I haven’t had a strawberry bed for years.
The last time I tried it the plants were skimpy little things with tiny strawberries. I spent more time weeding the bed than picking or eating berries.
So I mowed them off, tilled them under and planted green beans.
Why mess with strawberries when I can go into the ravines and pick all the wild black raspberries we could eat?! I didn’t plant them, weed them, or water them. All I had to do was pick them.
That plan worked great until last summer.
After I suffered 2 very nasty bouts with poison ivy from picking those wild black raspberries, I decided it was time to revisit the idea of a strawberry patch.
Armed with a shovel and some strawberry plants my husband graciously dug up from a friend on Sunday, I prepared for battle strawberry.
I decided that what was lacking in my last attempt was fertilizer and planned to pick up some Miracle-Gro in town. But… uhh… umm… well you see … I kinda forgot it….several times.
But since I had the plants in hand and they needed to go in the ground, I had to come up with a Plan B.
My only solution: chicken droppings. Yes, THAT stuff. Sometimes called manure, poop, dung, or meadow muffins!
It was time to attack the chicken house.
I won’t tell you how deep the droppings were on the floor of the coop – but I will say that it has been several years since anyone ventured in to clean it. I must admit this is not the most glamorous job on farm and I really struggle to find volunteers. 😉
My two well-filled wheel barrow loads hardly made a dent in the well-composted chicken manure laying underneath the chicken roosts!
I then carefully maneuvered this wheel barrow of stench across the yard, over the ridge and into the garden (I never realized before how far away everything is!) and unceremoniously dumped it in the garden.
Then, using my handy – dandy Mantis tiller (the wonder machine), I carefully tilled that smelly, but hopefully potent fertilizer into the ground.
One back ache and 70 strawberry plants later, I am the proud owner of a strawberry patch.
I only hope that the chicken droppings work – and I have strawberries the size of small eggs!