An Ode to Bees on National Honey bee Day
Close to 3/4 of the world’s flowering plants rely on pollinators, and a big chunk of that is the humble honey bee. It’s difficult to fully grasp the vast and delicate balance that our ecosystem rests upon and the part that bees play in that. And for as much as we appreciate a drizzle of honey in our tea, many of us may overlook the larger implications surrounding honey bees and their dwindling populations. Let this blog serve as an opportunity for a newfound (or renewed) appreciation.
National Honey Bee Day, held every third Saturday of August, shines a light on these tireless pollinators and the equally tireless beekeepers tending to them. Beginning as a National Honey Bee Day in 2009, the essence of this day has spread and its purpose is twofold: to savor the sweet nectar that is honey and to stand in solidarity with efforts that sustain honey bee populations.
This year, we would like to help spotlight the amazing flight of the honey bee and capture the moments that accentuate its beauty and significance to us all.
Some Quick Fun Facts About Honey Bees:
- The amount of distance that bees travel in an effort to make enough honey for one jar is about 100,000 air miles
- When the temperature in the hive drops below anywhere 50 degrees in Winter, bees shiver themselves warm with the help of their flight muscles. In this way, they can heat their home back up to over 85 degrees
- Bees communicate with each other using a special “waggle dance.” Through specific movements, they can convey information about the direction and distance to patches of flowers yielding nectar and pollen, water sources, or to new nest-site locations
- Bees can fly at a speed of up to 15 miles per hour and their wings beat about 200 times per second
Our connection to honey bees goes far beyond the jar of honey you have in your pantry. Their pollinating abilities play a critical role in our agricultural systems. Without their intervention, many foods that enrich our diet wouldn’t even make it to our plates in the first place. Global and national reports such as the annual Loss & Management Survey show that the decline in honey bee populations is alarming. This makes World Honey Bee Day more than just a day of acknowledgment—it’s a call to foster environments that support honey bees.
The rich agricultural landscape of Yolo County and its surroundings is a testament to the hard work of local farmers and, of course, our buzzing friends. However, the region’s dependency on pollinators like honey bees brings to light the urgent need for sustainable practices to bolster their populations. Pesticide use, habitat destruction, and other factors challenge their survival here.
While it’s pivotal for us to urge policymakers to devise bee-friendly policies, it’s equally essential for us to integrate practices into our daily lives that amplify their well-being right here at home.That’s why we prioritize sourcing from local, organic, and sustainable producers . This conscious choice aids in promoting bee-friendly agricultural practices so that we can preserve and uplift bee habitats.
While the blooming flowers of 2023 after a wet Winter have brought a prosperous season for our pollinators, it’s imperative that we maintain our momentum in supporting and celebrating them, not just today but every day. So, next time you spot a bee (or beekeeper for that matter), make sure you say something sweet as honey to them to show your appreciation.
If you’re like me, you struggle to keep any plant alive no matter how hard you try. Even if it claims to be the most resilient plant, I still found a way to kill it in about 3 days or less. Well, fear not, fellow plant killers! This year, I made it my mission to become a plant whisperer, one way or another. After shedding a tear or two over my failed attempts with two string of pearl plants that never survived (sobs), having known that they were a difficult plant to take care of, I embarked on a journey of serious research. My mission: to discover plants that are not only adorable but also beginner-friendly.
So if you are looking for recommendations, below are 10 plants that are suitable for beginners.
For owners with cats or dogs, I have also listed for each plant whether or not they are safe for your household.
These succulents produce stunning rosettes with plump leaves that can come in a wide variety of colors. And they are fairly low maintenance.
They like lots of bright light, though direct afternoon sun can burn the leaves. And they need well-draining soil.
Water when the soil has mostly dried out.
Pet Safety: Non-toxic to cats and dogs.
Aloe is quite tolerant of drought, so it won’t suffer if you forget to water it.
It likes bright, indirect light so a window could be a perfect spot for it. Aloe Vera needs water when the top 2-3 inches of soil is dry.
Water it once a week, or twice depending on how hot it is.
Pet Safety: Toxic to cats and dogs.
They like plenty of light, but they can handle less if necessary. And they are not too particular about watering, as long as it is not too much.
Water it once a week during the spring and summer and only once every two to three weeks during the fall and winter.
Pet Safety: Toxic to cats and dogs.
Lucky bamboo, also known as the Ribbon plant, is a popular houseplant often seen in homes and offices. Despite its name, it’s not bamboo but a member of the Asparagus family. They can make wonderful gift plants, and many people believe they bring good luck and enhance the chi, or energy, of their surroundings.
Lucky bamboo does best in indirect sunlight and humid conditions, making it an excellent plant for bathrooms or kitchens.
In general, lucky bamboo should be watered once a week.
Pet Safety: Non-toxic to cats and dogs.
Needing only medium to low light, this plant can pretty much take care of itself. The money plant produces offshoots that sprout from the the stem’s base, which means you get free new money plants!
Water your money tree once every one to two weeks. Always check the soil and water the plant thoroughly if the soil feels dry.
Pet Safety: Non-toxic to cats and dogs.
The prayer plant gets its name because its leaves remain flat during the day, but then at night they fold up like hands praying.
This plant enjoys low-light and humid environments. So your bathroom might be the perfect place for it, where there is frequent warm, damp air.
You should water your prayer plant once every one or two weeks or whenever the soil feels dry.
Pet Safety: Non-toxic to cats and dogs.
It features deep green, oval leaves on woody stems. It’s a relatively hands-off plant, just make sure it has bright, indirect light and well-draining soil.
Water more frequently in the spring and summer than the fall and winter, making sure the soil is never soggy.
Pet Safety: Non-toxic to cats and dogs.
The fishbone cactus features unique angled and toothed stems—hence another one of its common names, the zig zag cactus. It’s a tropical species that can handle more humidity and less sun than typical desert cacti.
Give it bright, indirect light, and water when the top 2 inches of soil have dried out.
The holiday cactus is beloved for its bright blooms that appear in the late fall and early winter. It is actually a rainforest plant, meaning it needs more water than desert cacti.
Water when the soil is dry about 2 inches down. It’s also not picky about its soil, as long as it has good drainage. And it does well if you have a window with bright, indirect light.
Pet Safety: Non-toxic to cats and dogs.
Philodendron species tend to have large, glossy leaves. There are both vining and non-climbing types. Keep them in a fairly warm and humid environment, and shield them from strong direct light.
Water when the top inch or so of soil has dried out.
Pet Safety: Toxic to cats and dogs.
How many houseplants should I start with?
If you’re a beginner when it comes to houseplants, it’s ideal to start with just 1-3 plants that have similar growing needs (trust me, I know how hard it is to resist filling your whole space with plants). That way, you can easily work them into your routine and not have to consider any individualized care.
Full list of Toxic and Non-toxic plants for Cats & Dogs
The Co-op carries a variety of plants throughout the year, including some of these beginner plants that were mentioned in this blog.
Want some help?
Our Floral Specialist in the Produce Department should be able to help you find the perfect plant for you!
Alternatives to Mother’s Day
May is a beautiful spring month. Flowers are in bloom, especially after our very wet winter. The weather is finally warm enough to wear dresses and shorts, to feel the sun’s fire on your skin. This is a time to reconnect and grow after months of seasonal dreariness.
May is also home to Mother’s Day, a day to celebrate mothers and motherhood. For some, it can be a painful month and the constant reminders of motherly love often don’t fit with everyone’s experience of having a mother. Some businesses, like Etsy, Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream, and Uncommon Goods offer subscribers the option to opt out of receiving emails about Mother’s Day.
Whatever your reason for choosing not to celebrate, we are here to offer you some alternatives to enjoy May 14th and the whole month of May.
May 14th Ideas
Have a self care day! Everyone’s idea of self care will be different, but do try to do something that makes your feel good, loved, safe, etc. (and if it’s too hard to feel good on this day, don’t be mad at yourself that it is). Some ideas are yoga, meditation, hiking or walking, joyful movement (exercise that you actually like doing that actually feels good to you), crafting, spa day, baking or cooking, gardening, reading, napping, calling a friend, the list goes on.
May is bike month. Grab coffee and lunch to-go from the Co-op, put on some sunscreen, and take a leisure bike ride with some friends through our beautiful small town! Looking for a longer ride? Grab a Davis Bike Map at the Customer Service Desk; head down Russell Boulevard and Putah Creek Road to Winters for Turkovich or Berryessa Gap Wines or Old Davis Road to Dixon to visit the Barn & Pantry.
Spend the day in your yard or indoor jungle. Spring is the time for repotting and propagating indoor plants and sprucing up your outdoor garden. Stop by the Patio to grab some new soil, fertilizer, pots, and plants! Check out our blogs on Propagating and Container Gardening, and our Plant Care Guides.
Have a sibling, friend, or pet day instead. Use this day to celebrate the strong relationships you do have. Plan out your ideal friend date, bundle at home or go out and enjoy the spring weather. Just like a self care day, this will vary for everyone. Here is an example of how I would do it: (1) early climbing/yoga/walk followed by matcha (2) go back to my house for hanging on the couch (3) then we make a huge and complicated meal (4) and then we eat it several hours later when it is finally done!
Spend the day with someone who needs a mother. Sign up to volunteer at the SPCA or foster/adopt at Hearts for Paws Rescue in town. Finding a way to share some love, with a creature that will unconditionally love you back for a walk and some snuggles can be a great way to emotionally heal. Volunteering with both organizations takes a little time and training to qualify. If you are last-minute looking for some snuggles, ask some friends with pets if you can pet sit for the day!
- Whole Earth Festival at UC Davis
- UC Davis Arboretum Plant Sale
- See a performance of Disney’s Newsies put on by the Davis Musical Theatre Company
- Visit the new exhibit at the Pence Gallery
- Take a tour of a local lavender farm
- See world renowned synth performers at the Peregrine School
- Join Great Bear Vineyards for a Polynesian Dinner that is a part of their Global Dinner Series
- See the new photography exhibit at Gallery 625 in Woodland
What was once a rare disease, type two diabetes is now the highest amongst Native American and Alaskan Native adults and children than any other racial and ethnic group in the United States. Those children, particularly living on or near reservation and tribal lands, are more likely to experience type 2 diabetes, food insecurity, and obesity in comparison to all other children in the United States. Food access is an issue at multiple levels: access to seasonally available wild foods, financial access to fresh, whole foods, and access to the cultural knowledge to prepare and preserve traditional foods. The biggest contributors to this loss in food access were forced removals from native lands onto barren reservations, forced assimilation in Native American Boarding Schools, and the government-provided commodity food that was then distributed to those on reservations. Those foods commonly included white flour, lard, sugar, dairy products, and canned meats- a major contrast from the unprocessed, whole, traditional foods they were use to.
It is because of this epidemic, people within the Indigenous communities are working towards an indigenous foods movement as a means of cultural renewal, environmental sustainability, and a way to reclaim Food Sovereignty.
“Indigenous food sovereignty is the act of going back to our roots as Indigenous peoples and using the knowledge and wisdom of our people that they used when they oversaw their own survival. This includes the ability to define one’s own food sources and processes, such as the decision to hunt, trap, fish, gather, harvest, grow and eat based on Indigenous culture and ways of life.”
Below, is a TedxTalk from Sean Sherman, who further discusses where the traditional knowledge got lost, and how himself and many other indigenous folks are taking matters into their own hands, reclaiming their Indigenous Food Sovereignty.
Here, we will be listing just a few of the many Indigenous people/ Indigenous-led Organizations reclaiming Food Sovereignty within the United States.
An online cooking show dedicated to re-indigenizing diets using digital media. Using foods native to their Americas, Indigikitchen gives viewers the important tools they need to find and prepare food in their own communities. Beyond that, it strengthens the ties to their cultures and reminds them of the inherent worth of their identities while fueling their physical bodies.
Brian Yazzie “Yazzie the Chef”
A Diné/Navajo chef and food justice activist from Dennehotso, Arizona and based out of Saint Paul, MN. He is the founder of Intertribal Foodways catering company, a YouTube creator under Yazzie The Chef TV, a delegate of Slow Food Turtle Island Association, and a member at I-Collective. Yazzie’s career is devoted to the betterment of tribal communities, wellness, and health.
Sean Sherman, The Sioux Chef
Sean Sherman, Oglala Lakota, born in Pine Ridge, SD, has been cooking across the US and World for the last 30 years. His main culinary focus has been on the revitalization and awareness of indigenous foods systems in a modern culinary context. Sean has studied on his own extensively to determine the foundations of these food systems which include the knowledge of Native American farming techniques, wild food usage and harvesting, land stewardship, salt and sugar making, hunting and fishing, food preservation, Native American migrational histories, elemental cooking techniques, and Native culture and history in general to gain a full understanding of bringing back a sense of Native American cuisine to today’s world.
The Sioux Chef team works to make indigenous foods more accessible to as many communities as possible. To open opportunities for more people to learn about Native cuisine and develop food enterprises in their tribal communities.
Three Sisters Gardens
Farmer Alfred Melbourne is the owner and operator of Three Sisters Gardens and a long time resident of West Sacramento. Based on traditional native teachings, Three Sisters Gardens is an Indidgenous-led organization with a mission to teach at risk youth how to grow/harvest/distribute organic vegetables, connect Native youth back to the land, build connections with community elders, and reclaim food sovereignty. They donate food to the Yolo Food Bank, and also hold a “Free Farm” stand where they offer their veggies free to to the community.
Linda Black Elk
Linda Black Elk is an ethnobotanist who serves as the Food Sovereignty Coordinator at United Tribes Technical College in Bismarck, North Dakota. She specializes in teaching about Indigenous plants and their uses as food and medicine. She teaches classes like “Food Preservation and Storage” and “From Farm and Forage to Fork.” She also uses her wealth of knowledge and charismatic ways of connecting through her YouTube channel, covering topics like making homemade cedar blueberry cough syrup, drying squash varieties, and how to make plant-based medicines at home for various health support.
Black Elk’s drive to make wild plants and plant medicine accessible, applicable, and relevant is so strong it resonates throughout all she does. She is also a founding board member of the Mni Wichoni Health Circle, an organization devoted to decolonized medicines.
Reclaiming control over local food systems is an important step toward ensuring the long-lasting health and economic well-being of Native people and communities. Native food system control has proven to increase food production, improve health and nutrition, and eliminate food insecurity in rural and reservation-based communities, while also promoting entrepreneurship and economic development.
This is Indigenous resilience, moving through the era of disconnection to their foods and traditions and reclaiming their intergenerational knowledge.
The Davis Food Co-op occupies land that belongs to three federally recognized Patwin tribes: Cachil DeHe Band of Wintun Indians of the Colusa Indian Community, Kletsel Dehe Wintun Nation, and Yocha Dehe Wintun Nation.
August is a productive time for our Northern California gardens. Keep harvesting ripe fruits and vegetables. Failure to harvest can hinder production.
For flower gardens: put on some Grateful Dead and deadhead your garden, which should be done on an on-going basis if you have plants blooming. As plants fade out of bloom, pinch or cut off the flower stem below the spent flower and just above the first set of full, healthy leaves. Repeat with all the dead flowers on the plant.
Water regularly during our scorching summers. Water in the early morning or after the sun sets to avoid water waste. Water the soil near the plant’s roots and avoid splashing the leaves, which can spread disease or intensify sunlight to burn the plant.
The heat and humidity of summer leaves your garden more susceptible to plant diseases. Check for diseased foliage and remove it. Do not add diseased plant matter to your compost pile as the disease can spread to the rest of your garden. Disinfect tools like pruners in between each plant to avoid spreading disease as well.
Treat affected plants with Arber Bio Fungicide, OMRI-listed for organic gardening and available at the Co-op for $11.99 plus tax. Arber controls and suppresses gray and white molds, downy mildews, black spots on roses, leaf spots, root rot, botrytis, and more.
Keep a keen eye out for insect pests including thrips, tomato fruitworms, tomato hornworms, spider mites, chinch bugs, scale, snails, and slugs. Remove them from foliage if you find them.
Make your garden more attractive to beneficial insects and/or treat with Arber Bio Insecticide. Protect your garden from aphids, fungus gnats, mites, mealybugs, leafhoppers, tent caterpillars, grubs, leaf beetles, thrips, whiteflies, stink bugs, fruit flies, and more.
Pinch back poinsettias and mums before the end of the month to allow time for buds to form for a winter bloom.
You know, in a good way!
They’re called beneficial bugs, after all, because they’re a boon to your garden and the planet. Beneficial bugs fall into one or more of three categories
- pollinators: these bugaboos are an essential component in the reproduction of about 80% of flowering plant species (150 food crops in the US, including most grains and fruits, rely on pollination!)
- predators: some insects eliminate pests by eating them
- parasitoids: these bugs lay their eggs in or on pests, which the larvae eventually eat
Predators and parasitoids keep populations of aphids, leafhoppers, mites, thrips, and more potentially damaging pests in your garden under control.
Pollinators are essential
You probably know that pollinators are responsible for the reproduction of most flowering plants (about $10 billion worth of food annually). But there are additional benefits to having these bugs around too.
- clean air: pollinators are an essential part of the reproduction of flowering plants. These plants, which breath in carbon dioxide, are a vital part of Earth’s carbon cycle, drawing carbon out of the atmosphere and into our soils.
- clean water: pollinators are similarly involved in Earth’s water cycle and in preventing erosion of Earth’s soils by maintaining plant populations.
- ethnobotany: the role of pollinators in our lives is culturally important to many communities, including Indigenous communities. Pollinators play a role in food plants, medicinal plants, plant-based dyes, and in cultural symbolism.
Bees, butterflies, flies, and moths are the pollinators you want to bring to your yard.
Bring on the bugs!
There are a few steps you can take to make your yard attractive and safe for beneficial bugs.
1. Create habitat
These Beneficial Bug Houses provide insects a place to nest and rest. By placing these houses near existing insect hotspots (think hedges, nectar-rich flower beds, ponds or streams) you can give them a chance to thrive and, in return, they will maintain a healthy equilibrium in your yard. Look for these in the Green Patch and in-store.
2. Plant the right plants
There are many pollinator-friendly plants at the Co-op. Floral Specialist Jennifer has brought in three varieties of sunflowers, foxglove, and herbs including Thai basil, culinary select sage, stevia, and French thyme just last week.
Starts arriving this week (Thursday 5/5) include lavender, margarita yellow osteospermum, cosmos, asclepias red butterfly bush, marigolds, nasturtiums, zinnias, and more!
These five plant families will pack the most punch when it comes to attracting beneficial insects to your garden:
- Aster Family (Asteraceae): ageratums, asters, chrysanthemums, cosmos, dahlias, marigolds, and zinnias
- Carrot family (Apiaceae): Angelica, caraway, carrot, celery, chervil, cowbane, cumin, fennel, parsley, parsnip, Queen Anne’s lace
- Legume family (Fabaceae): green bean, lima bean, scarlet runner bean, chickpea, fenugreek, lentil, lupine, pagoda tree, smoke tree, soybean, tamarind, wisteria
- Mustard family (Brassicaceae): arugula, bok choy, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, collard, kale, kohlrabi, rutabaga, turnip, horseradish, rocket, shepherd’s purse, watercress, white mustard, wild radish
- Verbena family (Verbenaceae): Verbena (also known as vervain) family, includes 31 genera and nearly 920 species including lemon verbena, blue vervain, lollipop, meteor shower, Greystone Daphne, homestead purple, and Texas rose.
3. Provide a water source
Most beneficial bugs have wings, so they’ll take off in search of water if they can’t find any in your garden. If you use sprinklers, the puddles that form from use should be enough to keep your garden friends hydrated. If you use a drip system or water by hand, you’ll need to provide additional water. Fill up a saucer with water and some rocks. Refill on dry days (maybe twice during scorching summer days). To keep these bugaboos working in your garden, be sure to maintain their water source!
4. Creepy crawlies need love too
Some beneficial bugs keep low to the ground in search of pests that live in the soil. During hot daytime hours, these insects need protection and rest. Mulching your garden beds gives them protection while keeping the soil moist (good for beneficial bugs and plants). Stepping stones, especially with flat surfaces, are a favorite of creepy crawlies too.
Questions? Ask Jennifer!
Jennifer is our new Floral Specialist and an excellent resource for home gardeners! You can find her watering plants on the Green Patch most days or ask any Co-op employee if Jennifer is in.
Davis is perfectly situated for a long and productive growing season. Even tiny apartment balcony gardens can be very productive with the right conditions. But container gardens aren’t just for folks with limited space. Here are the big beats when it comes to container gardens:
- Most things can be planted in containers, but may require additional care
- Great for small spaces like apartment patios and balconies
- Ideal for beginning gardeners
- Portable, but can be (very) heavy
- Requires more watering as pots dry out quicker
To be clear, this blog will focus on growing edible fruits and vegetables in containers.
Before we move on, consider your light
Although some plants do well in partial shade, you’ll want to “plant” your container garden in an area that receives bright sunlight for at least 6 hours a day. If you have a small space, this may mean placing your containers wherever you get good sun (on the balcony, on the side of the house, front porch, back porch, a perpetually open, sunny window, etc.). I have fruits and veggies in containers all over the place.
Step 1: Decide what you want to grow
Start by deciding what you want to eat. Then take into consideration what kind of light and space you have (see the chart at the end of the Edible Garden Guide for a complete list of edible plants to grow in our USDA Zone).
If you’re still not sure, starting small is always a good idea. A tomato plant, a few containers with strawberries, and a trellis for pole beans is a great way to start your container garden. Unless you are an avid gardener, I recommend starting with plant starts (instead of seeds). You can purchase starts at the Co-op during the warmer months.
Step 2: Choose your containers
Your containers can vary in size, shape, and fanciness (a lot of my container garden is in plastic pots I got for free from a local nursery) as long as they allow for good draining. Let the plant’s needs determine the container. For example, multiple strawberry plants can be grown together in one large container, but each cabbage plant needs its own large container.
You can even plant trees in containers. Citrus is a popular container plant. I have a grafted stone fruit tree in a pot in my backyard. It’s about to bloom for the second time!
Here are some minimum soil depths for healthy growth in containers:
4-5″: chives, lettuce, radishes, other salad greens, basil, coriander
6-7″: bush beans, garlic, kohlrabi, onions, Asian greens, peas, mint, thyme
8-9″: pole beans, carrots, chard, cucumber, eggplant, fennel, leeks, peppers, spinach, parsley, rosemary
10-12″: beets, broccoli, okra, potatoes, sweet corn, summer squash, dill, lemongrass
Here are some minimum volume requirements for containers:
Step 3: Plant
When planting, fill containers with an organic outdoor raised bed/potting mixture. Create small wells for the starts. Loosen starts from their plastic containers and gently shake dirt from the roots (be careful not to damage the young, tender roots). Transfer to the new container, placing each start into a well. Fill with dirt and compact with your hands so that the plant is firmly “tucked in”. Water.
Reference the Edible Garden Guide for specific watering instructions. Depending on your containers, your plants may need more watering as pots dry out faster than raised beds or planted rows, especially in the summer.
I recommend using mulch to cover soil (cover soil only, not any part of the plant) in your containers as well. It helps prevent water loss to evaporation, mitigates splashing during watering which can spread pathogens from soil to leaves, and keeps soil surface temperatures down during hot summer months.
DIY Mulch materials include herbicide and pesticide-free grass clippings, organic burlap, straw or hay, shredded newspaper, coconut coir, or similar natural materials.
Step 4: Maintain your Garden
Check on your containers everyday. Remove weeds, pests, leaf litter, and other waste. Water, remove dead growth, and prune as necessary.
Treating your garden with compost, or fertilizer, is always a good idea, especially 2-6 weeks after planting. Make your own compost with our DIY Backyard Composting Guide.
Growing Strawberries in Containers
Strawberries grow really well in containers, which means you can grow them in your backyard, on your porch, or even on a balcony with the right light conditions!
Head to the Co-op to get your strawberry plants. We currently have Eversweet Everbearing Strawberry plants. These are ideal for Davis as they tolerate temperatures above 100 degrees F. They’ll produce fruit starting in late Spring through later Summer and early Fall. You can plant these between February and late March after the last frost (since they’re in containers, you can easily move them inside in case we get another really cold night).
I started with 18 individual plants or 3 containers of 6 plants. You can start with just 1 container of 6 plants or more than 3 if you have the containers, space, and appetite.
Procure your containers and potting soil. Strawberries like to spread, so a container that is wider and shallower suits strawberries well. There are specific pots made for strawberries, but any large pot with good drainage will do the trick. For soil, you can look for a raised bed potting blend with a lot of organic matter. You can also look for something slightly acidic (pH between 5.5 and 6.5) if you want to get fancy.
When I went to the nursery to get supplies, they had extra large plastic pots (pictured below) that they gave to me. If you don’t need your pots to look all that cute, you may want to inquire about excess pots at your favorite nursery. It’s a nice way to divert some waste and save some money.
Fill your containers with potting soil. I filled my pots about 4/5 of the way up as I want to give strawberries a chance to spread along the surface.
Wiggle your strawberry plants out of their small containers. Gently shake any excess dirt from the roots and replant in the new containers. The nursery recommended I split my 18 plants up into 2 pots. You don’t want to crowd the berries so many sure they have 4-5 inches of space on all sides.
Continue replanting all of your strawberry plants. You can top with rich compost or organic fertilizer after you pot them, but this isn’t necesary.
Water your plants and place them in partial shade in your backyard, on your porch, or on the balcony. My strawberries get full sun for a few hours, but are in shade most of the day. Water berries when the soil dries out or about once a week in between rain. If you leave them in full sun for longer, check soil moisture levels more often as you may need to give them a bit more water. Full sun for at least part of the day will encourage ripe, sweet berries.
Wait for strawberries! You’ll have fruit in 6-8 weeks and throughout the Summer through early Fall. Harvest in the morning, refrigerate immediately, and enjoy the literal fruits of your labor!
Stay tuned for more posts about propagating strawberries and preparing your strawberry container garden for winter.