Tuesday, 7 October 2014


Went to the allotment the other day to check how the strawberries were coping with all this rain.
The plants are heavily laden with fruit and I did get to pick and eat a few that were showing signs of looking ripe.
But strawberries need to be sunkissed, if only for a moment.
Picking them on a hot day is the ideal, but if left in the sun after picking they quickly lose their sheen and cook in their own warmth, so need chilling fast.

Every three years or so it is good to start a new bed in fresh ground anyway.
Container-growing which is well worth copying to make use of a relatively small space for a high yield.
Any containers will do but a couple of rows of bog-standard black florists buckets are ideal.
Make holes in the bottom before filling with compost and planting one plant in each.
The containers need to be positioned somewhere sunny and a layer of permeable weed suppressing matting underneath will save on maintenance later.
Posts knocked in place at either end of the rows with washing line strung across means they are set for netting.
Keeping fruit off the ground means less chance of slug damage.
You might like to feed with comfrey tea now and again when the fruit begins to set.
You can choose a perpetual fruiting strawberry variety - early season Gariguette variety alongside a classic Cambridge Favourite, that is particularly good for jam.

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