Sunday, March 27

Update from the strawberry patch

The strawberries are all tidied now and so I had a chance to assess how each variety had fared over winter. You may remember that we planted new plants last year so they have just come through their first winter. Although this was mild it was also very wet.

We planted though weed control fabric mulched with bark chippings.

As expected last year the plants produced very little fruit but they kept me busy removing the prolific number of runners. 

We ordered eight varieties - ten plants of each. These were initially grown on in pots and planted out on 10 April - almost a year ago.
Cambridge Favourite
Cambridge Favourite has been around for some time but is still a favourite variety. It is reputed to crop heavily and have good disease resistance. Fruit is produced from mid June. All the plants we planted have survived and look strong.
Elsanta
Elsanta has so far been a disappointment . It was one that we had high expectations of. A couple of the plants died off in the pots before planting. It is supposed to fruit at the same time as Cambridge Favourite but the plants are  at nothing like the same stage. A couple seem to have disappeared completely.
Royal Sovereign
Royal Sovereign dates back to 1892 and is said to survive through the years for good reason. Another variety that should fruit from mid June. Like Cambridge favourite the plants look well.
Marshmello
We have grown Marshmello before and found it to be a good cropper.  It should produce fruit from late May. Although the plants are small they look to be producing some good new growth. One plant seems to have disappeared.
Vibrant
Vibrant isn't living up to its name at all with quite a few plants having disappeared and the rest producing little growth. It's supposed to be an early cropper and so it has some catching up to do. 
Fenella
Fenella is reputed to be a tough plant that stands up well to humid and rainy conditions. It crops from mid July. All our plants look strong and healthy.
Cupid
Cupid is another late cropper reputed to be a vigorous grower with very good disease resistance.  Our plants are growing well.
Malwina
Malwina is another late variety said to have a high level of disease resistance although since buying I have read that this variety can be susceptible to a problem whereby leaves grow from the fruits - I hope that we don't experience this problem. At this point the plants are doing well.

Hopefully the next stage will be to taste test sun-ripened fruit. A girl can dream can't she?

Copyright: Original post from Our Plot at Green Lane Allotments http://glallotments.blogspot.co.uk/ author S Garrett

31 comments:

  1. I will really miss my strawberry patch, I really need to see if I can squeeze some plants in the garden somewhere and if not, I think I shall grow some in a container.

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    1. Have you room on a patio for one of those troughs on legs, Jo?

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    2. Lots of room on the patio but I'd prefer them in the ground if I can manage it.

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  2. Looking forward to further reports - particularly the taste test when that comes. I've concentrated on renovating my Marshmello patch this year by adding weed suppressant fabric, not easy with an established patch. I'm hoping they will reward me with a better return.

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    1. We are looking forward to the taste test too, Mal. Marshmello has been good for us in the past.

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    2. I meant to add that we had the same problems adding fabric to a mature patch - this time it was much easier,

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  3. Congratulations Sue - you are so very well organized!

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    1. Let's hope that the plants are well orgabnsed intiofruiting now, Alain

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  4. Never had much joy with strawberries, other than the Alpine ones that have escaped, but that is okay by me as they provide a delicious treat while I'm working and rummaging around the garden! I might be persuaded to give them another go this summer ~ we'll see!

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    1. We will be resowing alpines this year, Deborah as ours were not too good last year. Maybe worn out.

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  5. Oh a job well done Sue and one that still awaits me. My plants will be three years old this summer so I suppose I should be investing in new ones to take over. I grow ' Cambridge Favourite' too and it has proved most productive and tasty. The other variety in the bed is 'Albion' which more than passes the taste test but hasn't cropped well. Time to investigate alternatives. Hard to get my head around that we will be eating them before too long :)

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    1. I'll bear Albion in mind, Anna in case any of ours fade away completely.

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  6. That's quite the strawberry patch you have! It's a great idea to get varieties that crop over different periods of time. Our bed will need to be renewed as well - ideally it would have been done this year, but have decided to wait until next as there are other priorities this year.

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    1. Our renewal was about a year late too, Margaret which meant last year was a lean strawberry year.

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  7. They're looking really good. Cupid is a new one to me. I'm hoping my plants do better this year, last year there was barely a strawberry to be seen. Let's hope this is a bumper year.

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    1. I wonder whether the weather last year wasn't conducive to a good strawberry crop, CJ?

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  8. An interesting update, I shall certainly avoid Elsanta and Vibrant! Looks like you're in for a fab strawberry crop with the rest of the varieties!xxx

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    1. Maybe those two varieties would do better elsewhere, Dina. It would be interesting to hear from anyone growing them successfully.

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  9. Interesting, Sue! I still have no idea to grow strawberry on the ground, here. Too much risk, especially the humidity and the heat.

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    1. Weather is an important factor, Endah but in the other hand you can grow lots of fruit that we can only dream of growing.

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  10. You have 8 varieties Sue, and I have 2 only but the same problems. I've read about new way to grow strawberries - between tomatoes and I want to try this year. When ground is soft after frost I'll divide the 3d year plants and move them to tomatoes. What do you think?

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    1. I've never hear of that, Nadezda. What advantages are there supposed to be?

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  11. I have almost given up growing strawberries at the allotment if the birds don't eat them before the nets go on the slugs do! If you need any help with your taste test...

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    1. I've found that if I leave the strawberries that have been nibbled on the plant the slugs return to the same fruit whereas if it is removed they start on another Brian. Do you know I have a feeling that we will be just fine with the taste test but thanks for the offer :-)

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    2. Superb idea to leave already damaged fruit on the plant! thank you :-}

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  12. Marshmello is a great favourite here too.

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    1. Here's hoping that it does as well as in the past, Jayne

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  13. That's a lot of strawberry varieties! Hope you have abundance harvest! ;)

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  14. You are going to get a lovely crop from that lot Sue :) For some reason I've never had luck with strawberries - I think maybe I expect too much from them and so the odd daily picking of 3-4 strawberries from several plants seems a little dissappointing. I think I envisioned a punnet load lol. I may try them again this year :)
    I hope you have a better crop this year than last and no more plants disappear.

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    1. I hope so, Linda. I would be disappointed if I was only picking 3 or 4 strawberries at a time too.

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