Thursday, June 5

Strawberries- this year

Our main strawberry bed was planted up in 2011 and so is really coming to the end of its productive life. It's recommended that strawberry plants are renewed after three or four years.

We have four varieties of strawberries - twelve plants of each - planted in a largish rectangular bed.
As you can see from the photo above the varieties are looking quite different. Marshmarvel - an early variety that should fruit in May but never has - is in the top right quarter .
Marshmarvel
This variety has been a disappointment having never really produced many fruits. Neither have the plants been very strong growing and now many have died off completely.

On the front right of the bed is Marshmello a mid season fruiter. This has produced healthy growing plants that have cropped well in previous years but are now starting to look tired.
Marshmello
Next to Marshmello at the front left is Amelia. This is a late fruiting variety that has produced fairly well. The plants still look healthy and look as though they may be the source of most of this year's fruit.
Amelia
Finally at the back left is Flamenco a perpetual fruiting variety. The plants still look strong but being perpetual means the plants never produces a bumper crop.
Flamenco
This week as fruit was setting and beginning to turn red we decided netting was needed. 
You may remember that we had laid strips of weed control fabric between the rows. The plants had already been planted when we decided to use the fabric. This wasn't ideal and required lots of bits of wood and brick to hold it down so we decided to apply a mulch of wood chippings before netting the bed against the birds.
We have an overspill strawberry bed in which I planted the rooted runners that I just couldn't bring myself to throw away. These will be left unprotected so the birds can have a nibble at those.
The alpine strawberries are also producing lots of flowers.
We use these to edge fruit beds.
Alpine strawberries
You need lots of alpine strawberry plants to achieve a decent harvest and also they need to keep being replenished and so we have sown two lots of seed this year. The first lot have produced young plants nearly ready for the plot.
The second lot  are still fairly tiny.
These are all Baron Solemacher which was a free packet of seeds probably in a magazine.


By the way slugs and snails tend to return to the site of a previous feast so if you leave a nibbled strawberry on the plant, the chances are that the fiend will return to that berry until it is finished rather than moving on to the next berry.



24 comments:

  1. Your post has reminded me that I have protected my Strawberries from birds, but not yet from slugs. I wil rectify this over the weekend, because some of my plants have berries that are getting quite big now. I like the idea of the "sacrificial" planting of the spares - I just hope the birds understand the concept too. They seldom go for Second Best! Do the Alpines not self-seed, or expand via runners like the ordinary ones?

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    1. We do get some self seeding from the alpines but we tend to pick most of the fruit. The varieties we have planted so far don't produce runners - maybe the Baron will

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  2. A few ripening strawberries here too. My new strawberry bed at the allotment isn't looking as good as I thought it would. I'm not sure why. Hopefully next year it will have improved. I've got a few little alpine strawberries at the plot, and I'm waiting to see what the fruit is like, and then I'll decide whether to keep them or not. They do seem to spread quite quickly.

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    1. Our alpines bulk up but don;t spread CJ. Maybe you have a runner producing variety.

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  3. now this post was a education what a good idea having some overspill fruits for the birds

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    1. I have to admit that this wasn't the original plan, David. We do let the blackbird in to the redcurrants when we have had what we want thiugh.

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  4. You are good to your birds, strawberries especially for them. I'm pleased with how my strawberry bed is looking so far, I wasn't sure if I'd get much of a harvest but they look to be doing ok. They do need netting though, that's the next job to be done when this rain lets up, oh, and weeding too.

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    1. Not so kind as to grow them specially for the birds, Jo - just left without netting.

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  5. Strawberry season is over here in Kentucky....this year we just bought from a nearby farm and froze the berries. Which of your varieties do you think is the sweetest? Thanks for info!

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    1. All the varieties have produced sweet strawberries, Juliet but also all have produced less sweet fruits. I think it depends on how much rain or sun the developing plants have been subjected to.

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  6. We planted alpine strawberries in the border in front of the house. Now I get seedlings of it everywhere. Though I much prefer the regular strawberries.

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    1. Alpines are definitely not a substitute, Daphne.

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  7. I suppose the lesson here is to have several varieties, that way you always get fruit. I love strawberries and wish I had room for more....my lawn shrinks each year! I always keep the runners too....I find it hard to compost anything that may grow.xxx

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    1. We try to grow more than one variety of most things, Snowbird - just to hedge our bets.

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  8. Sue- have you grown any dark(ish) pink flowered varieties? I saw some in in an old Victorian walled veg garden recently- they looked lovely- but I wonder what they taste like?

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    1. No I haven't, Jill - a plot neighbour did once and they are pretty but I don't know how they fruited,

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  9. that' a lot of varieties! Hope the young seedling will grow and produce enough fruits for you! ;)

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    1. There are never enough strawberries, Malar

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  10. Here the plants are in bloom right now but there are no fruit yet (there are south of here near Toronto). It looks like it might be a good year as there are lots of flowers.

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    1. AS long as all the rain keeps off, Alain.

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  11. I love to see strawberry's plots in so many gardens. They look so interesting. I have been looking for some varieties of strawberry that adaptable on my hot and wet climate. I have ever heard about it, but I haven't find it yet.

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    1. I hope you succeed in your search, Enddah

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  12. Do you find the chipping keeps the slugs off ?

    Alan

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    1. I can't answer that yet Alan as we have only just spread it and only one or two strawberries are ripe.

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