Sunday, September 13, 2015

September Strawberries

Seascape Strawberries weigh in at 1/4 oz. per berry!
I have 2 raised beds of 'Seascape Strawberry' plants in the garden. Each bed measures 4'x10'x12" deep, with three rows of strawberry plants per bed. This year the old plants are in their third year of production and will be pulled out and replaced for next summer. The second bed was planted last fall so this summer was their first year.

As mentioned in previous strawberry posts (to view, click on 'Strawberries' under Labels), this incredible day neutral (ever-bearing) variety has a small June crop. The impressive production starts in August. The photo above was taken August 12th, 2015. The late summer crop starts with huge berries and even though they get a bit smaller, they are still an impressive size for the time of year. These sweet, juicy beauties weighed in at 1/4 ounce each! As long as the sun was shining, I picked on average 2-1/4 pounds, every second day through August! 
In my garden ~ September 11th, 2015

Our September weather is cooling down a bit. I now pick every 4th day, with the same average of about 2 pounds per picking. If the days continue to be sunny and dry, I will be able to pick fresh, sweet, ripe berries until mid-October. The photo at right, of the strawberry patch, is more reminiscent of June rather than September! The plants are still prolific with flowers and developing berries. 

Last October was the first year of ripe, fresh berries because of the dry weather. If the rain starts, the green berries will not ripen but instead get brown spots that eventually turn to mold. I have tried to ripen the berries that are a bit pink but it is useless. When that happens, I cut all the plants down to about 2" and straw mulch around the crowns and between the rows. When winter sets in, I spread a thin layer of straw over the plants and top the whole bed with maple leaves for winter protection.
Strawberries are my favorite summer fruit, so my fingers are crossed for dry weather and another month of fresh berry picking!

Till next week ... Bon App├ętit!

Photos by Sally Rae 

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