Tuesday, July 19, 2022

Our Strawberry Season Is About Kaput

 Our strawberries were late ripening this year most likely because of our cool spring/early summer.  And now they're almost done producing while still giving us mostly smaller sized fruits.  Still worth picking but it takes a lot longer to hull those tiny berries rather than big ones!

I had planned on this being the last year for these older plants (two rows are 7 years old and one is 5 years old), but my husband is trying to talk me into getting one more year out of them since the yield was better than we expected this year.

We've given away quite a few berries and have had a couple of groups of kiddlies come to pick themselves.  This has become an annual thing for the young ones and they start asking when the berries are going to be ready about two months ahead of time.

By this time I usually have our quota of jam made and in the pantry but not being up to handling that just now, I've got the smooshed berries waiting in the freezer for a more opportune time.

The three row planting and the location they are in hasn't turned out to be what I had expected so I'm going back to double rather than single row planting in a new spot.

Considering everything else we already had on the agenda for this spring/summer season, I wanted to hold off a year before starting the new patch.  But our daughter coerced me into doing it this year by saying she'd help me plant them.  So I did go ahead and order more to be started this year.  How could I resist that offer?

What luck that we got all 110 new plants in the ground on June 10th, shortly before the wicked viruses and my oopsie abruptly changed things.  The plants are looking great and all of them took hold and grew except for one.  Can't complain about that ratio.


cats and dogs said...
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Sparkless said...

Aww sorry to hear covid got you and then to hurt yourself too. I'm glad to hear you are on the mend. My husband gave us all covid too but lucky for us it felt more like a minor cold and we all recovered quickly except for a bit of a lingering cough from phlegm and a bit of tiredness. We had a pretty good strawberry harvest this year but it's because we didn't dig them up and put them in pots like we usually do. We usually winter the plants in a vacant veggie bed and then take them out in spring and put in hanging pots so the bugs stay out of them. This year we just left them in the bed and built a couple new beds to make up for it. Got way more berries than we usually do and the plants had huge leaves and so many blossoms. But the berries weren't very sweet so I'm thinking of getting some new plants in the hope that they will be sweeter. Nothing more disappointing than a bland strawberry.

Nancy In Boise said...

Hope you're feeling better! Your Strawberry Patch looks great. We just planted our first full row this year since most of last year's died. We only had four plants though so wasn't huge loss. We're also having a delayed summer with our wet Cool Spring. We finally have normalized into the 90s and 100s the last couple of weeks.

Mama Pea said...

Sparkless - We've noticed that if the strawberries don't get sufficient water when forming, the flavor is lacking. But then, too, different varieties definitely have better (or worse!) flavors. And different varieties do better in different locations so it's always a gamble on what you're going to get!

Nancy - Whoa, if you're getting enough moisture those 90 and 100 degree temperatures will make everything in your garden grow! I am gradually feeling better. Thanks for your well wishes.

Shepherdess55 said...

I've missed your blog posts so much. All things considered, I'm glad you're doing as well as can be expected.

Strawberry questions: What variety did you plant in your new rows? How far apart are the plants within the double rows and between the sets of rows? Will you keep the runners on these plants clipped as you did with your older rows?

tpals said...

Mmmm, strawberries. Mine are mostly done, will just get an occasional off them the rest of the summer. Small but delicious this year.

Retired Knitter said...

Your garden pictures always look so picture perfect! I say - let those strawberry plants live yet another year. They have proved their worth by giving you such lovely berries.

Lisa K Thomasson Jung said...

Oh my how wonderful! We have finished with berries and trying to survive the Heat of Summer. Plan on during some Fall planting when cooler.

Rosalea said...

Both of your strawberry gardens look so good. How do you protect the berries from all the critters that want to snack? Hard to tell what the light coloured mulch is...straw or sawdust? Looking forward to an update on all the things growing in the raised beds in the background...?

Mama Pea said...

Shepherdess55 - Well, thank you for saying you missed my postings. (Actually, I missed doing them!) The new plants are all Cavendish. But I've found that a variety that will do well in one location, might not do well in another. Since I've always had luck with Cavendish here, that's what I went with again. My plants within the rows are only 12" apart. Each double row has 18" between the two rows and I left 3' between each set of double rows. Yes, I will keep the runners clipped from the mother plants. I do believe that's the way I've managed to keep an original plant producing for so much longer than the suggested time of planting new plants every 2 or 3 years. Works for me!

tpals - Our berries have been flavorful, too. Everyone who has had some of them has said they're are the best strawberries they've ever tasted. I have nothing to compare them to so I'll just bask in the praises and be glad! ;o)

Retired Knitter - Humpf, so you've joined forces with my husband! If I do leave the old ones in for another year (and I guess I will) and all goes well, can you imagine the harvest we'll have next year with the new patch producing, too? I'll have to hire a full-time picker for three weeks! Need a job??

Lisa - We've had most of this week up near 80° which is HOT for us so I can hardly imagine your Heat of Summer! Fortunately, we've been getting enough rain so have been able to retire our sprinkler for a while!

Rosalea - We were fortunate early this spring to get all the birch sawdust we wanted from a friend who has a sawmill he uses for his personal use. It's ideal for strawberries because I can get it right up around the plants easily so they're totally protected from rain splashing mud up on the berries when they're bearing. My goal has always been to never have to wash strawberries after they're picked! After a couple of years of chipmunks chewing and building happy homes where they were causing potential damage to our structures, a whole bunch of them were trapped and relocated in Chipmunk Heaven. This year we've seen only two of them and haven't seen damage from them in the strawberries or elsewhere. I wouldn't mind if they took the whole berry and ate it, but they like to munch half of many beautiful, red, ripe ones and leave the other half. Grrrr. Chipmunks have (so far) been our only robbers. I'm always surprised the birds don't go after them. Updates on the raised beds and rest of the garden comin' up!

Granny Sue said...

Your strawberry patch looks magnificient. I am amazed at how weed-free it looks. We put some plants in containers this year, and they are yielding a few berries, not nearly enough to put up but enough to enjoy in small handfuls.

Mama Pea said...

Granny Sue - Thank you, but there are definitely weeds right in the strawberry plants that I haven't been able to take care of. So glad I mulched heavily between the rows! I am of the opinion that the best way to enjoy strawberries is to eat them fresh. Hubby wouldn't give up his strawberry jam for anything! ;o)