Archive for May, 2012

Strawberries

When I last posted about strawberries back in 2009, I was still growing most of our strawberries in pots. Back then, I was having problems with slugs eating the berries at night and hiding under the pots in the daytime. Copper tape and beer didn’t stop them. So over the past few years, I have been phasing out the berries growing in pots. Last year, I planted new strawberry plants as a border around each of our 4 raised beds. I planted the varieties Sequoia, Seascape, and Chandler.

They didn’t produce many berries their first year. However, starting around May 1 this year, they finally started producing a lot of berries. I have been harvesting about 4 pint size bowls of berries per week for each of the past 3 weeks. The most productive variety by far this year is Chandler. Our Chandler strawberry plants are producing many large berries, from only about a dozen plants. The Chandler berries are large and firm and don’t rot or turn brown quickly (first picture above). I have been fertilizing our strawberries about once every 2 weeks.

I have at least two dozen Sequoia strawberry plants. The Sequoia strawberries have lots of leaves, but they haven’t been as productive as the Chandler strawberries. I am not sure why the Sequoias haven’t been producing as much as they did in the past when I grew them in pots. I still have a few newer Sequoias in pots, and they aren’t producing many berries either. Also, the Sequoia berries tend to be small (many of them are very small) and often the berries start to turn brown or rot on one side before they are fully ripe. In my opinion, the Sequoia strawberries have the best flavor of these three varieties, assuming they are fully ripe, not too small, and not browning yet, which eliminates at least half of the harvest.

For now, Chandler is my favorite variety. I prefer plants that produce lots of large berries as opposed to few small ones. Just this week, I planted more Chandler strawberries plants that I purchased from a local nursery.

The Seascape strawberries are large and firm like the Chandler strawberries, but they haven’t been as productive as Chandler. Seascape is an ever bearing variety, which tends to produce more berries in the summer. Chandler and Sequoia are long day varieties, which tend to produce the most berries from mid-spring to early summer.

As for the slugs and snails, they still eat a few of the berries in the raised beds, but it’s easier to protect them with Sluggo and netting than when they were crowded into pots.

May 20 2012 | Strawberries | No Comments »