I picked three and a half pounds of strawberries yesterday! They are coming thick and fast at the moment with these alternate days of bright sunshine followed by rain showers. There is a fear that because the strawberry harvest has been so early this year, that when the tennis at Wimbledon starts next week all the British crop will have gone and we will be importing strawberries from Europe! Shame!
It has been an exceptional year for strawberries, I think the long, hard Winter was good for the developing crowns. Many soft fruit varieties benefit from long, cold Winters to enable them to form lots of fruit buds.
I have also been maintaining and attending to this strawberry bed for a few years now. I do not allow the plants to flower or fruit at all in their first year, I nip out the flowers in order to develop the crowns. The second year is usually quite good, the third year is spectacular with a good number of large fruit. Thereafter the berries just get smaller and more numerous. These plants are not a good use of space so I mark them with a plastic tag to note which plant to dig up when they have finished fruiting.
This one is getting past its best so I have marked it for removal. I have quite a good succession of plants of different ages now.
Elsewhere these lovely leek flowers
have been doing what nature intended! The bees have been all over them and there are many more to come.
I hope they will keep going for several more weeks so that the bees will be encouraged into my allotment to pollinate the squashes and pumpkins. I must also re-iterate that Matron does not do flowers!
Just in case you had forgotten - these are veggies!