I love strawberries. When I was a kid, we had a patch that seemed huge to me, but it was probably about 4-by-4 feet. As an adult, in my own house with a big yard, I was ready to grow my own patch. But then I discovered wild strawberries, and wondered, could I just harvest and enjoy what nature was offering instead?
Trying My Hand at a Strawberry Patch
First, I started by trying to grow juicy, tasty ‘Allstar’ strawberries. The picture on the seed packet looked just like what I wanted: the quintessential, bright red strawberry. Only later did I learn how difficult it is to grow strawberries from seed, at least for me.
Fast forward to the following spring when I decided to buy some strawberry plants for my garden. This went much better. I tried ‘Earliglow’ and the results were good, but I made some mistakes. I learned how important straw mulch under the plants could be in keeping the berries clean and disease-free. Overall, it was a success, but I was impatient and wanted more berries sooner.
Finding and Growing Wild Strawberries
I should explain that I’m a big fan of foraging. I love to tramp through the woods in my neighborhood seeking out wild berries, garlic scapes, and ramps. So, when I discovered some wild strawberries in my yard, I was thrilled.
I quickly decided to let the patch grow, never mind that it was in the middle of the grass. With cutting the lawn my responsibility, I figured it was my prerogative. Needless to say, my husband was not impressed with the wild, uncut patch of grass.
I let it grow for several weeks and then went in to harvest. I got about one handful of small wild berries that entire summer from my little patch, but I loved the taste. The intensity of flavor was a dream for this strawberry lover.
Wild Strawberry as Groundcover
In the end, I had to agree with my husband that a patch of wild strawberries in the grass wasn’t very attractive. We compromised, though, and I spent some time transplanting my little patch to an area of the lawn where the grass doesn’t grow as well.
Those wild berries now grow like a groundcover in the difficult corner of the yard. The pretty little white flowers liven up the spring garden and I get to harvest a few tasty berries in June. I still have my small patch of cultivated strawberries, but I love my wild strawberries too.
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