Strawberries and Honey Bees I couldn't wait to put this episode together because I have been wanting to share our experience with this year's strawberry harvest. The video begins and ends with proper credit given to the honey bees in my back yard. The top bar hive is doing really well and I show you what it looks like inside. The video then moves on the strawberries growing in a few different places in the yard.
Most are picked before they are fully ripe in order to prevent them from being eaten by the sow bugs and slugs. We probably lost about 15-20% to pests but that's one reason we grow so many. There are some ants around but they give my plants no trouble. In some cases ants help to pollinate certain plants or carry away debris. Once they are picked we leave them out in the kitchen for a day or so to ripen to a delicious and beautiful red hue. The stems are then cut and once washed and dried the strawberries go in the freezer until my wife has time to make strawberry jam. We brought some jam home to my family last week and everyone enjoyed their little presents.
I give credit to the three bee colonies because they are often seen pollinating the plants and its nice to think they are busy helping with the growth. Growing strawberries is pretty easy and carefree but some maintenance in the fall and spring is required. I grew the first patch in 2010 in a handmade pyramid shaped strawberry planter. In 2011 I designed and built a three tiered strawberry planter and that has been the main producer. The first strawberries seen in the video were planted in 2010 in just a plain old square foot garden.
Unfortunately strawberries don't produce indefinitely so I will have to build more planters and put them in different places next year in order to meet our needs. It is not recommended to grow new plants in the same place as old ones at least for a few years to minimize disease and maximize growth. Now that we are hooked on strawberries we will have to do a bit more work to keep them coming. Having the honey bees around will certainly come in handy. That's it for today now go and grow some strawberries where you live. Tony Teolis
I cut the tops and bottom off of plastic bottles and place them around plants when they are put in the ground. Slugs can't get to them. Building little rock houses for toads is also fun and helpful. check this out toad castles in this post Tony T. in VA