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Posts Tagged ‘growing strawberries’

Sweetheart Strawberry

It’s Wimbledon fortnight and that usually means that Strawberries are ready for picking, the ones in my Strawberry Pot are ripe, delicious and big. This April I started afresh and planted it up with new one year plants which I bought online, it is recommended that you should replace Strawberry plants every three years as after this they will produce considerably less fruit and are more susceptible to disease, re-plant in new ground or if in containers in new compost.

Strawberries can be planted in the ground, raised beds or in containers (Strawberry tables, Strawberry bags/pots) which raise them off the ground and make them less accessible to pests such as slugs, snails and birds who always seem to find the ripe ones before you do, to further protect your delicious crops cover them with fleece or netting (make sure that it has a fine mesh and leave a big enough gap between the fruit and the net so that the birds cannot push their beaks through) or apply Copper slug and snail tape around the bottom of your container this will give out a small electrical charge which deters the slugs/snails from crossing.

Strawberry plants reproduce by sending out ‘runners’ in Summer, if your plants are young it is recommended that you remove these as they will weaken the plants but if your plants are ready for replacing you can propagate new plants by pinning down the runners where the leaves are growing into the soil or into pots, when they have rooted they can be cut from the parent plant and planted up in late Autumn or Spring.

Here is a delicious treat to enjoy whilst you are watching the tennis;

Strawberry Tarts

Ingredients

  • 55g (2oz) Caster Sugar
  • 225g (8oz) Strawberries washed, hulled and cut in half
  • A pack of ready-made Shortcrust Pastry
  • Lemon Curd
  • Icing Sugar to dust

What you need to do

  1. Roll out the pastry thinly, cut out 12 x 5cm discs and put into a lightly buttered and floured bun tray.
  2. Place a piece of parchment paper on top of each disc and some baking beans and bake for 12-15 minutes in a preheated oven 180C/350F/Gas 4, removing the beans and parchment paper for the last 4 minutes to lightly brown, remove and leave to cool.
  3. Heat the Caster Sugar in a pan until caramel has formed, add the berries and coat in the caramel.
  4. Put a teaspoon of Lemon Curd in the bottom of each pastry case then top with a Strawberry half.
  5. Dust with the Icing Sugar.

You may have enough pastry to make a double batch, 12 are not going to last long!

Enjoy

Gill

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This year I decided to treat myself to some new Strawberry plants, the ones on my allotment are over 3 years old and their stems have become old, woody and they will now produce less fruits, it is recommended that you replace your Strawberry plants after 3 years each time replanting in a new position or new compost if they are grown in containers.

Strawberry plants are available now in garden centres, supermarkets, on the high street and via mail order. There are so many different varieties to choose from, cropping at different times in various shapes and sizes but all of them equally delicious, why not plant a few different varieties to give a continuous crop over the Summer months and into Autumn.

Bare root runners

Bare root runners

Yesterday a white padded envelope came through the front door, it was from one of the large seed companies, inside there were growing instructions and a small white bag containing my new Strawberry runners they didn’t look very inspiring but with a little care and attention they should produce some delicious Strawberries this Summer.

 Strawberry table

Strawberry Table

The variety I chose is ‘Buddy’ it is new this year and is ‘ever bearing’ or ‘perpetual’ which means that it will produce Strawberries over a long growing period from Spring into Autumn. After their arrival I put my bare root runners in water straightaway and then planted them individually in pots in the greenhouse in good compost to become established before planting outside. Strawberries can be grown practically anywhere – in the ground, raised beds, strawberry tables, pots, hanging baskets, troughs, window boxes and in Strawberry bags/tubs and are ideal for children to grow.

Patio Strawberry & Herb Planter Bag

Strawberry Planter Bag

Click here for a full guide to growing your own Strawberries.

Gill

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Most strawberry plants will have sent out runners by now and these easily root into the surrounding soil.  To make good use of the new plants carefully transplant them into one of these strawberry tables.

Designed to keep your precious strawberries safe from unwelcome predators, the strawberry table can be placed wherever you wish!  It simply bolts together.

It comes with a moisture mat to retain soil and keep roots moist.  Applying some vaseline to the wooden legs will also keep the slugs and snails at bay.

 

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Now is the perfect time to set a bed of strawberries and there is no better way than to use a Raised Bed….And by planting now you will have a fabulous crop in time for next summer.

wooden_raised_bed-01

Strawberries do best in well-drained, fertile, warm soil.  If the soil is heavy, cold and with poor drainage it will have a drastic impact on success.  But by using a Raised Bed from the Recycleworks Ltd, you will be able to give them the optimum conditions they need… And the raised bed will also provide some protection from slugs.

Which Variety?

There is an overwhelming choice out there, here are some of our favourites.

Alice  The perfect choice if you only have room for one variety, as it is trouble free and easy to pick.  One of the best mid season varieties as it combines a sweet flavour and juicy texture with excellent disease resistance.  Flowers in May and fruits from June until early July 

Cambridge Favourite  If you love picking your own strawberries for eating or making jam, this is a well loved favourite.  It produces a bumper crop of juicy orange red fruits of excellent flavour.  Ready to pick from June to early July

 Flamenco  This strawberry produces excellent quality sweet and juicy fruits over a long picking period.  A very versatile variety suitable for growing the traditional way in the garden, as well as making it the perfect variety for container growing, as it will transform your patio into a very productive fruit garden.

You Will Need:tools_4_job

What to do

  1. Assemble your raised bed in a sunny, sheltered position if possible.  The raised beds from Recycleworks Ltd are ideal, and so easy to assemble with no screws, no nails and no holes to dig
  2. Fill with a good quality compost
  3. Set the strawberry plants allowing around 40cm between the plants
  4. Ensure the roots are well covered with soil
  5. Water each plant

kids-watering-can

It is also important to think about protection for the growing plants.  During the winter you may want to protect from frost with fleece, and when the fruits begin to develop next summer there is the all important netting to think about.  These hoops have been specially designed to fit into the Recycleworks raised beds and provide an easy way to fit crop protection.

hoops2-01

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