Strawberries

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Chazza

Strawberries

Has anyone else seen outstanding strawberry growth this year? We ended up with a collection of runners from several varieties including some odds and ends contributed by my sister and they're all huge, with tons of flower.

We put calcinated seaweed on them for the first time, does anyone know whether that's the main cause, or is it just that they've received the kind of weather they like this year.

They're all outdoors in prepared beds and they've had all the sun that's been available - barring weed shade - but no other special care. Unless we get hailstorms or a plague of slugs it looks like there's going to be a bumper crop.

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Expat Badger

strawbs

we inherited some with the house but dug them up after we realised we had no chance vs the birds...was a waste of a good flowerbed!

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Chazza

strawbs

Do you have exceptionally big net-stealing birds?

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Honey

Strawberries

Everything is taller this year, including the strawberries. The seaweed will have helped certainly make strong plants. But did you put something on to help them flower (Top Rose or Tomerite)? This is usually done in about March and helps give a good crop. Lush foliage doesn't always mean lots of flowers. But strong healthy plants will flower more readily than feeble ones.

After all this rain, slugs could be a problem and so it might be an idea to surround them with straw to keep the strawberries dry and off the soil. We have laid weed suppressant around ours and it does seem to help with the pests and weeds of course... but, the downside is you have to root your runners in adjoining plant pots and remember to water them.

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Chazza

Strawberries

"Everything is taller this year, including the strawberries." Here in particular we have loads of bluebells and forget-me-nots, and the ex-Christmas tree is loaded with cones. But the forsythia and the blossom trees have suffered because of the winds. Whether they were successfully pollinated is a question, we shall see, but from the look of the streaming eyes and noses the pollen output was high, just a matter of whether it made it to its destinations.

We didn't add anything to encourage blossom on the strawberries and still there's a surprising amount, but I'll remember those products (Top Rose or Tomerite) for next March as a good year is often followed by a slow one.

"Lush foliage doesn't always mean lots of flowers." Yes, sometimes distressed plants try the hardest to flower but not these triffids.

We have them on a good bed of straw to keep the fruit off the ground and make it tough for the slugs, but no weed suppressant (just me). Soon it will be time for nets to keep the bird tax down, tucked in well at the base - our birds are clever at getting inside them!

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Honey

Strawberries

Chazza, re the nets. I got my husband to make me a frame onto which we fixed the net because I hadn't the patience with the net. So now I just have to lift off the frame/box. It's a bit ungainly (a two man job). Should have made several smaller ones, but it works well. Did the same for the blueberries, but made individual ones for those.

We have newly planted raspberries this year (still small, but all the rain has got them off to a good start) and anticipate we will need a walk-in cage for those... which I know you can buy... but pricey and so I may have to talk nicely to him again for next year.

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Chazza

Strawberry nets

It seems you have a pretty sophisticated system in place but I think we'll stay with plain nets though as they wrap up so easily and fit into very small spaces when not in use.

I believe raspberries take at least one season to get properly established but after that they start spreading like mad, watch out for them escaping from their cage :-)

We'll be needing nets for the redcurrants also.

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Honey

Raspberries

We watched Monty Don plant his raspberries and have made the same structure that he had... two sturdy poles either end of the row, with thick wires going between, going up at intervals and about a foot apart. Hoping to be able to tie the raspberry canes to the wires and in future years try and keep them tidy by pruning out the old growth. Not had a lot of success with raspberries in the past because we just don't get enough rain here (this year is an exception). But we are gluttons for punishment and are trying again. We shall see. I always say I won't bang my head against a brick wall.... but looks like I'm doing it again.

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Expat Badger

strawb

we do have exceptionally big birds (bald eagles!) but i confess we did not use nets...

i hate the look of them and the garden's only wee so we can't 'hide' them anywhere - out in plain sight next to the roses

would have looked a bit naff so we stick to veg in the veg patch

(as an aside if i do see an eagle circling i get the cat in - fat as she is i do worry!!

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Chazza

Strawberries and eagles

"...as an aside if i do see an eagle circling i get the cat in - fat as she is i do worry!!"

Eagles? I'm impressed. I love the image of eagles stealing strawberries. We don't have much of an eagle problem here in suburban London, we're more likely to have our cats taken by the ghastly foxes.

Once I saw one considerably bigger than a full grown labrador using a local zebra crossing in full daylight. It was about four feet long plus a tail, had a round cross section, unlike the oval dog shape, and was as muscular as one of those fighting dogs like a pit bull. And it had its wife with it, she was pretty big too.

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Expat Badger

strawbs and birds

haha Chazza - not actually seen the eagles take the strawbs - they prefer the critters.

The swarms of smaller birds on the other hand...hmmm. They all sit along the fence eyeing up the garden to see what looks good!

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Sue G

Strawberries

We have two window boxes with strawberry plants from last year. I had forgotten all about them and when they died off put them in the garage. We then moved house and kids left them out on the wall, only yesterday did i noticed they had all grown back.

We also have a nursery, in the next village where you can pick your own fruit & veg. They have acres of ground but plant everything in grow bags. Last years we went and they had 8 huge polly tunels full of strawberry. You can't stay to long in there due to the heat.
For those at the age when bending down is to difficult they have strawberry planted 1 metre off the ground.
Kids are waiting until July when Ecole finishes to go and pick some for there jam. Still have 15 pots left from last year.

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Chazza

Straberries growing back, Heston

"... they had all grown back." Excellent news, Sue G. Tough little blighters aren't they? Are they still yours or part of your legacy back at the house you moved from?

By the way, did my ears deceive me earlier today? I was cooking some mushrooms and thought I heard H Blumenthal on TV (in another room) telling us about the Kenyan strawberries we should be buying for our Jubilee celebrations.

Did anyone else hear / see this?

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Dottie May

Kenyan Strawberries

No, I didn't hear Heston saying to use them and hope that isn't true. See Waitrose are advertising this week - buy one get one free - not sure if they would be Kenyan? I won't be buying them if they are. Just noticed the advert on the right which says they are British strawberries.

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Chazza

Kent, not Kenya

Humblest apologies, I thought I'd better check before I caused some horrible backlash, so I found the advertisement on YouTube and it is for strawbs grown in Kent, not Kenya.

Must pay attention, bad, naughty step for me.

 
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