Monday, September 26, 2011

Plugging Along

So, I promised a blog on plugging strawberries. I thought it deserved its own little post, since it is a bit of a process, and no one has thirty minutes to sit there and read a blog (okay so I promise it won't take that long, but when you combined it with everything else I was talking about last post it was a little lengthy).  I did a video blog about this, but I have to learn to hold the microphone on my camera a little further away because you can hear me breathing.  It's really bad. 

We got back from the mountains Tuesday night and first thing Wednesday we had the help here ready to plug. We got 20,000 tips from Darnell Farms in three varieties. You know when you're out there picking strawberries and it's been real hot, and the plants have started running? Well that's what a tip is, those runners that have been cut off the plant. Thursday we got 29,000 tips from Fresh Pik and they come from Nova Scotia. So we had 49,000 tips to plug asap.

First things first though, we had to get the trays ready. This is an extremely dirty process (not to mention the trays are a thin plastic so it's really easy to cut your hands like a paper cut, then they get filled with dirt, it's not pretty). Last year The Husband, Luke N (I say that since I have 2 Lukes now), my father-in-law and I filled all the trays with dirt on what felt like the hottest day of the year. This time since we were in so much hurry we had part of the help filling them. Basically it's the easiest thing in the world to do. We get these trays that put 50 plants in them and fill them with the equivalent of potting soil. The problem is that you can't pack them too tightly or you won't be able to stick the tips in them.

Getting an early start
After you have trays, it's time to stick the tips, or plug them.  The tips are usually shaped like a hook and you just put them in the dirt end of the hook in first.  Once you get the hang of it, and get in a groove you can plug a tray in no time.

Tips looking for a home

Then we put them in the ark beside our house.  We mist them with water every minute and a half for 12 seconds all day long.  It will take them a little over three weeks to be ready to plant, and over that time we slowly back off on the water a little.  Ours have been stuck three weeks now and they are looking good, growing new leaves and roots and some are even running just a little.  Next week they'll be ready to set out and provide me with another blog topic.  It's great how that works out sometimes :)  

(Almost) Finished product

No comments:

Post a Comment