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Old 04-05-2024, 10:19 AM
 
Location: San Diego, CA
3,068 posts, read 1,741,412 times
Reputation: 3456

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Hi all,

I bought a single strawberry plant a few years back and put it in a planter and since then it has spawned 2 more plants in two additional planters. So now I have 3 planters with three strawberry plants but the planners are pretty crowded too deep and it makes it hard to keep pests and whatnot off of the strawberries including rats that sometimes get them. I have been debating building a raised planter bed that will give the strawberries more room and so I can apply some anti pest management like egg shells, coffee grounds, and dematiaceous earth around the plants.

But every time I go to price this out and think about it I think about the cost of building the raised planter bed and the struggle to keep pests out. If I wanna keep the rats out I'm going to have to build some kind of a cage over the planter and it just seems like it doesn't make a lot of sense financially. Strawberries are pretty expensive right now but looking at the costs and the amount of work it seems like it will take me years to recoup my costs and may not be worth the hassle.

It just seems pointless to grow my own, unless I do it simply for enjoyment. Financially, I will probably not recoup the cost and it seems like a ton of work.

curious to see what others think.
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Old 04-05-2024, 10:42 AM
 
Location: Lost in Montana *recalculating*...
19,743 posts, read 22,650,289 times
Reputation: 24902
We have a strawberry patch in our garden, and from about end of June to October we are picking fresh strawberries. So for us that's a plus. A constant supply. We don't have issues with rodents and not much hassle with birds either.

Also they are simply delicious. They are pesticide free. It's a short walk to grab them.

You have to determine for yourself it's worth it. It is for us.

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Old 04-05-2024, 10:50 AM
 
Location: East of Seattle since 1992, 615' Elevation, Zone 8b - originally from SF Bay Area
44,563 posts, read 81,131,933 times
Reputation: 57767
I used to grow them and with lots of manure in the soil, they were bigger and much tastier than store-bought. They don't ripen after picking so they are picked ripe and shipped, so there are always some bruised or even rotten, and they lose flavor in the days after picking. Much like corn, cucumbers and tomatoes, store bought are good but cannot compare to freshly picked and eaten the same day. One year when we got the first few tomatoes in the greenhouse that I built (we have deer and raccoons here) she commented that it tasted great even for a $100 tomato. Of course the price comes down when you get a few hundred over the summer and fall. Well worth the cost to me. Strawberries grow low, so with a raised bed you just need to make a simple cover with rabbit wire that attaches to the top of the wooden frame with hinges.
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Old 04-05-2024, 11:35 AM
 
Location: San Diego, CA
3,068 posts, read 1,741,412 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Threerun View Post
We have a strawberry patch in our garden, and from about end of June to October we are picking fresh strawberries. So for us that's a plus. A constant supply. We don't have issues with rodents and not much hassle with birds either.

Also they are simply delicious. They are pesticide free. It's a short walk to grab them.

You have to determine for yourself it's worth it. It is for us.
That is quite the haul. I never get that many. You probably know what you're doing in a garden through right? For me, I always have to look things up and it takes a lot of effort to figure out how to deal with the various issues. For someone with a green thumb, I imagine they've been doing this for years and just know.
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Old 04-05-2024, 11:37 AM
 
Location: San Diego, CA
3,068 posts, read 1,741,412 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hemlock140 View Post
I used to grow them and with lots of manure in the soil, they were bigger and much tastier than store-bought. They don't ripen after picking so they are picked ripe and shipped, so there are always some bruised or even rotten, and they lose flavor in the days after picking. Much like corn, cucumbers and tomatoes, store bought are good but cannot compare to freshly picked and eaten the same day. One year when we got the first few tomatoes in the greenhouse that I built (we have deer and raccoons here) she commented that it tasted great even for a $100 tomato. Of course the price comes down when you get a few hundred over the summer and fall. Well worth the cost to me. Strawberries grow low, so with a raised bed you just need to make a simple cover with rabbit wire that attaches to the top of the wooden frame with hinges.

Interesting points. If I fertilized them I'd probably get more. What type of manure do you use?
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Old 04-05-2024, 11:44 AM
 
Location: Rochester, WA
14,472 posts, read 12,095,136 times
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I don't think it ever actually pays to have a garden... the payoff is in the fun of it.
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Old 04-05-2024, 11:46 AM
 
Location: On the Chesapeake
45,354 posts, read 60,534,984 times
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To get a lot you'd have to have a "patch" like Three Run, one planter with a couple runners is for decoration.

Our strawberry patch used to be called "part of the front yard". Started out with one plant in a container a couple years ago, just for decoration, and it spread everywhere. This will be the first year we'll likely get a crap ton of strawberries.
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Old 04-05-2024, 11:49 AM
 
Location: San Diego, CA
3,068 posts, read 1,741,412 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Diana Holbrook View Post
I don't think it ever actually pays to have a garden... it payoff is in the fun of it.
Yeah that's the feeling I'm getting...

Quote:
Originally Posted by North Beach Person View Post
To get a lot you'd have to have a "patch" like Three Run, one planter with a couple runners is for decoration.

Our strawberry patch used to be called "part of the front yard". Started out with one plant in a container a couple years ago, just for decoration, and it spread everywhere. This will be the first year we'll likely get a crap ton of strawberries.
Interesting. Yeah I don't have a lot of room for strawberries, unless I wanted to move them to the front yard. I've thought about it. I'm just not sure it's worth the time investment for three plants. Maybe it could pay off after a few years. IDK. I like getting the strawberries, but I'm at a point where I either build a new planter with a cover or I give up and toss them.
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Old 04-05-2024, 12:09 PM
 
Location: The Driftless Area, WI
7,251 posts, read 5,123,089 times
Reputation: 17747
That's the magic question about any fruit & vegetable gardening. The economy of scale comes into the equation. It's not financially worth it if you're only growing a serving or three. If you have the space to grow enough to can, freeze, or otherwise preserve your harvest for long term use, then you may find benefit....

...and it doesn't take that much space. You can grow 50 strawberry plants in a patch 15ft x 5ft and get enough fruit to nibble on while you're picking and still can a couple dozen jars of jam. A dozen tomato plants will give you plenty for sandwiches & salads for a couple weeks in season and still can 3 dz qts of pureé. Plant potatoes a foot apart and get a lb or more from each plant. They'll keep well into spring in the basement or garage.
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Old 04-05-2024, 12:13 PM
 
Location: Lost in Montana *recalculating*...
19,743 posts, read 22,650,289 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stablegenius View Post
That is quite the haul. I never get that many. You probably know what you're doing in a garden through right? For me, I always have to look things up and it takes a lot of effort to figure out how to deal with the various issues. For someone with a green thumb, I imagine they've been doing this for years and just know.
I know enough to be dangerous. My wife? Yeah she knows a lot.


The strawberry patch is in front of the tomatoes in this pic. Maybe 10x10 in size now?




I'm the corn expert. And the construction labor.



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