Wednesday, June 29, 2016

We Have Strawberries!

Our new strawberry plants (planted last year) are starting to bear.  This is a week earlier than I've ever had ripe berries before.

The three varieties we're trying are Annapolis, Cavendish and Earliglow.  I did get a few of the Earliglow a couple of days ago and now a few more today.  The harvest today was the first one for the Annapolis.  The Cavendish seem to be a little behind in ripening, so we've yet to sample them.


So far, the Annapolis have the best flavor, by far.  The Earliglow have a good "strawberry" flavor but are a smidge on the sour side compared to the Annapolis. 

These three varieties are June Bearers.  We also planted a small amount of everbearing strawberries, Seascape variety, which are supposed to come in earlier than any of the June bearers, take a rest mid-summer and then produce another crop in late summer after the June bearers are done.


I'm beginning to think it doesn't work that way in northern Minnesota.  The everbearers are just now giving us a couple of berries (paltry harvest shown above), right about at the same time the June bearers are.  Hmmm.  The most disappointing thing, so far anyway, is that when we taste tested the Seascape everbearers, they had almost no strawberry flavor and were kinda "watery."  I've tried growing everbearing strawberries once before without much luck, so I'm not sure why I thought this time around would be different.  (Slow learner, am I?)


Yikes, what IS that?

 Just a selfie of my knees after a day of gardening.  While wearing shorts.  Which I don't do very often because it hurts to crawl around on bare knees.  All of the ugliness washed off in the shower tonight, and I sustained no permanent damage (I'm sure you're glad to hear).  I normally prefer to garden in long pants, but it was so hot today that both Papa Pea and I changed to shorts while the day was still young.  He was doing various jobs, mostly shredding brush and mowing so his knees didn't end up looking anything like mine.

I'm going to try to be very organized and keep track of the quantity (in pounds) of strawberries we get from our various varieties planted.  And will the flavor of the berries remain the same through the picking season?  I suppose that may depend on the rain, sun, temperature, etc. that we get while they're bearing.

Speaking of rain, it started raining again here about 45 minutes ago.  I do wish I could send some of it to those of you who could use it.  Obviously, not to West Virginia though.  My heart goes out to those who lost so much in the flooding.  Makes our frequent rains so inconsequential.

31 comments:

Vera said...

We haven't tried growing strawberries yet, but your harvest has got me thinking that we ought to have a go next year. They look very yummy.

Kev Alviti said...

I'm useless at growing strawberries although I have sown lots of white alpines (which are great) and a load more alpines this year. How do you grow yours and keep other animals from eating them?

Sue said...

I had grown those Seascapes--I was never happy with the production or the taste. I thought perhaps it was me. Guess the variety is a "bust". Give it another year, and then, if you still don't like em--stick on a table next to the road and "rehome" them. Send em packing!
:D

Kristina said...

We planted everbearing here and do not like them. Not much of a harvest, small and most died last year anyway. I don't usually wear shorts to the garden either, ha ha!

Annie's Journal said...

Mama Pea, I'm always amazed and impressed with 'prof-gardeners' who knows every variety they grow, and able to keep track of it all too! We also grow strawberries in our garden but we never find out the name nor able to say what special taste they give! In fact, they never get into a plate like in your photo either. All strawberries are long composted by human tummies by now...but I think they are starting to give a few more flowers again?! Rain will be good for the berries but I think you'll end up with an even muddier knees...I'm often proud if I get dirty in the garden, then my family knows I'm working hard for them;P Happy gardening to you both:)

DFW said...

Good for you! Looks like the Annapolis is the winner, at least for now. I wouldn't be surprised if you don't have a bruise or 2 on those knees today or tomorrow. When I garden, I HAVE to garden in shorts or I would keel over from heatstroke.

Fiona said...

Ralph got a heat scald on his knees from the hot soil combined with his new knee pads:)

Katie C. said...

Dirty knees! I have one that looks permanently dirty because earlier when it was still in the low 50s, I gardened the whole day bundled up in jeans, hoodie and hat ... Except ... I had a blown out knee in my jeans. My one knee got burnt scarlet and has since turned tan.

Laurie said...

I have no clue about strawberries, other than I sure do love to eat them. Yours are looking good! Speaking of looking good....love those cute little garden knees. Sure am glad there was no permanent damage. HaHa! Shall I show you my garden fingers. Yikes, I'm going to have to soak these babies to get the dirt from beneath my nails.

Sandy said...

Mama Pea,

Your strawberries are beautiful looking. Will you continue to grow all 3 for next season, or rule those out that aren't nice and sweet?

Bad clouds outside tonight, expecting bad weather out in western OK, and down south. I hope you don't get too much rain!!!

Sending love and hugs your way.
Sandy

Mama Pea said...

Vera - I have no idea how strawberries grow in your part of the world, but they usually do very well here. Good luck if you decide to give them a go!

Mama Pea said...

Kev - I blogged about how I grow my strawberries back in 2011. If you care to read those posts, go over to my Search box way down on my right hand side bar and type in "Having My Way with Strawberries" and that should bring up the first post. The only thing I'm doing differently now is that I'm planting only single rows rather than double.

We have a 7' high deer fence around our garden which keeps the bigger critters out although chipmunks and squirrels still get in. Fortunately (knock on wood), they've never bothered the strawberries that much.

Mama Pea said...

Sue - Well, drat and blast! My tried and true company where I always get my strawberries still touts Seascape as a good everbearing type of berry. I'll give them another year, as you say, and then out they come if they don't get better. I planted them in the lower part of our asparagus patch so I'll just put in more asparagus if I pull the strawberries out.

Mama Pea said...

Kristina - I'm beginning to think I should have asked all you smart readers what has been your experience with the everbearers BEFORE I planted them!! Rats.

Mama Pea said...

Annie - Yep, I'll take the muddy knees anytime over having to water the garden when Mother Nature doesn't.

I've got three 45' rows of the June bearers with high hopes we'll have plenty for a berry or two while picking (!), jams, pies, smoothies, etc.!

Mama Pea said...

DFW - No bruises, although I will admit my knees where red when I got done scrubbing off the dirt!

Although I'm sure our temps are MUCH cooler than yours, I don't change into shorts until my long pants get a mite on the uncomfortable, sweaty, clingy side!

Mama Pea said...

Fiona - Good grief! Do you think it there might have been some chemical in the new knee pads that caused some irritation??

Mama Pea said...

Katie C. - Yep, a blown out knee wouldn't afford a lot of protection!

(You will have to get the coloring on your knees evened out before you do more leg modeling jobs!) ;o)

Mama Pea said...

Laurie - I was in town yesterday running errands and once when I was getting money out of my billfold I looked (really looked) at my hands . . . and wanted to hide them behind my back!

P.S. No one else has every called my knees cute. Mud covered or not. You made my day! ;o}

Mama Pea said...

Sandy - I'll definitely let all three varieties go for another couple years. Weather conditions from year to year could make a difference in their quantity and quality. Besides that, I've got too much work invested in them already to give up on any of them . . . unless, of course, they turn out really bad! Even the not-so-sweet ones would make good jam, I'm thinking. I hope.

Susan said...

Well, you're not a true gardener unless you have dirty knees! This is the first year for my berry plants, so I have been pinching off flowers all spring. I will be interested to see how my berries do next year. Could all that rain have something to do with the lack of flavor/watery-ness of your berries?

Rain said...

Your berries look so delicious. I read your post on Wednesday and I really got inspired Mama Pea. I've mentioned that I didn't really start a garden because I'm renting...I don't really have a spot because we have our 3 dogs out in the yard...I'm wishy washy...I didn't have too much money...but dang-it, I saw your strawberries and I was called into action!! :) I went to the local garden center this morning, thankfully having a 2 for 1 sale...I got grown tomato plants, a strawberry basket, some rosemary, basil, chives...and the piece de resistance....a combination key lime/Meyer lemon tree...wow...I also got myself a few shade loving New Guinea plants because they were only $2 each...now all of my plants are hiding in my little screened-in porch until I can figure out where to put them!!! I'm so excited! PS...I hope to have such dirty knees in the very near future :)

JoAnn ( Scene Through My Eyes) said...

Yummmm berries!!

Carolyn said...

I ripped up our strawberry bed two years ago and alas, my sloth of a butt never RE planted any so we're two years now without those wonderful berries. We did, however, manage to get some delicious blackberries and our peaches are almost ripe. Missed you. Trying to get to blogging / reading blogs again :)

Mama Pea said...

Susan - Considering that only the one variety (the everbearing Seascapes) is watery and lacks flavor . . . I'm guessing not. But I'll give it through this season and next year to see if there is a difference.

Isn't it sooooo hard to pinch off the blossoms the first year? Just think of all those strawberries you're "throwing away!" But must be done!

Mama Pea said...

Rain - Oh, I am SO excited for you! And so happy you've decided to get your knees dirty and use your green thumb. Keep me updated on how thing progress. Good, good, good!

Mama Pea said...

JoAnn - Oh, they are, they are! Had some on oatmeal for breakfast this morning.

Mama Pea said...

Yippee! So good to hear from you, Carolyn!

How I envy you your peaches. Fresh peach pie? Oh, be still, my heart!

Marilyn in SW MO said...

Your garden looks BEAUTIFUL! Ours is growing well but sure does not look like yours! Our strawberry harvest is finished here in SW Missouri and I, too, kept a log by weight. Annapolis was our best by far. This was first year for them (planted last year) and 25 plants provided 12.75 pounds of berries then put out a cajillion runners. I gave 25 of the rooted runners to a friend and kept as many for us to plant elsewhere. We also had Jewel (25 plant provided 3.5 pounds) and Ozark Beauty (the ever bearing which so far has only provided 1.5 pounds maybe due to less sun). Like you, they get another year to prove up or Annapolis will take over. Oh, such good eating and your pie looks wonderful! Thanks so much for your blog.

Marilyn in SW MO said...

Your garden looks BEAUTIFUL! Ours is growing well but sure does not look like yours! Our strawberry harvest is finished here in SW Missouri and I, too, kept a log by weight. Annapolis was our best by far. This was first year for them (planted last year) and 25 plants provided 12.75 pounds of berries then put out a cajillion runners. I gave 25 of the rooted runners to a friend and kept as many for us to plant elsewhere. We also had Jewel (25 plant provided 3.5 pounds) and Ozark Beauty (the ever bearing which so far has only provided 1.5 pounds maybe due to less sun). Like you, they get another year to prove up or Annapolis will take over. Oh, such good eating and your pie looks wonderful! Thanks so much for your blog.

Mama Pea said...

Hi, Marilyn! Our berries are not done bearing, but our Annapolis strawberries are bearing most heavily here, too. (So far.) I'm sure our ever bearing Seascapes are going to be the lightest bearers . . . not happy with them at all.

Thank you so much for commenting! And thanks for the kind words. I appreciate it.