On Monday I picked the first two homegrown strawberries of the year. The one on the right is from a plant I picked up last year from the Silverlake Farmers' Market, and the one on the left is from a plant I got last weekend at OSH.
I always have a hard time deciding exactly when to pick my strawberries. I want them to get as dark red and ripe as possible, but if I wait too long they get mushy or--worse--eaten by birds. Happily, I chose a good time to pick these two because they were both firm, sweet and delicious.
With my two new OSH-purchased plants, I now have four strawberry plants growing in pots in the backyard. I'm not sure I'll ever get a substantial harvest of fruit, but they should keep providing us little treats for the next few months. Before last year, I never would have thought strawberry plants were so easy to grow.
Turns out, they're pretty simple and low-maintenance. Plus, since strawberries are perennials, the same plants provide fruit year after year. If you've never grown them before, you really should. Just plant them in a wide pot with soil and compost, put the plants in a sunny (but not too sunny) spot and water frequently. Wait a few weeks and enjoy some sweet berries straight from the plant.