Wednesday, February 23

Dreaming of strawberries by the bucket load!

This year one of our allotment projects will be to plant up a new strawberry bed. The problem is that although they do still produce a harvest, strawberry beds (ours anyway) seem to become very weedy and impossible to weed without uprooting the plants – we even have a buddleia seedling (well it’s a shrub now) growing in one of the beds. Nowhere near where the buddleias actually are either!

Strawberry plants aren’t the longest lived of plants and it is recommended that they are replaced every three years.

If our strawberries had been planted in a more organised way I would have taken runners off existing plants but we started with four varieties which have become mixed up and it is impossible to tell which variety is which so we decided on a new start and ordered some new plants.

We ordered four varieties from Marshalls to try for as long a fruiting season as possible - Marshmarvel - early, Marshmello - main, Amelia - late and Flamenco - everbearing. Three of the varieties were sold as a collection but we wanted to add an everbearing variety and Flamenco was the one on offer. As this is one of the varieties we already have we knew it would be fine. Marshmarvel is new this year but if it is as good as Marshmello which is also exclusive to Marshalls we will be really pleased.

The plants arrived along with the snow this weekend and so needed to be potted up until such time as the new strawberry bed is ready for them.

When we plant this time we will be a bit more organised so that in future we can propagate our new plants from runners knowing just what we will be getting.

The new bed will be divided into four sections and one variety of strawberry will be planted in each section and not allowed to stray from its allotted area (well that’s the plan anyway).

There is still quite a bit of work to be done preparing the bed which looked like this at the end of last autumn. At the moment it is a muddy mess as is everywhere else on the plot (and in the garden).


I’m not sure how well the plants will fruit this year so the old beds will be left in place just in case as we couldn’t have a summer without strawberries could we?
Strawberry related articles on our website here and here. Article about alpine strawberries here.

BIRD BOX CAM UPDATE:
Yesterday a prospective tenant came and had a really good look around the nesting box. Hopefully he or she was impressed and will return with its mate!

Our camera is taking stills whenever it detects movement and so it took quite a lot of them yesterday and we have set up a bird box cam diary that can be accessed from the button on the sidebar.

30 comments:

  1. Oh, I'm sure you'll have strawberries this year. Ours did really well their first year - we had fruit less than three months after planting!

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  2. I had strawberries on my plants here the first year too. I'm hoping that my new plants for the plots won't arrive too early or I will be potting them up like you did.

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  3. I have Marshmello too. A really great tasting strawb.

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  4. I has so much problem with weeds in my strawberry bed. Then last autumn I covered the bed with some kind of cover that will let the rain in, but not the weeds out. And I planted my strawberries on that. I hope that I solved problem with weeds.

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  5. We really like Marshmello too, VH and will be careful to keep them seaparate so we can use runners next time - hope the new Marshmarvel is as good.

    We thought of doing this too Ana but wondered whether this would harbour slugs underneath and also wondered how we would apply fertiliser etc.

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  6. Oops I posted as Martyn!

    Sorry Robin - I missed your comment - we have potted up new strawberry plants before and they have been fine.

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  7. Planting up a new strawberry bed will be wonderful though I think your wise to wait a season before you remove the other....maybe you will be inundated with strawberries but I don't think you can ever have to many!!

    I know what you mean about planning to keep them in prospective beds...they really have a way of running away with themselves....I can't wait to see how successful you are with them!!

    Can't wait to see the bird cam pics!

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  8. Have you tried the link at the top of the sidebar. Tanya as we have created a new bird cam area today and yesterday's pictures are there

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  9. Regarding the fertilization of strawberries, I apply it once in 3 years (cow manure only). And strawberries should be moved to another location every 3 years, as the soil gets all kind of diseases and mold from strawberries.
    Regarding the slugs, so far they don't go to my strawberry bed, so I'm not sure...

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  10. I have three varieties of strawberries in my existing bed, but they've got all jumbled up now. I've still taken runners which are potted up in the greenhouse. I'm going to do the same as you and create a new bed for them this year but leave in the existing bed until the new ones get going. I've also got some new everbearers potted up waiting for a bed to be created for them. I hope I get a good strawberry harvest this year as I want to have my first go at making jam.

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  11. We tend to steer clear of manure Ana since our problems with it and use fish, blood and bone which would be a bit more of a problem to apply if we used a weed matting.

    I'm loathe to do away with the old beds Jo until they stop giving a decent crop and this year hopefully they will still be OK to mean we will get some fruit.

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  12. Wishing you a good harvest! Good luck with keeping them organised and apart. I suspect this might be difficult to achieve. Do Strawberry plants like those ones you bought produce a viable crop in their first year?

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  13. Hey,

    This is a inquiry for the webmaster/admin here at glallotments.blogspot.com.

    Can I use some of the information from this blog post above if I give a link back to your website?

    Thanks,
    Daniel

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  14. Thanks, that's an interesting post about Stawberries :) Steve is keen to try some this year - I'm perfectly happy with Raspberries and Loganberries. We do have oodles of wild strawberries but that's not satisfying him so I guess we shall be trying. Mo

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  15. In answer to the request from Daniel - please email (link on sidebar) more information such as where you want to use the information from this post.

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  16. We have alpine srawberries too, Mo(the same as wild ones only we grow them from seed) but they are different to the big cousins - let Steve have his way on this one.

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  17. Your bird box cam is just fabulous! What a great idea. I haven't seen any activity around the box our blue tits nest in every year, but will have to look more closely if they're already checking out yours in February.
    Good luck with those strawberries. My MIL was always very organized with hers, carefully propagating in the three-year rhythm, marching the column of plants along through the garden. I always admired her greatly.

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  18. wow thats a lot of strawberry plant to grow. I only plan to sow the alpine strawberry seeds this autumn for the kids on containers. Because growing them on the ground is so hard to pick and the slug eat them.

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  19. I hope to do the same as yor MIL, Barbara once we have the strawberries set out so we know which are which. I think the only ones which don't really send out runners are the Flamenco ever bearers.

    Slugs are a problem with strawberries, Diana, but I have learned to leave the ones nibbled in place as the slugs return to the ones they have started and if those have been removed they move on to a new strawberry. Apparently they follow their trails from previous visits! It seemed to work last year.

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  20. Commiserations on the mud front - I have the same problem. I've rescued a number of (unknown) strawberry plants from the plot. They were planted through weed suppressant membrane. Useless! Just as weedy as the uncovered ground and harder to clear! I collected loads of new runners from our own strawberry plants but totally failed to label which variety they were. Also uselss... Good luck with your strawberries, both new and old.

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  21. Recentemente ho trovato il vostro blog e hanno letto insieme. Ho pensato di lasciare il mio primo commento. Non so cosa dire se non che mi sono goduto la lettura. bel blog.

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  22. Let's hope we both have luck with our strawberries Janet - I think I'll plant ours a little further apart so that weeding may be easier.

    Ciao, Anonymous benvenuti e grazie per il commento

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  23. My neighbour gave me a load of runners at the weekend and I spent yesterday potting them up. I can't wait to plant them in their own little raised bed and for the strawberry season to start!

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  24. It seems at the moment it is all anticipation isn't it Fran?

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  25. Best of luck with your strawberries, I've got loads to plant out as well, just need to find somewhere to put them!

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  26. It's well worth finding somewhere Damo.

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  27. Sorry Mark - I missed your comment - I can but try and keep them apart Mark - not sure about the harvest this year but I'll be keeping the old pnes just in case. Don't like getting rid of plants until they are no longer performing.

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  28. Veg Heaven sent me Marshmello runners last year, bless her, and they grow like crazy. Although I took a load of runners off last season, there are already enough to set out a new bed. Would like to get some other varieties as well.

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  29. Sorry Anon - I just found this in blogger spam so I guess my reply is too late - I'd be happy for you to use some info if you offer a backlink as long as your site isn't inappropriate. Can I look at your site.

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