Del Norte Gardening: Local berries!

By Paul Madeira and Julie Jo Ayers Williams May 17, 2013 04:44 pm

Paul Madeira checks out a previous year’s strawberry harvest, above. The berries are ripening now, as is rhubarb, below.
Paul Madeira checks out a previous year’s strawberry harvest, above. The berries are ripening now, as is rhubarb. Del Norte Triplicate file / Bryant Anderson
The heat wave came and went, the lightning struck and the rains fell.

Our rhurbarb was as confused as we were and has sent up its “white flag,” the mighty seed stock. Though it’s a magnificent sight, I’d rather the plant be focused on more established roots, and bigger stalks at this point in the season.

After all, strawberry-rhurbarb anything (pie, cobbler, crisp, jam ect.) is an all-time favorite seasonal treat, and the strawberries are just starting to ripen.

That’s right, good news for all, the strawberries harvests are soon to begin again!  Talk about a wonderful season opener. Delicious gems, mounding in those little green baskets, a perfect componet to kick off the Farmer’s Market season slated for June 1.

We can’t wait to see ya all there! Bok choi, chard, kale, lettuce, peas, radishes and green onions should all be there too. Mark it on your calendar.

By the way, for our growing region, based on historical records, we should no longer have to worry about frosts.  Plant with more confidence from this point forward.  

As your seeds emerge and turn into seedlings, envison each plant fully grown, think about the space it will need, and thin accordingly. It’s a very common struggle with new gardeners, not wanting to kill healthy young seedlings, but aged gardeners will tell you it’s worth it in the end.

Plants need space, every plant has different growing habits, so check the plant tag, look it up on a book, or use the ol’ google tool. Plants also need adequate nutrients; not all soil types can sustain dense plantings.

Not sure how rich your soil is? Be a bit more generous with the spacing.  If, however, space is limited while high yields are desired, really care for your soil so the soil can care for your plants.

Plants also need water.  Like us, they like it on a regular basis. Try to get into a routine, but remember gardening is a dance. There can be routines and there can be improv, the sunlight hours, temperature, and wind are all dance partners at times, taking over the lead and we’re left doing our best to follow.

We’ll be hosting our annual Spring Fling Farm Potluck on Sunday June 2 from 1 to 4 p.m. Bring a dish and share how your garden dance goes.

Peas be with you.

Del Norte Gardening runs monthly. Paul Madeira and Julie Jo Ayer Williams own Ocean Air Farms in Fort Dick. Have a question or suggestion? Email it to ocean This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it and it may be addressed in a future column.