I’ve been harvesting a punnet of strawberries per week. I seem to have deterred the slugs pretty well, and each week I have some really large and very tasty berries.
However, I have a gap in the middle of the bed where a number of plants have died off. I think I’ve lost about 5 or 6, and I have no idea why. They were fine in the spring, but didn’t put on much growth and have gradually deteriorated and now died. Very odd.
I have noticed ants have taken up residence under the fleece, and one ant hill has been constructed over the remains of one of the dead plants. I’m not sure whether the ants could actually have killed off the plants in the first place though? It does seem strange that the affected plants are all in the same little cluster.
When I started the strawberry bed, I had 4 different varieties, and the plan was to test the plants, taste their produce and decide which ones to propagate. It was all going to plan, until I failed to label some of the newbies, lost a few over winter, some propagated themselves without my knowing, and all in all, my plans sort of went to pot.
I ended up with enough baby plants to fill the bed, but with no idea as to which varieties were which. But, the original plants still have their labels, and with a bit of compare and contrast, I think I can tell the difference. I seem to have 2 basic varieties – one which is very vigorous with large leaves and very large fruit that have few seeds on the outside, and by contrast the other variety is smaller, both in plant size and fruit size, and the fruit is darker with lots more seed.
I prefer the first variety, which I’m pretty certain is called Pegasus. And so I shall aim to only take the baby off shoots from these and hopefully next year I’ll get a full beds worth of the better variety.
For now, I’m enjoying strawberries on my breakfast granola, strawberries and ice-cream for pud and I’m also filling the freezer ready for jam making.
I love summer.