Saturday, June 23

Farm Photo: 6/23/07

Looking For My Strawberries?

There won't be any strawberries in the garden this year. After several years and many pounds of gorgeous, sweet bounty, my original plot finally petered out. And the raised bed I filled two years ago with locally grown Super Strawberry plants from the Garden Club's plant sale is history, too.

I do have 27 new Cavendish strawberry plants flourishing in another 4' x 8' raised bed, but one of the secrets to growing strawberries is that you need to pinch off all the blossoms that appear the first year. This allows the plant to expend more energy on itself rather than on making fruit for you. It's not easy, but in the long run it's worth it. I think.

You might think that there isn't a bright side to having a strawberryless garden, but you would be wrong. No strawberries for me also means no strawberries for all the ravaging, ravenous turtles. It's turtle season in the garden again, and for once I couldn't care less.

*insert evil laugh here*

Wondering if I've completely lost it? You can read more about the ongoing battle for my berries--and local turtles in general--here:
--6/4/05: Strawberries (one of my very first blog posts)
--5/6/06: Spotted In The Backyard
--5/12/06: Damn Turtles!
--5/21/06: The Turtles Didn't Get Them All
--5/27/06: Beaten To My Berries
--6/15/06: At Least The Mulberries Should Be Out Of Turtle Reach
--6/25/06: Weekend Baby Turtle Blogging?

© 2007, the award-winning blog where Farmgirl Susan shares photos & stories of her crazy country life on 240 remote Missouri acres.


  1. Oh, lord, you live in such a tough, primeval part of the world!
    And I thought all those alligators in Florida were bad.
    (They were, but I wasn't a farmer like you.)

  2. I love your posts, and though I don't have a vivid strawberry memory, I love them. However, the snails always get the plants before the flower petals even hit the ground. May I ask if you have any kind of a snail problem, and if so, what do you do to get rid of them (pesticides aside, of course)?

  3. Well learn something new everyday. I had to idea turtles liked strawberries.

  4. I've been pondering your yearly turtle infestation in the strawberries and I have two solutions.

    1) A contest. Win an official Farmgirl Turtle, shipping and handling $25.

    2) Some sort of turtle barrier, short enough that harvesting and weeding isn't impeded, but tall enough that the turtles can get over it. Hardware cloth? Rabbit fencing? Maybe short lengths of bamboo driven into the soil at an interval that they cant fit through?

  5. Many wild (Non pet) turtles are endangered in the US. I dont know what kind yours are but...while I can sympathize with the sadness of the lost delicious strawberries...maybe its not so bad for them to be finding some food.

  6. Those turtles have good taste. I think if I were a turtle I'd be sure to show up in your garden too!! Had my cat been in the vicinity of your strawberries he'd be eating them too. Then he'd eat the turtle to aid in digestion. He loves strawberries.

  7. hi farmgirl!
    my question for you today is:
    what's the best way to keep the cats from using the garden as their litter box?
    they have a nice, clean one inside, which they prefer to use only in the wintertime.
    thank you for any help you can give!

  8. This is a new wrinkle in my brain: turtles eating your strawberries? Havn't heard of that around here. But maybe our Georgia turtles are just wimpy. Hmmmm.

    He IS a cutie, though. :-)

  9. ooooohh. I wish I had turtles in my garden. I mean, not the part where they eat things you are trying to grow, but we don't have many tutles in Montana and definitely none in strawberry patches!

  10. Comparing pictures fromthis year and last that looks very much like the exact same turtle assuming htat like other animals each spot configuration is different on each animal. I would have to concur with whomever (steven) said to use a simple fencing system to keep them out.

  11. Oh Susan... I think you work way too hard - I bet I could convince easily convince Jeff that we should be your 'lil helpers around the farm and work for some nibbles of your fresh bounties! Plus, I'm sure he would love to sleep next to that "sheep" of his! Hee hee...

    We were planning on starting a garden this year, but alas the move has put a hold on that!

  12. I love your series on Turtle vs. Strawberries. Especially the mental image of a content turtle with berry juices running down its mouth.

    It's a testament to your skills as a strawberry farmer! :)

    I've heard of people planting two sets of edibles, one for the bugs and other creatures to eat and one for human consumption. The farmer moves the critters they find into plant bed #1. Is that something that would work, or just another urban legend?

    Lastly, it's hard to blame the turtles for wanting a little berry - it's de-lish AND happens to be "on their land." ;)

  13. I was going to respond to the turtle/strawberry post, but started reading about the loss of your beloved cats and I can barely see through the tears to type. These earth angels change our lives for the good and we are richer for it.

  14. Not sure if it's all the rain we've had in North Texas or not....but there are many "saving turtle" sightings lately. Moms stopping the car....grabbing the turtle on either side and holding it at arms length like a person holds a friends baby that has sprung a leak in the Pampers....then walking the turtle to a nearby creek area.

    Also, now I know the strawberry secret...ty

  15. You really have to pinch them all off the first year? What if you don't?

    Little secret: I didn't.

    But this year I have strawberries - and they're good. Well, the ones the damn birds don't eat anyway. Why *did* I put the birdfeeder so close to the veggie beds? Duh.

    Anyway - what horrible fate is going to befall me with my unpinched-in-their-first-year strawberries going into their second season? So far, it looks ok, but YOU NEVER KNOW.

    Turtle count: Zero. Bummer, too - they're way cuter than bastard squirrels.

  16. One of my early childhood memories is a small patch of strawberries my mother grew and a snapping turtle who came and gorged himself until he couldn't fit back into his shell. The cats harassed him and he hissed at them with his strawberry drippy, gooey mouth.

    And, it is true that you can keep some critters out of your garden by giving them something they'd like to eat in a spot they'd rather eat (as in far away from people). We have overgrown apple trees and clover at the back of our property and the deer seem to stay back there. The garden is near the front and has been safe for the most part.

  17. The slugs eat my strawberries. I wonder if turtles would prefer slugs to strawberries? I wonder if turtles would enjoy Seattle weather. hmmmm . . .


December 2015 update: Hi! For some reason I can't figure out, Blogger hasn't been letting me leave comments on my own blog (!) for the last several months, so I've been unable to respond to your comments and questions. My apologies for any inconvenience! You're always welcome to email me: farmgirlfare AT gmail DOT com.

Hi! Thanks for visiting Farmgirl Fare and taking the time to write. While I'm not always able to reply to every comment, I receive and enjoy reading them all.

Your feedback is greatly appreciated, and I especially love hearing about your experiences with my recipes. Comments on older posts are always welcome!

Please note that I moderate comments, so if I'm away from the computer it may be a while before yours appears.

I try my best to answer all questions, though sometimes it takes me a few days. And sometimes, I'm sorry to say, they fall through the cracks, and for that I sincerely apologize.

I look forward to hearing from you and hope you enjoy your e-visits to our farm!