Monday, 16 April 2012

Strawberry bed complete

Strawberry plant in position
In the course of all the pulling and dragging over the weekend we took a break from moving beds to plant in the Cambridge favourite strawberries. These are the ones we group ordered through Englishes in Wexford last year. Digging them out I was amazed at the volume of flowers on last years plants, some had 20 starting to turn into fruit already! I wonder how everyone else is getting on with theirs. If any of you want to email me I'd love to know!

By contrast all the 5+ year old plants removed from the old-gone-wild strawberry bed were woody and had only a few leaves, with an odd flower here and there, I am beginning to see why commercial growers replace them every few years. I must reserve a bale of straw with Mike now for what we hope will be a sunny warm strawberry season, the straw will help to keep them warm and clean as the fruit ripen. I know the mypex is supposed to do the same thing but this is bio-degradable stuff and believe me it biodegrades at speed!!

Bed finished, Will there be another?
I planted each strawberry about a foot and a half apart with a little sea-mun-gus under each and as the day was so sunny and windy(a bad combination for moving plants but great for hoeing) I only took over a few plants at a time giving each a good soaking when I was done.I wouldn't give them too much food. Jack put a lot of manure under his last year and got a fine crop of leaves but not much fruit! Whatever few he got the blackbirds ate, adding insult to injury!! This year he has the net at the ready. He will be putting it on when most of the flowers have pollinated and the fruit has set, but before they ripen.

Seamus added three pine berry plants in at the end. He bought some last year at Bloom but they produced nothing and just runner-ed off in every direction. This year the plants look more promising and have started to flower so hopefully I might get to actually taste a pine berry and tell you all about it in June! In the meantime the only question is wither to put in another strawberry bed. Are they worth the space for what can be a very short cropping period? maybe if they can be covered to keep the birds and the rain out. I have added this little excerpt from Wikipedia about Pine berries if you are curious to know more about them.

Pine berries-photo from de Internet


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Pineberry is a strawberry cultivar[1] publicised in Germany in April, 2009, as Ananaserdbeere, or pineapple strawberry.[2] It is a hybrid of Fragaria chiloensis, originating in South America and Fragaria virginiana, originating in North America. "The fruit flesh can range from soft white to orange and is very fragrant with a slight pineapple flavor," said Greg Goddard, the co-Creator. The plant is disease resistant, but is not very profitable. Due to small-scale farming, small berry size and low yield crop, the Pineberry has been marketed to European restaurants, bakeries and wholesale markets. It is also grown in Belize.
The berry has been dubbed the Pineberry for the UK market[3][4] where it will soon be available.[5] White strawberries are not rare; garden supply stores in the UK have other white varieties of strawberry called White Soul[6] and White Delight.[7][8] Unlike the pineberry, these however are Fragaria vesca cultivars; the strawberries these plants produce are generally smaller and more fragrant.
Pineberries were bred from a species of South American wild strawberry, but was nearly extinct until 2003, when a group of Dutch farmers banded together to save the plant. When ripe, it is almost completely white, but with red seeds.[9] A pineberry is smaller than a common strawberry, measuring between 15 to 23 mm. They are grown in greenhouses, growing on coir like other strawberries. Pineberries begin life as green berries, then become slightly white. By the time its deeply set seeds turn deep red, the white fruit is deemed ripe.[5]


  1. Hi Marie, I'm keeping my fingers crossed that the frost hasn't done away with too many of my pears pears. They look pretty good though. Also, are you going to get the small tunnels for your strawberries to keep the rain off? I remember you suggesting that to me. My strawberry bed needs a massive overhaul now but it will be next year before i get around to it. So I have huge strawberry bed envy when I see what you are doing!!! How are your foxgloves? I sowed some and they seem to be coming along nicely but still very small!

  2. Hey Eliza!!
    Mine were very small too, coming on nicely as well, but then I went away for a weekend.....

    They were under care while I was away and my excellent plant sitter just arrived too late to save them, they expired under severe condensation build up on a hot morning! I can't give out, as she is brilliant to come and water for me, and I didnt insist on an early morning watering and opening of glasshouses.So it's own fault really.

    But I do have a new plan. I bought more of the same seeds and when I see my foxglove plants go to seed outside in summer I am sowing them directly onto the ground in large clumps-imitating what the plants naturally do themselves.It might be a better strategy in the long run, I wonder will they make stronger plants than spring sown ones before winter arrives?

    I'm going to put a plastic cloche over the strawberries once I think they have begun to ripen, but only if the weather turns wet, otherwise I wont bother, or I may just net them if birds are scouting them out. Would you believe there is a blackbird already checking on the Cherry trees and eyeing up the blossom?!!

    If you only knew how bad these strawbery beds had gotten between briars and weeds! It's a great relief to finally get round to them, and a bit funny considering Eileen is doing it at the same time too. I'm looking forward to keeping them in order!! I do understand your bed envy! You can organise a work day if you would like to do it this year and I'd be happy to help out!