and that transplant of hers grew, and I was able  to divide the strawberry plant again at the end of the gardening season.  I tried to share some with others, and some of the little guys died...but some made it!

I took a couple of the surviving plants, and put them into the Kindergarden where kids could learn about them.   So two years later, the plants came full circle, ending up just a few meters away from where they started!  One of the larger plants produced a single fruit, which some local critter promptly enjoyed exactly as it became ripe, the same day I was going to tell the preschool teacher to give it to the best behaved student!  Anyway, with the plant I figured, "why not try another move, somewhere where people can see it, and eat it if it's ripe?" and I decided to try dividing the plant just one more time...



The left side of the plant didn't have a very deep root system:



Here's its new home:



Fortunately, the right side looks might healthy, with nice long stems:



Absolutely I covered the right-side transplant's runners with some more compost!  All of the strawberry plants are now at home in our newest guerilla garden.



Now, the moral of the story is...

It's okay to steal adopt dying or seemingly abandoned plants!
 
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Why did you divide it instead of planting it as the big chunk it was?
 
George Yacus
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Why did you divide it instead of planting it as the big chunk it was?



I was hoping to cover more ground in the experimental guerilla garden.  Perhaps it would have been better producing on its own, but now there are multiple plants.  Come winter, I rescued several more abandoned strawberry plants from the annual garden plots.  And come spring, I was able to give away many of these plants so they can be fruitful for others.  But sadly now I must say goodbye to all of them and go on to other gardens!
strawberry-give-away.jpg
[Thumbnail for strawberry-give-away.jpg]
 
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George said, "  But sadly now I must say goodbye to all of them and go on to other gardens!



Are you not able to take one of them with you?  It is a shame to lose that relationship.
 
George Yacus
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Anne Miller wrote:Are you not able to take one of them with you?  It is a shame to lose that relationship.


Hmmm...I hadn't really considered it.  It'd be tempting to let these guys do some even greater travels, except that:
  1) I never want to lose an excuse to buy more plants!  And I like the idea of finding specific named strawberry varieties with proven disease resistance/characteristics for my future farmstead climate and region.
  2) I don't want to risk importing disease or weird organisms from my current soil and community compost; nor do I wish to violate any 'department of making you sad' restrictions.
  3) I like the idea of someone stumbling upon these strawberry plants some day, and saving and propagating them just like I had fun doing!
  4) They'd have to survive a fair amount of nomadic living, and I don't want to accidentally kill them!
 
I'm a lumberjack and I'm okay, I sleep all night and work all day. Tiny lumberjack ad:

World Domination Gardening 3-DVD set. Gardening with an excavator.
richsoil.com/wdg


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