A Blustery Day for Berries

Weather Underground is showing 67 degrees today, but it sure is windy 4 stories up. I figure it’s good training for the 10 strawberry plugs I planted today. This year I’m trying Ozark Beauty which is an everbearing cultivar. Here’s a really nice Purdue University pdf guide to planting strawberries.

This year I planted them in traditional planters with organic peat-based potting mix. Last year I made the mistake of buying strawberry bags that contained pure coir. Coir, or coconut husk, can be tricky to work with. It dries out quickly on top during hot days and then blows away with the slightest wind. Yet in rainy/cool periods I found it retained too much water for strawberries. Mine did produce some fruit last year but endured way too much water stress. My fault, though; should have mixed it with perlite at the very least.

I’m still interested in affordable alternatives to peat, so if anybody has suggestions for a good non-peat mix please feel welcome to comment here. Coir is probably still a good alternative if amended properly, but it’s still more expensive and harder to find in large quantities. Here’s a nice Oregon State University article about coir vs. peat.

Well, I’m done outside for the day. The wind was blowing peat in my eyes and I was getting worried that my little 10 pound dog was going to catch a gust and end up in Lincoln Park.

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