10 Bare Root Strawberry Plants: A Soil Experiment

In our old garden back in Elmhurst, we had a couple of strawberry plants.  I put them in a giant pot (that came with our Ginko tree) and they came back year-after-year we lived there and bore fruit that we (sometimes) ate and other times were enjoyed by various critters.  Here's a photo showing one of the big fruits from 2013Here's a look at one of that plants just about six years ago and here's a sample harvest from 2012.  

Also, in 2015, I came across this Hula Berry plant which features strawberries that taste like pineapple.  I planted it, but then before we were able to harvest, we sold our house and moved out.  

Fast forward to this year: I found this package of 10 bare root "June Bearing All Star" strawberry plants from M&G Holland.  They sat on my desk for a few weeks until recently when I had the two containers left over from planting the kids Earth Day trees.  

I wanted to run a little bit of an experiment in terms of planting material with these and you can see that below:  on the left is a pot using moisture-control potting soil.  On the right is a pot made up completely of 'black gold' compost right from our compost tumbler.  

One thing that comes across in the photos immediately:  the difference in color and texture between the potting soil and compost.  They also deal with and retain water very differently.  I've watered them about the same, but the compost container is almost mud-like and makes me wonder if I should have amended it with either some peat moss or even a little perlite to lighten it up. 

The proof will be in the pudding, but just a week or so in here, you can already see some small leafs emerging on the top of the compost version.  I'm *pretty sure* that those are NOT the strawberry plants (based on a quick Google image search of young/early strawberry plants), but rather growth that came with the compost.  I'll watch them grow - and take a closer look in the coming days to determine if they're real (and if not, I'll pinch them off). 

This is the first time I've done bare root strawberries and based on what I read, we are unlikely to get any fruit this year, but I'll come back to documenting the growth in these pots over the Summer.  *If* we see some progress, I'm thinking I'll overwinter these in a protected area like the garage or up against the house under a roof. 


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