Thursday, 16 June 2011


Well, last evening after enjoying a coffee on the balcony, I realized I had been staring at strawberry blossoms for at least half an hour n didn't even register what I was looking  YEA !!!  my 1st blooms of the season have emerged, here's to hoping some well pollinated berries are to follow. I generally hand pollinate my strawberries to ensure a consistently ripe berry, however these blooms are on the very top row of the shoebag n I don't really feel like climbing up there with my make-up brush. However in the interest of yummy berries perhaps I will make the climb.

ok you may be asking yourself "hand polinate " why ???? since strawberries are mostly self pollinating, and just a little breeze will do the job most times. Have you ever had a strawberry (either commercial or home-grown) that was only half ripe, with all these little hard nubby thingies that get stuck in your teeth n just make the berry appear only half ripe n ready to eat ? Well I was taught that this is from improper or inconsistent pollinating, the hard nubby bits of the berry are the bits that DID NOT get sufficient pollen exchange. Well I am no expert but it made sense to me, so ever since I have been hand pollinating my strawberries and I must say it does seem to make a difference to the overall quality of the berry.

Here are some pics I snapped last evening of the new strawberry blooms, and wouldn't you just know the 1st blossoms to appear are at the very top row of the grow story of my life....just gotta climb another today I guess I will be climbing up to pollinate the new arrivals...

The procedure is simple, using a clean q-tip or a clean soft new make-up brush simply rub the pollen off the stamens onto the new forming berry in the centre of the bloom, making sure to completely coat as much of the berry nub as possible....n that's it.... every berry develops, and no hard nubby bits....


  1. Good to know! I just planted my strawberry shoe bag today, and am now seeking knowledge from those that have gone on before. I must say, for you first blog this is great!
    Thank you for sharing!


  2. :) way to go ! they really like being in the shoebag...the only thing I will stress is water....water....water...and you will be eating berries in no time..
    Thanks for the comment on the blog, I did enjoy it and now have a new camera for this year so hopefully some great new pics.
    feel free to ask any other questions that arise...and enjoy those berries

  3. After hunting around on Pinterest for balcony gardening tips, I have stumbled onto this fantastic idea and blog of yours, Andrea! I am ENTIRELY new to gardening, but want very badly to begin this new venture. I love this idea, and living in an apartment it seems perfect. The idea of growing my own herbs, strawberries, and celery is so enticing! However, it is a bit scary as I really have no idea what I'm doing! I'm debating over whether I should start this or perhaps just do shoe pocket flowers of some kind. I have a few questions I would love to ask: What do you consider the difficulty level of growing your own edibles for a beginner? When is the best time of the season to begin growing edibles like these (here it is, March, and already 82 degrees where I live in Tn!)? And lastly, I have always heard that to grow strawberries, or really any berry, that you should cut them back the first season... but being that these are basically individual bushels, does this rule still apply? I would so love to hear your advice!! I am very anxious to begin!!
    Thank you so much!
    Taylor English

    1. hello Taylor, I am glad you are interested in growing strawberries and herbs. I think both would be good for the beginner level. Strawberries planted as anuals (only for one season) do not need to be cut back "just plant em and let em go"
      most any herbs do well in the shoebags...have some fun and try herbs you like to eat...nothing ventured, nothing gained..
      Shoebags are a good way to start without to much commitment on your part..good luck and happy planting :)