Sunday, August 12

Allotment Runners

I thought it was time that I dealt with the strawberry runners. I started with the new strawberry bed - the one that wasn't really planned - the one that came about because I couldn't resist potting up runners last year!

We've only had one or two strawberries from here as they took a while to get going. Rather than carry out any major surgery, I just cut off all the runners from these plants and hoed between them.
Hopefully they will continue to grow and become stronger plants for next year. Flamenco - the everbearing variety - does have flowers and immature fruit but I'm not expecting these to ripen or grow to a decent size.
The other bed needed more serious attention. As is their habit the plants had produced a mass of runners which thanks to the weed control fabric hadn't been able to root into soil. It's been an unexpected bonus of covering the ground around the plants. The mature leaves were dying back and new ones were emerging from the crown and so each plant was given the scissors treatment. All the old leaves were cut off allowing light and air to the new young shoots.
Some gardeners take shears to the plants to carry out this task but I prefer the extra control that scissors provide allowing me to more easily avoid cutting the new shoots.
The new growth should add vigour to the plants and should - weather permitting - mean a good crop next year.

You may have noticed that one section of the bed has avoided the chop. These are Flamenco - the everbearing plants. As these are still producing flowers, they may provide us with one or two more fruits before the season ends. For this reason I have replaced the protective netting.
Oh! and just in case you are wondering - I did manage to resist potting up any runners this year.

We are still managing to crop some strawberries - the alpines are still fruiting prolifically.
We're sharing these with the blackbirds. Alpines don't produce runners but self seed freely if any strawberries fall to the ground before picking or being eaten by the blackbird. I guess blackbird activity is the reason that some small plants spring up in other parts of the plot.

Still on the subject of runners - I had a pleasant surprise when I was wandering round the plot - I noticed some fully grown runner beans at the very bottom of the Painted Lady teepee.
At first I thought maybe there was just one or two but I ended up picking a couple of helpings' worth.
I think the beans beat the strawberry runners and take the gold medal for allotment runners so it's silver to the strawberry runners but I'm afraid that in spite of that this year they have all ended up on the compost heap! I really don't think a third strawberry bed is desirable however much we love strawberries.

18 comments:

  1. Your bean plant looks so very healthy. My Cobra and Scarlet Emperor beans went all yellow and sickly back in June. Some of them coming around now, but not many beans from them.

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    1. The bean plants both runner and French are growing really well and flowering well. The beans are setting and we also picked some of our yellow Frenchies today

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  2. So that's what I should have done in Autumn...Actually my plants aren't looking too bad so now i just need to keep the slugs away from them and I might even get a few berries this year...

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    1. Fingers crossed for you Liz. The slugs have been a nuisance for us this year

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  3. I've potted-up a couple of Strawberry runners too (I'm using your blog as a reference source now!). I only have very limited space available but the Strawberries I harvested this year were so nice that I feel I must try to increase my stock. I didn't know about trimming the leaves, so I'll be rushing out to do that later!

    My Runner Bean crop this year has been fantastic. I froze another 2 kilos over the weekend because we were building up a big backlog.

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    1. We recorded GW and watched it last night. Monty Don was saying how it was essential that runners were left attached to the parent plant when placed in the pot. Must admit I never do so it can't be that essential. I was very restrained this year all runners were discarded.

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  4. That's so many strawberris plant! Hope you have good harvest next season!
    The runner beans flowers are so beautiful!

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    1. Bean flowers are beautiful Malar and wouldn't look out of place in any border.

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  5. I knew you'd get runner beans in to this blog post. I thought surely she's going to mention them at the end of this strawberryness. Great blog post. Ours are going a little bit crazy. I've already potted up some runners which had rooted and they are doing fine.

    We have some everbearing and they too are producing more flowers and indeed more fruits!

    Hope you get to taste a Strawberry again before next summer!

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    1. Oh dear, Martin - I'm becoming predictable! I had to resist taking runners I just hacked with the scissors and didn't think of them. We did have one large strawberry the other day and two more are turning so it's not over yet ! The strawberry season that is!

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  6. Beds looking good Sue, I need to give my strawberries the annual 'chop' but I'm going to dig up one lot (plants are three years old) and replace with a different variety. Marshmello is a wonderful strawberry but it would be nice to have something else as well. Am thinking of 'Symphony', a Scottish variety Is it one you have any experience of?

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    1. Symphony isn't one we have every grown BW but I agree that marshmell is great

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  7. I will need to be tending to my new strawberry bed next time I visit the allotment....Glad I gained a little knowledge on getting good growth for next year through reading your post. Glad your beans have started producing...I have 'been' picking mine for a while now!!

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    1. The new strawberry shoots are growing well now too Tanya. The newer plants though are sending ourt even more runners so will need more attention! They are determined to outwit me.

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  8. First year of having strawberries on the plot for me.Your post has been very helpful for telling me what to do next.
    Thanks

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    1. Glad it was useful Peter - I'll have a good read of your blog later.

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  9. Sue, did I ask you if you wanted any Marshmello runners? I'm going to be clearing out our strawb. beds as soon as the weather allows, so let me know ASAP and I will save a dozen or so for you.

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    1. Thanks for the offer, BW but we have Marshmello

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