Thursday, 25 June 2009
Strawberries, strawberries everywhere.
After the gloom of the courgette debacle I thought I'd take the opportunity to dwell on my successes for a change.
The strawberries are doing well this year. Last year was disastrous, they were in a pot on the ground, imprisoned behind the ubiquitous netting to protect them from the chickens. They still managed to break in a couple of times though and decimated the crop. This year the strawberries high up on the fence and safe. I've also fed them with some berry fertilizer and that seems to have given them a boost.
We have a total of 9 plants which sounds like a lot but is really only enough to give us a regular snacking supply rather than a jam sized glut. They are a delicious snack too, the four of us regularly squabble over who's getting the next ripe berry. I have to confess Adam and I sneaked out into the garden after the children had gone to bed last night to snaffle a few.
My plan is to transfer the plants to the allotment (when/if we get it) next year and then start planting up runners to eventually create a large strawberry bed as, at the moment, strawberries and raspberries are the only jam fruit I buy so I'd like to grow my own supply instead. In the meantime, we're off to the pick your own fruit farm this weekend and I'll commence the 2009 jam making season.
Also doing well are the tumbling toms in hanging baskets. They are already covered in loads of green fruit but, as ever, the plants themselves look really ropey. This is my second season of growing them and last year I was worried, thinking they were on their last legs. A quick trawl of the Internet told me their appearance was fairly typical and, sure enough, they cropped and cropped and cropped. We had enough for several lbs of green tomato mincemeat as well as meeting all our salad needs for a sizeable chunk of the summer. Let's hope this year goes the same way.