strawberries flowering away

looks great out there with many thousand strawberry blooms in various patches around the yard. i was wondering if the oldest strawberry patch would have much going on this year as it has been mostly filled in for a few years now. i have selectively turned under and thinning it and also planted beans/peas as cover crops to help give a natural boost to the soil along with different top mulches of wood chips, pine needles and leftovers from weeding. seems to be going well. :) now i just hope the next few weeks cooperate and i can start getting fresh berries.
in one pathway out back along that strawberry patch the path is made of crushed limestone, but it has been there for so many years that it has a fair amount of dirt under the gravel. it sprouts some weeds, but it also acts as a great bed for rooting runners that can later be pulled easily and then put in pots. i did a few dozen the other day, that were blooming, pulled them out of the gravel/dirt mix without much effort at all. promptly potted them up and watered them and they didn't even lose a beat. the flowers didn't drop and the leaves didn't wilt. it was like they were happy to be in some actual soil. those plants went a few days later to my brother's place where he wanted to put them along the back of his house.
being the verbose writer i am i sent him a note giving him more details than he probably wants for taking care of them. :)
sunny day, plans to get some weeding done and garden prep for planting.
not sure if winter wheat or winter rye is first to come in, but the eldest plants are starting to form heads already. beautiful patterns. i've always liked the older wheat-pennies (one cent from 1909 to 1959 USoA) and so it is great to see an up-close and living representation of that.
also lovely turnip flowers. Ma even says she's ok with them. now to see how long it takes for seeds to form.
at the greenhouse last weekend we picked up the plants to set out and Ma also needed some flowers for a few of her friend's gardens. we checked out the flower greenhouse and inside they had a large selection of flowers. a large bumblebee was in there and i thought it was very interesting that the flowers it picked to harvest from were the pink/yellow/red cosmos. we grow these type along with the yellow/red/orange types and they are always swarmed by bees when they do flower.
i did get some cosmos planted this week along with some golden flax.
the early starts (peas, turnips, radishes, rutabagas, onion seeds) are all coming along nicely. so far the bunnies and woodchuck have not made much of a dent in anything of concern. the woodchuck is mainly taking the tops off the alfalfa in the far back green manure patch. he did sample a few of the garlic plants (probably hoping it was the beans i've planted in that same patch the past few years), but left the rest alone... the deeper planted garlic used as green onions is really yummy. i eat a few right out of the ground when i'm out in the gardens. keeps my breath fresh. haha...
yesterday went out to get some gardening done after having a morning walk and finishing up some chores (glueing foam sandal bottoms on the bottom of worn out gardening shoes that i like to use most of the time and my favorite purple crocs). for about $10 i could refurbish three pairs of my most worn shoes. not bad. most of the expense was for the contact bond glue. the foam sandals were on sale for about $1/pr. feels like walking on clouds compared to how it was before. love it when something like this works out. the downside to foam shoes is that they do not stop sticks from getting through if you do have pokey things about. around here, it is mostly crushed gravel limestone for pathways, so having some extra cushion is nice. well the end of this story is that i was just getting outside after being inside and doing things when the field across the road gets sprayed with weedkiller and perhaps insecticides too. nasty, very fine mist they use, it hung in the air and the wind was the wrong direction so we got a pretty heavy drift for a while. i held my breath and came back inside for a few hours and coughed up what i could and then took a shower and coughed up some more. those big rig operators don't often care what they are spraying when or where and even if it is windy they just do it anyways. this is a prime example of why i don't own a grenade launcher or other large fire arms. irked doesn't begin to describe how i was feeling. oh well.
i needed a break anyways from the previous day's turning of gardens. the winter cover crops made those garden's soil so nice it was like i wasn't even in the same yard any longer. all that work to bring in extra organic materials, burying garden debris, using ashes from wood burning and doing a fairly decent crop rotation have really begun paying off. the added worms and worm casting from the worm farm have helped too. seeing all sorts of worms in those gardens now that used to be largely deviod of worm life this time of the year. lovely, well worth the efforts.
ok, that's today's news and observations. :) didn't expect to write a book here, but i had a few minutes yet.
songbird
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songbird wrote:

We've only got a few plants and they're new , so I pinched most of the blossoms . But yesterday I picked the very first strawberry I ever grew . And gave it to my loving wife ... she said it was delicious . There are a few more out there ... we won't get enough to really do much this year , but next year ...
--
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Terry Coombs wrote: ...

:) the first ones of the season are wonderful indeed. :)
i was beginning to be worried that there weren't enough pollinators around this year. when i was out planting the surrounding gardens over the past few days i would take breaks and watch the strawberry patch to see what was visiting. some very tiny bees and flies have been active in there and i made sure to give it a good watering one day. not as worried now that i'm seeing berries forming.
songbird
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