I'm new to growing strawberries. In fact, I'm new to growing any kind of berry but give me another few seasons and I will become a wealth of experience and knowledge, or I will at least know a little more than I do now. We have plans to cultivate many more types of berries but it will take about another 12 months before our soil is ready. Pop on over to the Front Garden for a little background on that.
Late last spring (November 2013) I picked up a few strawberry seedlings from my local market and decided to pot them up into hanging baskets. I figured I would slowly add more as time went on. They grew well and over the summer we sampled a handful of berries. By autumn this year they had sent out so many runners I decided to go all fun and funky and pot-up the pups using soft twigs to create bridges for pinning them into the soil and allowing the roots to shoot. A little while later - or it was more like, a long while later, because I was nervous about doing it too early - I separated them from their mother plant, left them for a bit longer and then re-potted them into more hanging baskets. By this stage we were getting into winter so I gave them a feed of liquid seaweed and left them to enjoy the winter rains. I figured maybe we might get a few fruit off them over this coming summer but we would wait and see.
Imagine my surprise, when, with our glorious sunny days this week, I popped up the ladder, hose in hand to give them a little drink and discovered those succulent berries you see in the pic below! I left them for a couple more days after taking this photo just to really sweeten them up and then, today, we picked the four ripest, one for each of us.
I need to tell you friends, that the flavour of those strawberries was really quite extraordinary. I'd almost even describe it as exquisite! Quite unlike anything I've ever experienced with a berry, even the exorbitantly expensive organic punnets we can buy. If these new parents are anything to go by, then the future generations of these babies will increase our yield significantly and then there will be no stopping the culinary delights I shall be creating. I know it's only four berries, but it was still a harvest, and not just any harvest. It was a strawberry harvest in August! I wonder if that's a usual thing for this type of strawberry, I guess I will have to wait and see. I'm starting to wish there had been some sort of ID tag on the original seedlings.
Have you any tips for this budding berry grower? Is it too early for me to be doing a little hula dance, because I am you know!