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Beginner Gardening: Help with plant identification

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Forum: Beginner GardeningReplies: 15, Views: 236
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January 9, 2001
7:54 PM

Post #470

I was rummaging around in the basement of my old barn when I found what looks like a whole bunch of strawberry plants growing right in the soil floor!

I wonder if they really are strawberries. If they are, I'm going to transplant them somewhere a little more hospitable.

Anyway, I took a picture in case anyone would like to look at it and tell me if it is indeed strawberry:

And, also, just for fun, here is a picture of my barn:

You can see that it is going to fall down any moment now. I think the trees are the only thing keeping it up. :)

Moorestown, NJ
(Zone 7b)

January 10, 2001
8:07 AM

Post #46927

Hi Dave!

Well, first off, the disclaimer: I'm no expert, but it looks like it might be an ornamental strawberry.

It's kind of hard to tell from the picture. The ornamentals tend to have "runners" and are a bit sturdier than regular strawberries, so I assume that would be what that plant is, since most strawberries would be dead at this time of year. (unless your barn is extremely warm (which from the picture, looks doubtful!) LOL!

Either way, they're both valuable plants (to the right person!) could probably trade the ornamentals if you didn't want them. Many people like them as they're pretty ground covers.


January 10, 2001
11:32 AM

Post #46930

Thanks for the info. I'll leave them where they are and watch them this spring and see what they do.

Bay City, MI
(Zone 6a)

January 10, 2001
12:26 PM

Post #46933

the barn wood looks good still-im thinking fences for climbing vines-and all kinds of craft stuff! ;]

January 10, 2001
12:46 PM

Post #46939

Oh yeah, the wood is all in great condition! I'm going to be emptying out the barn and tearing it down sometime this year, and I'll be keeping the wood for all kinds of uses.

As a matter of fact, just this morning I'm planning to go down and pull some of those 12x1x12's out of the basement of the barn to use as cold frames!!

Saint Louis, MO
(Zone 5b)

January 10, 2001
1:28 PM

Post #46948

Did you take the photos I just looked at with a digital camera you were talking about getting? If you did, what kind did you get?


January 10, 2001
1:39 PM

Post #46949

Yes, I sure did. The camera arrived on Monday, and I'm getting good use out of it.

It's a Fuji Finepix 1300, purchased at for $229.

All the pictures in my journal were also taken with this camera. It takes great closeup shots. I'm still learning how to use the camera, but so far I'm happy as a clam with it!

I do wish, however, that it had a zoom feature, but for $229, what are you gonna do? :)

Brewers, KY
(Zone 6b)

January 10, 2001
2:47 PM

Post #46956

Dave, the plants do look like those wild strawberries we have growing around here. They make little berries, not to be eaten. They grow wild all over here in S.Louisiana. Mostly in shaded areas. They are very pretty. Do you have a county agent/extension office close by? If not, maybe email the pic. to your local extension office. They are really helpful there!Tons of info on what grows best for your zone too. Bye, Lisa

January 10, 2001
3:21 PM

Post #46959

Thanks for the tip. The closest extension agent is in Knoxville, which is 30 miles away. Fortunately, he uses E-mail and has answered several questions for me.

He also got me in touch with someone who is going to snailmail me some plans for a 20x10 greenhouse.

I'm thinking a soil test is next...


(Zone 6a)

January 11, 2001
12:06 PM

Post #47063

Geeze, Dave, you almost cost me a lot of money. I went to yesterday and spent a good long time purusing cameras and telescopes - cameras to take pics of my new grandbaby and telescopes for sky watching (I already have a spotting scope for bird watching). They have some great buys there - I managed to contain myself and didn't buy anything - but I'll keep the site at the top of my list of good sites.

BTW - I love your barn!

January 11, 2001
12:30 PM

Post #47071

Hi foxglove, that was a close call!! :-)

I wish I could buy one of those super-duper professional camera that cost $900. Maybe next year. :)

I love my barn, too. It must be 100 years old. It's too bad that I have to take it down, but it is way too unstable. I am nervous just walking around inside. It's going to go crashing down the hill anyday - hopefully with no children playing in/around it!

Hence, it must come down in a controlled fashion.

Richmond, KY
(Zone 6b)

January 11, 2001
2:30 PM

Post #47112


I suspect, from the block foundation, that the barn isn't as old as you suspect. More likely it's post-WW II. But the wood is great. More than likely it is either poplar or oak---the two most common barn-board materials used in the mid-south.

If you invest in a 12" planer, the barn will keep you in really good wood for lots of projects---fine work as well as gross things like cold-frames and raised beds. Just make sure you remove _all_nails and other metal before planing.

When you start dismatling the barn, build a set of racks and lay the boards on it, with about an inch of space between them. Lay the second layer at 90 degrees. Keep alternating that way. This will allow air circulation and keep them from rotting. Under no circumstances lay the boards on the ground. And it doesn't hurt to cover the whole pile with a plastic tarp to keep rain off it. When the new barn is built, store the old wood up in the rafters, laying flat.

The plants look like wild strawberries to me. Especially as they are green this time of year. They make a pretty ground cover, but are very invasive; so be careful about where you transplant them. They prefer some shade and dampness (which is probably why they are happy in the old barn.
Efland, NC
(Zone 7a)

January 12, 2001
3:23 PM

Post #47261

Morning all...Dave, those are definitely strawberries. However, here in NC, and I suppose in your area also, we have two kinds. "Wild strawberries" and "Indian strawberries" (also known as Mock strawberries). The wild strawberry produces small but VERY sweet fruit, oftentimes more tasty than the modern-day cultivated ones. Watch those plants when they flower. The wild variety has white flowers. The mock strawberry produces small tasteless pulpy fruit...I've eaten them but just to see what they really taste like. The mock strawberry has YELLOW flowers.
In your picture it looks to me like the leaf has three leaflets, but sometimes my eyes fail me so tell me if I'm right. The only other plant that is sometimes confused w/strawberry would be a similar-looking one called cinquefoil, however, it has five leaflets. Have fun!
Philadelphia, PA
(Zone 6b)

January 12, 2001
5:37 PM

Post #47273

Hi Dave,
I have lots of wild strawberries growing around here and they flower white, as horseshoe mentioned. I haven't tried to eat them but they sure are beautiful and they flower all summer. They seem to be resistant to bugs, mildew and diseases just from me looking at them all growing season. Mine do better growing in mostly shade.
Huntington Beach, CA
(Zone 10a)

January 13, 2001
6:21 PM

Post #47352

Do be very careful taking down that barn!! It looks like a bunch of pic up sticks, and you know what happens when you take one out of the middle, ut oh. LOL

Chamois, MO
(Zone 5a)

January 16, 2001
10:55 PM

Post #47655

Dave, They sure look like wild strawberries to me. Like horseshoe said they are small but are so very sweet. I live here in central mo and the wild ones are still green here. Save some because I'm sure you will love them. My 2 cents. Vernon

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