TopVeg – growing veg,fruit&herbs

August 23, 2009

What is a Strawberry Runner?

Filed under: fruit — Tags: , — TopVeg @ 7:53 pm

Most varieties of strawberries produce runners (long stems) which produce plantlets along their length.



* These runners will sap the energy from the mother plant, and are usually cut off as soon as they are seen.
* But some growers allow them to grow and root between the plants, so that a continuous mat of strawberry plants is formed.
* The runners may be used to propagate new strawberry plants.

August 9, 2009

Elsanta 60 day Strawberries

Filed under: fruit — Tags: , — TopVeg @ 8:38 pm

The Elsanta table top strawberries planted earlier this year have produced delicious, tasty strawberries in 60 days.



Intensive strawberry growers can buy strawberry plants which have been ‘programmed’ to be ready in a certain number of days.  The young plants are frozen for a certain length of time depending on when they are required to be ready.  These plants were called ‘60 day strawberries’, which means that they will fruit 60 days after planting – and they did!



The strawberry variety Elsanta suits intensive growing, and are the most widely grown variety in Europe.  The intensive production involves growing the plants through polythene and feeding them through the water pipes.

These Elsanta 60 day Strawberries are very good quality, and they have not been treated with any chemicals:

  • The polythene keeps the weeds down.
  • The table legs stop attacks from slugs.
  • As the strawberry plants are raised on the table tops, fresh air blows around them and seems to keep diseases at bay.

The Elsanta 60 day strawberries, planted on table tops this year, will produce more strawberries next year.

July 13, 2009

Strawberry Runners

Filed under: fruit — Tags: , , — TopVeg @ 2:52 pm

Now strawberries are coming to the end of their fruiting season, a few of the new strawberry runners can be allowed to develop.   These can be used to plant a new bed.  Click the links below for more information:

planting out new strawberry plants from runners

New strawberry plants from runners

June 26, 2009

Why are strawberries sour?

Filed under: fruit — Tags: — TopVeg @ 11:14 am

Strawberries grown in pots are sometimes sour.  This is due to the kink in the stem which forms when the stem falls over the sharp edge of the pot.



To prevent the stems from kinking,wide round pipes can be placed either side  of the pots, so that the strawberries gently hang down.  If the growth just drops down (& possibly kinks the stem) the strawberries are sour. So it is vital for the round pipe to allow the stems to gently curve over – to stop the strawberries going sour.



Strawberries grown on the ground often have straw under them.  This keeps the berries clean, but it also helps the stems hang gently down.  This is probably why the strawberries are not sour.

June 19, 2009

Favourite fruit award – Gardeners’ World Awards 2009.

Filed under: fruit — Tags: — TopVeg @ 4:53 pm

Strawberries came top of the voters favourite fruit award in the Gardeners’ World Awards 2009.
Strawberry Irresistible is one of the sweetest strawberries ever!



Strawberry Irresistible

  • very sweet
  • high in sugar
  • high in vitamin C
  • 10 bareroot plants – cost £10.99 from Thompson & Morgan

Strawberries came top of the voters favourite fruit award in the Gardeners’ World Awards 2009.

May 28, 2009

Mini Berry Sauce

Filed under: fruit — Tags: , , — TopVeg @ 5:43 pm

Show off your garden mini berries by adding this sauce to icecreams, sponges, or your favourite deserts.
Ingredients for mini berry sauce:

  • 40g caster sugar
  • 100ml red wine
  • 100ml port
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 200g strawberries, halved
  • 200g blackberries

How to make mini berry sauce:

  • put the sugar in a pan and heat until caramelised
  • stir in the red wine & port and boil until reduced by about 1/3
  • add the lemon juice and berries and leave to cool

March 21, 2009

Latin Name of Strawberry.

Filed under: fruit — Tags: , — TopVeg @ 9:45 pm


  Latin Name of Strawberry.

Common Name:  Wild Strawberry
Latin Name:  Fragaria virginiana
Family:  Rosaceae
The commercial strawberry grown in the garden is a hybrid, Fragaria × ananassa.

This hybrid was produced from a  cross between plants of two strawberry Fragaria species, Fragaria chiloensis and Fragaria virginiana.

March 3, 2009

Mulch soft fruits.

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , — TopVeg @ 7:39 am

Mulch soft fruits with organic matter.

A mulch is something which covers the ground completely, in a thick layer, without any gaps.

  • Place the mulch round fruit bushes and trees.
  • Leave a slight gap around the base of the fruit plant to avoid fungal growth.


Organic matter is stuff which was once alive, such as:

* lawn clippings
* straw
* farmyard manure
* wood chippings

The benefits of mulch are:

* stops the soil drying out
* gives nutrients to plants
* encourages worms
* reduces weeds
* keeps the soil an even temperature
* saves work

Applying mulch to soft fruits now will improve the yield of berries in the summer.

June 19, 2008

Slugs on Strawberries

Filed under: pests&diseases — Tags: , , , — TopVeg @ 2:14 pm


  This is a bad year for slugs  on strawberries.



The slug population has exploded in the ideal conditions provided by the wet conditions last summer & this spring.

To reduce slug attacks on strawberries:

    * surround the strawberry row with oyster grit, or a similar medium,
      which the slugs do not like to cross.
    * place ’slug pubs’ amongst the rows. These are small containers of
      beer which the slugs drop in to.
    * leave grapefruit or orange skins in the row, which will attract
      slugs, & pick the slugs out every day & destroy.
    * purchase a pyramid slug trap
    * elevate the strawberry plants on poles which the slugs cannot
      climb – see table top strawberries.
    * click the link for more info on slug control



Slugs can devastate the strawberry crop, so it is worth taking time to
control the slugs, using a number of different methods.

September 12, 2007

Table Top Strawberries Grow Fast.

Filed under: fruit — Tags: , , — TopVeg @ 8:37 pm

Table Top Strawberries planted in York on August 1st have grown well.



The strawberry variety nearest the camera is Darsilette. This is an
early variety. The other variety, Darselect, is a mid-season, main-crop

The cold-stored strawberry plants arrived with good roots and crowns,
but no leaves. As soon as they were planted into warm, moist peat they
started to produce leaves. They have been kept moist and sprayed with
soluble feed. In the six weeks they have been growing they have been
de-flowered twice. They should produce a 60-70% yield next season.



These table top strawberries are showing great promise just six weeks
after planting.

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