What a reward for a hot afternoon of thinning out my garden! A sweet wild strawberry.
I let many things grow in my garden along with my chosen plants, and wild strawberries are one plant that grows all over, wherever it pleases. It’s fairly short, just a crown of leaves, sprouts and grows early and reliably at the beginning of June I find tiny sweet-tart berries. The leaves shade the ground and act as a natural mulch around taller plants, and their shallow root system doesn’t compete with plants like tomatoes, peppers and corn. Where beans, salad greens and root crops like beets and carrots are concerned I remove them so they don’t shade the shorter plants, but I usually transplant them elsewhere. One great benefit is that the bunnies and groundhog like the leaves—a lot—and will often choose the strawberry leaves over my garden plants.
So it was that I was pulling other plants from around the tomatoes and encountered the first wild strawberry of the year. And more to come, as you see below.