The City Girl Farmer

Gardening for the Incurably Lazy
June 10, 2014, 11:49 am
Filed under: Garden | Tags: , , ,
Strawberries in the east garden

Strawberries in the east garden

I am writing this post with the intent to give hope to other amateur gardeners.  This is probably the worst gardening year I have ever had.  I have completely lacked enthusiasm, the weather hasn’t been too cooperative, weeds are starting to get out of control and whatever I have planted has gone in late.

A couple of years ago, a fellow gardener donated some extra strawberries from his garden to me.  I received them in a 5 gallon bucket and dutifully put them in the ground in the garden on the east side of our property near the house.  I love fresh strawberries and I hate weeds and I thought this would be the perfect way to have my cake and eat it too.  They are thriving despite the rather brutal weather conditions we’ve had here:  wind and frigid temperatures in the winter and drought in the summer.

At the time I planted these, there were  five scraggly plants at the bottom of the bucket that I didn’t have the heart to throw away, so I threw them into our south garden in an empty spot without much hope they would survive.  Out of the five, only one made it, but here is what it looked like this morning.

Strawberries and weeds

Strawberries and weeds


Look at what that one pathetic plant has turned into!  It is now a force the weeds must reckon with!  I must confess that I share this picture with shame.  This garden has been seriously neglected.  On the other hand, it has been interesting to observe just how productive it is with absolutely no help from me.  This is the second year that we have had volunteer lettuce and chives.  I think I’ve put about an hour’s worth of weeding in this year, just to give the lettuce a little room.

Volunteer lettuce and chives

Volunteer lettuce and chives


So, I have discovered that with almost no effort, I will have lettuce and chives from my garden this year, that because the strawberries are taking over, I won’t need to weed as much, and that the weeds which used to be the bane of my garden have now yielded to a new ground cover yielding delicious surprises.  Moral of the story?  You may give up on your garden, but it may not give up on you!

Hidden surprise

Hidden surprise

6 Comments so far
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I love this post! We just moved to a new house, where the yard has been neglected for about 20 years. There was a massive dead rose bush in the front yard, which I mercilessly pruned down to about 5 sticks that showed some green, and today I took a picture of it, covered in rose-red blooms. The day we moved in, there were 2 little daffodils blooming in the front yard, and a mass of strawberry plants next to them. Today, I am feeding all the neighborhood squirrels with strawberries (must buy a net so WE can have some too).

Comment by Paula

There is hope after all – This year I was gifted about 60 tiny strawberry plants from a home that wanted them replaced with sod (What?!? – but yes, it’s true!)
I hurriedly made raised beds for them all, mulched them with pine needles as we were still expected to have snow storms a few more times and now, after several weeks of whacky weather, only 5 of the plants look like they’ll do anything – –
And none of my chive or cumin seeds have come up, either –
But now I’m heartened – I just have to wait a couple of years!

Comment by TamrahJo

Be heartened! I have chives I could donate to your cause if you want to come dig some up, too. Let me know!

Comment by littletoe

What a great surprise!

Comment by littletoe

Did a second planting 2 weeks after the first – if they don’t come up, I’ll take you up on your offer! 🙂 Thanks

Comment by TamrahJo

Are you still farming? I really love the concept of your blog. I’m moving from the burbs to a small piece of horse property and would love your input and advice.

Comment by Sue

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