Monday 16 May 2011

Hooray for Strawberries!

I am delighted to recommend strawberries as thoroughly drought proof. We have never watered our strawberries, and although we have had virtually no spring rain (2mm on Saturday is the first measurable rain for 2 months) I picked a kilogram of strawberries yesterday.

Some were washed, halved and sprinkled with a little sugar and the merest soupçon of home made cherry liqueur. Left to macerate, they were served with vanilla icecream for dessert last night. The rest have been made into gelato (the icecream maker is churning as I write, so no pics).

Strawberry dessert.
The strawberries may be the best fruit crop we get for a while. We are not going to get many cherries. The first ones are ripe, but there is a total of about 20 on the tree and they are all too high for me to bother with. The other 3 sweet cherries and 4 sour have similar numbers of fruit, still green. I guess after two bumper years and dry summers the trees are stressed and the dry spring was the last straw. They need a rest year to recover. We are not going to get many peaches or red plums either. Pears look as though they may be better than last year, with the nashi having set some fruit too, and the apples are loaded with clusters of tiny fruit.

Strawberries, vine leaves and coriander
- the stars of the drought stricken potager.
In the autumn I suppose I will have to dig up the strawberries and plant out new runners to ensure continued production, as the current plants are now two years old. Such drought hardy plants are worth maintaining, and we don't seem to get much pest or disease damage. They compensate a bit for the many vegetables that are not coping with the dry.



wcs said...

Those berries look great! I've been enjoying berries from the market (all local) since we don't have any plants in our garden. And you've reminded me about vine leaves. Time to harvest!

Ken Broadhurst said...

Those are great — we'll have to plant some too. As for the rest of the garden, it's far too early to know what will happen. We are just getting ready to plant our tomato, aubergine, and other seedlings, now that the saints de glace are over.

Jean said...

It's a shame about your other fruit and veg but the strawberries look fabulous.

Pollygarter said...

We've no pears, some rather scrawny plums, and a fairly decent score on the cherry front as our tree has its feet in the millstream. Your strawberry plants will last a few years yet, don't throw them away! Get some runners established this year and replace them next year. Strawberries (like roses and potatoes, our favourite things) suffer from all sorts of diseases, particularly viruses, so you're best to establish a new bed somewhere else on your plot. Thus spake Allotment Woman. But not with ovenom (word verification)!

Susan said...

Walt: I've got dolmades filling in the freezer, just waiting for sufficient vine leaves.

Ken: I'm afraid it's too late for our onions and garlic, the peas aren't up to much and the green beans aren't germinating. The broadbeans will probably deliver though. The tomatoes and potatoes will do what they did last year - survive, but not produce anything to speak of. We haven't bothered putting any peppers or aubergine in at the potager - they are all in pots up at the house where we can water them.

PG: My neighbour Edouard says strawberries conk out pretty quickly in this soil, and go yellow after 2-3 years. Next year will be year 3 for them.

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