Tuesday, July 2

Berries in Red

Red dominates the berry scene at the moment. One of the first jobs every time we visit the plot is to pick any ripe strawberries. The different punnets contain the different varieties so that we can compare yields.  The mid season Marshmello has overtaken the early Marshmarvel in ripe berry production. The perpetual Flamenco is producing a few smaller berries and the late season Amelia although producing green berries has yet to give any to harvest.

We have a smattering of alpine strawberries but we dug up most of the old straggly plants this year and hadn't any replacements. Last year seeds failed to germinate and this years seedlings are still very small..
This year we have had more success. The first sowing didn't seem to produce enough seedlings and so a second lot of seeds was sown.
We no have four sets of 24 modules pricked out. Although they will not grow quickly enough to produce fruit this year we will have plenty to plant out later this year.
The strawberries aren't the only red berries at the moment. I am certain that the redcurrants were ripening as we worked on the allotment the other day. They seemed far redder when we left the plot than they were when we arrived.
The red berries are a blackbird magnet. The birds will do anything to get to them and seem to find a way under the net whatever precautions we take. We found one such intrepid bird under there and had no idea how she had managed to get in. She was puzzled too as she couldn't find her way back out and needed our help to escape. I searched and searched for a blackbird sized gap but couldn't find one!

Such a pity that we don't have any raspberries to add to our red berry collection - I still haven't managed to determine what has happened to the canes. We'll just have to settle for purple raspberries as Glencoe is growing well and it's loaded.
Strawberry Tip
Leave any slug nibbled strawberries in place. The offending slug will keep going back to the same strawberry to finish it off. If you remove it the hungry slug will choose another strawberry to start on. It works for us!

24 comments:

  1. Hi, I like your photos. What do you do with all this fruit?

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    1. Welcome Stella. We eat lots of strawberries fresh but we also make compotes to freeze and have with yoghurt or porridge throughout the year. We also like crumbles and lots of fresh fruit salads for desserts.

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  2. I'm envious of your strawberries. It's not such a huge harvest for us this year as our plants are new, but I'm happy to take whatever comes. I've only tried growing alpine strawberries from seed once and didn't have any success, I may give it another go. Glad you managed to free Mrs Blackbird, they'll always find a way in when there's delicious offerings inside.

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    1. Mrs Blackbird wasn't exactly co-operative, Jo. I'm sure next year you'll have a bumper harvest of strawberries.

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  3. Your strawberries look lovely. I really need to get a strawberry bed in.

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    1. You absolutely must have one GrafixMuse!

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  4. Oh so many strawberries...They are so amazing!

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    1. And I picked more today Leanan.

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  5. Mine are still green but should hopefully ripen soon, I do have a far bigger crop than last year though. I have a couple of plants still in the ground so I shall attempt to use them as a sacrificial crop.

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    1. Maybe yours are a later variety, Jo. Our late season ones are still green.

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  6. The alpine strawberries are tiddly aren't they! I've not grown strawberries for years because I always felt I needed to grow a huge amount of them to be of any value but I mus admit seeing your crop certainly has me wanting to grow some once again - I can just imagine the taste of them compared to shop bought!

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    1. Shop bought just don't compare, Linda. Some people just have a tub of them and seem to manage a worthwhile harvest

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  7. I've got a few Alpine Strawberries on the go this year, but so few that the yield will inevitably be tiny, so I am growing them just to say that I have done so! A few berries to put on top of a bowl of ice cream would be nice though...

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    1. I'm sure they will go down a treat, Mark

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  8. Mmmmmm yummy strawberries, we have more to pick so must do that soon. Thanks for the tip about the slugs, didn't think to leave them in situ, I will from now on to see if it works for us too! :o)

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    1. Just picked another batch, Julie.

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  9. I can't get over how many strawberries you have....I bet they're delicious!!! The berries look yummy too.

    I await my first strawberry with baited breath!xxxx

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    1. The are yummy, Snowbird and with a little more sun on them would be even yummier.

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  10. Thats great that you can compare so many different varieties. Not just for yield but for taste. Do you have any favourites in terms of flavour?
    My strawberries are just ripening. I'll remember that tip about leaving part eaten strawberries. Having abit of slug battle at the moment

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    1. Last year Marshmello was our best cropper Annie. I'll have to do a proper taste test to compare flavour but it tends to vary from one berry to the next.

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  11. I'm always amazed at how different varieties taste - mine are so mixed up now that I have no idea which is which some definitely have a sharper edge to them, the ones grown in the greenhouse were definitely sweeter than those grown outdoors - wonder why?

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    1. I think when they are warmer the flavour develops more Elaine and also you have more control over how much water they get. Too much water seems to give a weaker flavour.

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  12. Great looking berries Sue and thanks for the tip!

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    1. Hope your slugs behave like ours, Tanya

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