Monday, 17 June 2013

Nearly Ripe

I should be eating the first home grown strawberry of the year within a matter of days, that's if my darling daughter doesn't get to it first, she would eat them until they come out of her ears. This one is growing in a pot in the garden but there's lots of green fruit on the plants at the allotment, which I'm pleased about as it's a new strawberry bed created just this year. I don't expect a huge crop but whatever I harvest will be very welcome.

I didn't manage much gardening over the weekend, but I made sure that I got my tomato plants tied in to the stakes and I nipped out their side shoots. They seem to be growing really well and are just starting to flower, so I shall start feeding them soon. I'm looking forward to seeing how the outdoor plants perform in comparison to the ones grown in the greenhouse, there doesn't seem to be anything between them at the moment.

I have a cotoneaster in my front garden which is smothered in flowers at the moment. The bees are absolutely loving it, I must have counted at least twenty bees on it at once over the weekend. I haven't seen many bees around this year, then to go from nothing to so many on one plant was strange. I'm also still getting a good selection of birds in the garden too. The goldfinches, which I hadn't seen for a while, are here all the time now. Earlier in the year I was seeing an odd one here and there, but they come in threes, fours and fives now, which is nice. A group of goldfinches is called a charm, how charming is that.

32 comments:

  1. Yep, once again you are well ahead of me. I have lots of flowers on the plants but no fruit as yet. I always stop at the allotment on the way to work and eat the strawberries for breakfast! The bees are definitely suffering this year. Enjoy your week x

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    1. I suppose it depends on the variety as to how quickly they fruit, this one must be an early variety. How lovely to stop off at the allotment for breakfast, it sounds idyllic.

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  2. sadly I lost my strawberry plants but my wild strawberry plants did survive and I should be eating some very soon x

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    1. I lost lots of strawberry plants over winter too, that's why a new bed's been created this year. Wild strawberries are delicious, so small but filled with flavour.

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  3. Lovely strawberries, to pick them straight off the plant is wonderful. My own tomato experiment isn't going to last long I don't think. The two planted outside started well but are already looking very sad indeed. They were spare plants (Suncherry), if I do it again I would pick a variety more suited to outdoor growing.

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    1. Your outdoor tomatoes may pick up yet, all's not lost. I've got some different varieties growing outdoors, so I'm hoping that some of them will do ok.

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  4. We've had a few goldfinches too, and an almost-ripe strawberry. The ants and slugs have their eyes on it too though...

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    1. This strawberry is in a container, so it's a little more protected from nasties than if it were growing in the ground. Archie's been sniffing round it though, I'll have to keep my eye on him.

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  5. Plenty of strawberry fruit in the veggie plot, but plenty of birds too that will eye them up once they're ripe! I would love to see a charm of goldfinches in the garden though!

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    1. I'll be netting my strawberries at the allotment soon, I don't think there'd be many left to pick if I didn't. Goldfinches love niger seed. If there's no niger seed, they'll settle for sunflower hearts but the niger seed is their favourite.

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  6. I've only just put my tomatoes out, Jo! Despite that they seem to be picking up quite quickly so I hope I'll see some fruit this year. I spotted a ripe strawberry in one of the beds at the weekend and was in high hopes of a taste ... then noticed that something (slug?) had beaten me to it! I've since moved a few plants into a taller bed with copper tape around it - hope that works!!

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    1. I'm sure your tomatoes will be fine, just look at all the problems regarding the weather last year, yet I still got a harvest. It's so annoying when beasties get to our lovely fruit before we do, slugs are such pests.

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  7. I think the goldfinches tend to be less evident through breeding times.

    WE too have a lone nearly ripe huge strawberry!

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    1. I thought I might have seen some baby goldfinches but I haven't, I'm still looking though. The strawberry's now been eaten, daughter got to it before I did, but I had a little bite. It's a good job it was a good size.

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  8. I see that you got to share the strawberry! I hope that there's plenty more for both of you to enjoy.
    Lucky you with the goldfinches as I don't see them at home but sometimes do on the allotments. A charm is a lovely name for a group of them. Flighty xx

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    1. There's lots more strawberries on the plants, but none of them look to be ripening just yet, I think we'll have to wait a while before we get another taste. Goldfinches are such lovely little birds, quite feisty though. I love that a group of them is called a charm.

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  9. That strawberry has your name on it Jo so I hope that you get there first. Some fruit here but it's not turning yet. Cotoneaster are a real bee magnet :)

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    1. Daughter got there first, but I got a bite of it, delicious it was too. The bees are really loving the cotoneaster.

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  10. You will be eating strawberries sooner than me Jo though I do see quite a few starting to change colour on the allotment. I do love my strawberries and can't start to wait harvesting them. I have never heard of a 'cotoneaster'. Would you be able to put up a picture some time, it might be a good one to add to my list of planting for my bee plot.

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    1. I love strawberries too. There's quite a few at the allotment but they don't look to be ripening yet. I'll see what I can do re the cotoneaster. It's not really much to look at as the flowers are so tiny, but the bees love it.

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  11. Very impressed you've got ripening strawberries already Jo! Where are you hiding the sun??

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    1. I don't think we've had any more sun than anyone else, a bit more of the round yellow thing would be good to get the rest of the strawberries ripening.

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  12. Mmmmm Delicious!
    My daughter is the same way! When Hannah was just a little toddler I had to hide the strawberries in the cart because she would want them unwashed and just eat them through the whole store!
    Is there anything better than an English Strawberry?
    Tammy xx

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    1. There's nothing better than home grown strawberries, they just don't have the same taste when bought. I'm looking forward to the rest ripening now.

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  13. Look at that shining strawberry, looked delicious and sounds like it tasted as good as it looks. I've got one just starting to ripen but I've got lots of green fruits on one patch and the other patch is still flowering so I'm hoping I've staggered it so I don't get everything in one go. You can't beat the taste of the first strawberry of the year. And next to that is the first tomato!
    I've got a cotoneaster which I was admiring yesterday, it self seeded in my garden and has tiny inconspicuous flowers but like you say covered in bees, fighting over each flower it almost seems, its lovely to see.

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    1. It's great if you manage to get a staggered harvest. I've got three different strawberry varieties, an early, middle and late, so I'm hoping that I can stagger mine too. I agree about the tomatoes too, that first one is always delicious. It's nice to see so many bees around at the moment, I'd hardly seen any all year up to last weekend.

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  14. I love strawberry season - I have noticed this year how different varieties taste different - you'd have though a strawberry was a strawberry wouldn't you.

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    1. I have different varieties purely to give me an extended harvest. Each variety may taste different, but I haven't come across one which I don't like yet.

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  15. Every year I wish I had grown strawberries, one of these years I will get some space in the garden sorted.

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    1. I have a strawberry bed at the allotment, but this ripe strawberry is growing in a pot in the garden. You don't necessarily need any space, they grow well in containers.

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  16. A charm eh? what a lovely fitting name!

    Oh I love fresh strawberries, especially picked while pottering in the garden. I don't have any ripe yet but my toms are getting there. It's funny how some things are ahead of others in different parts of the country isn't it....xxxx

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    1. I think it's a very fitting name. I've just topped the feeders up and there's three here already, they wait for me. I suppose with strawberries, it depends on whether you grow early or late varieties. I've got an early, mid and late, so I hope to be picking them for a while yet. You're way ahead of me with the tomatoes, only flowers here yet.

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