Spring at Burley Berries
As I sit at our kitchen table on the 23rd of April, it is snowing outside and I'm wondering if we will ever actually have a spring. We're definitely excited to start working outside on the strawberry patch we planted last year! The strawberries are slowly starting to peak through the straw. We put the straw on the berries last fall so the plants would survive the winter. With the freezing and thawing we have in Western NY during the winter, the strawberry plants have a tendency to frost heave; an upwards swelling of soil during freezing conditions caused by an increasing presence of ice as it grows towards the surface, upwards from the depth in the soil where freezing temperatures have penetrated into the soil. The straw helps protect the plants from this natural process as well as provide an added layer of protection for those extremely cold days. The straw mulch keeps the soil temperatures relatively warm in the winter and cool in the spring, thereby delaying spring growth and reducing the damage from spring frost. We have not removed the straw as of yet because, with the way the weather has been thus far, we are expecting a late frost.
We are excited to plant our new patch. We have recieved our plants from Nourse Farms to plant another 1/2 acre of strawberries. We are only planting 4 varieites in this patch. Last weekend we measured the patch and are looking forward to plowing; if only the weather would cooperate.
Since we are only able to work inside we have been working on the materials for our sign. Ryan cut our strawberry sign and I am currently painting it. I will have more pictures once the sign is complete.
Mulched strawberry Patch
Strawberry Plants "popping out" of the straw mulch
Measuring the strawberry patch. The cows in the field were very curious.