But enough grumping and grousing.
Our strawberries are coming in earlier than usual this year and also are exhibiting different characteristics this season. We've had only our second harvest of the year so far, and things (and my thoughts) could change by the end of the season.
We woke to bright sunshine this morning. I made my latte and settled in front of my computer as I usually do. A half hour or so later, I got up to rinse out my empty mug and was shocked to see it looking as dark outside as at 9:30 at night. Whoa! I expected we had a chance of rain later today, but this looked more like Armageddon!
Knowing there were ripe strawberries out there, I grabbed two bowls and ran outside hoping I could get at least two of the varieties picked before the rain started. Soon Papa Pea came out with another bowl, and I directed him to the outside row of Earliglow berries.
Luck was with us and we finished the three rows just as the first big plops of rain began falling.
Although for my records I'm keeping the yields from the three varieties separate, we got a total of just under six pounds this morning. Not too shabby.
BUT. Normally in the first couple weeks of the berry harvest, the fruits are very large in size then progressively get a bit smaller as the season goes on until the very last harvests are often only small hardly-worth-picking nubs.
I'm not happy to see these first berries not being large.
Granted, we have been lacking moisture this year and sad to say, we still don't have a handy-dandy, efficient irrigation system in place. Our current system is me standing with a hose, and I must admit that although I've been diligent about watering the rest of the garden, the strawberry plants have been looking so large and lush that I haven't taken the time to water the good-sized patch more than once. We could have set up our small sprinkler which automatically rotates over a given area, but have been negligent in doing so. (Perhaps not the brightest move.)
Are the berries the plants are now producing smaller because of lack of water? A good guess would be yes. (Picture Mama Pea mentally kicking herself in the tush as she types this.)
I just tip-toed across the rain soaked deck to check out the rain gauge. Our dark and ominous storm is over and it gave us a good 1/2" of rain which the garden will be loving. Especially the strawberry plants.
The strawberry rows after the rain.
More rain is forecast for the rest of the day. Flash flood warnings and damaging hail (not good) have been issued for other parts of our county. Hopefully, we'll just get more of the nourishing rain. We can use it.
Plus, this day should give me time indoors. What will I be doing? Trying to create a balance. A little knitting on the couch, some machine quilting in my quilt room and cleaning out and defrosting freezers in preparation of the coming garden harvests. It will be a good day.