The diary of two novice gardeners and allotmenteers

Chris and Steve's Weblog – City Chickens

Tag Archive: strawberry

Senga Sengana Strawberry – Rambling Cascade

Today, 11th March, I have planted ten Strawberry Senga Sengana bought as bare root plants. I have read good things about this variety and look forward to tasting. I am not sure if I should expect fruit in the first year or whether I will have to wait until next year. I live in hope. 21st May and plenty of fruits forming on these plants.

The flavour of this variety is exceptional. The large fruits are sweet and very juicy.  This is the perfect variety of strawberry for growing in hanging baskets or window boxes.  Whilst no strawberry can climb Rambling Cascade can be trained and tied into a trellis. They are of course also suitable for open ground growing and is a fantastic variety for those considering growing in matted rows. Recommended by the RHS to be an excellent attractant and nectar source for bees and other beneficial insects. Senga Sengana is self fertile and can be grown in pots or open ground. Information from Victoriana Nursery.

 

Strawberries, Salad and New Potatoes

Once again I have brought home a large bowl of strawberries and a couple of massive butterhead lettuces. I also managed to get enough potatoes Sharps Express for a meal tonight. The potatoes have been slow to grow as we had a cold start to the season followed by a very long dry period. The tops are looking green, lush and healthy but few potatoes up to now which is bad news in one way but good news for my belly because I can’t resist freshly dug potatoes.

Strawberries

strawberry.jpgWe went down to the plots last night at about eight o clock to do a bit of watering and came home with a lettuce, some radishes and a bowl piled high with strawberries. We ate quite a lot after tea and I prepared eight boxes for the freezer. They are lovely again this year and we have about five different varieties some bought and some donated by friends.

Strawberry Time

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Here comes the sun and here come the strawberries. We had quite a poor crop last year but this year we have an abundance of fruit so if we can beat the slugs in the race to harvest we should have enough to eat, preserve and give away. yummy….

A disappointing time for Puddles and Jemima as not one of their clutch survived but we are just grateful that Puddles survived his illness and has proved his fertility to us as there were three fully formed ducklings in the eggs. Unfortunately none of them made it out which was heartbreaking for all of us. The chicks and growers are doing fine and are now all outside in their respective pens. Sadly we lost two of our big rescue girls within the space of five days so only one lonely girl now in the eglu. Tonight we plan to go down to the plots to plant more beans both runner and dwarf french and to water the plants that are under cover.

Strawberry Fields – Almost

Today we put the rhubarb to bed for the Winter. I put a layer of chicken poo on to the bed then covered it with straw and anchored it down with netting. The strawberries in the fruit cage have thrown out loads of runners and one of the tasks I set for myself today was to transplant some of them over onto the old bean trench on plot 18. I only took the runners that  had escaped from the fruit cage on to the surrounding paths and managed to put in about sixty new plants as well as giving about thirty to a new plot holder. I still have some to dig out of the path before I go into the cage itself.

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Rob has now dug up the whole of the carrot crop as I read somewhere that they could be spoiled by frost. We are very pleased with the harvest as our first efforts bore little resemblance to carrots as we know them. We still have lots of work to do and never seem to have enough time. We came home after two hours with backache, a cabbage, a couple of decent parsnips and three buckets of carrots. Time for tea I think.

Weed and Feed

All we seem to be doing at the moment is weeding and harvesting along with fighting a running battle with black flies, ants, aphids, slugs and snails to name but a few. Last night we dug up three roots of Winston potatoes and were very disappointed with them as they had been got at by ants and the dreaded slugs. The yield was poor but we still enjoyed them cut into wedges and baked drizzled with oil and herbs. We planted two melons, Minnesota Midget, in the area vacated by the Winston, and covered them with plastic cloches. Rob also sowed seeds of parsnip, White Gem, and carrot, Autumn King, on plot 18. The cut and come again salad bed is growing faster than we can eat it and some of the plants have bolted which is a shame. I shall sow more thinly next year.

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Everything in the lean to and the greenhouse is growing well with loads of flowers and some small fruit forming on the tomatoes and cucumbers. I potted on the last four of the Cucumber, Marketmore seedlings. Rob built another tepee and I planted some Climbing Bean, Cobra, which had been started off in a pot. Cobra are a round podded, black-seeded variety which produce a good crop of dark green, Stringless, tender pods. The plant has attractive violet flowers and is high yielding over a long season.

 

strawbThe strawberries are not producing much fruit and I think it is because we have not been quick enough in removing the runners. I was hesitating as I thought it would be nice to have more plants but Rob says we should have cut them all off bar two on each plant. I think he was right so next week we will do a salvage operation and remove them. It may be too late now but we can try.

Fancy Footwork

Rob worked really hard today laying the footings for the greenhouse. In the end he used the concrete blocks given to us by Frank and they fitted perfectly. The weather was scorching and the job wasn’t easy as plot 8 in on a slope. It’s all finished now and the metal frame is sitting on it so the next step is to put in the glass.There could be smashing times ahead. I worked in the lean to potting up the cucumbers, peppers and aubergines and building a framework of canes for support. Gordon told me to bury an upturned pop bottle with the bottom cut out alongside the plants to water into so that the water goes straight to the root and doesn’t rot the stems. Joe gave us a few dwarf Dahlias and I got those planted and watered in. We dug up some more International Kidney potatoes for tea and I planted a pumpkin plant in the ground we dug them from.

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Another quick visit at 8pm to water and we collected a lovely box of strawberries. I am glad we went down. I bet the slugs were planning a party.

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