25/04/2013

I'm a sucker for a strawberry!

I really am! I love them so much, I've ended up with 6 large beds full that edge my patio. Up until this spring, they were wonderfully healthy and provided me with masses of beautiful fresh tasting fruit.


 I noticed this year that a few of the beds didn't look that great (the above one is doing well though). I thought the terrible winter may have had something to do with it, and ordered some new varieties to fill in the gaps. I have Elegance, that produces enormous tasty strawberries in June and July, Florence, a prolific cropper from the end of June to the end of July and Finesse, an everbearer with exceptional flavour, cropping from July to October.


After forking over one bed to add the new varieties, I soon discovered that the culprit may not have been the weather at all, but the rather devastating larvae of the Vine Weevil!


These beasties nibble away on the thin roots of plants and the outer tissue of thicker roots, eventually killing the plant. I picked out as many of them as I could and put them on the table for the birds, but seriously, there were so many I got fed up after a while. Fingers crossed they don't do any damage to my my new plants!

Not content with the strawberries in my beds, I also have some in the ground, and have just popped these wild strawberries, Fragaria vesca Alexandra, into my basket stand. I'm hoping the little alpine strawberries I'm growing from seed will be able to join these in a month or two.


If my other beds don't pick up soon, there may be even more varieties joining them in the next month or so.

29 comments:

  1. Those vine weevils are a real pest but so far we have only had them in containers! Like you we are raising some alpines from seed.

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    1. Well, mine are basically containers Sue, just giant sized ones ;-)

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  2. Oh no! The dreaded vine weevil.....hopefully that's the last you'll see of them.

    Your new strawberries look strong and healthy, here's to a bumper crop.xxx

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    1. A bumper crop indeed! I need enough to make my jam :-)

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  3. Ew - those vine weevils look evil! I hope you have good luck with your strawberries. I love them, too, although I've never grown any myself.

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    1. They are evil little things, and everytime I dig over the soil in the beds now I keep finding more!

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  4. Hear no weevil, speak no weevil, see no weevil! Yikes these things are horrible pests. Fingers crossed for your new plants!

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    1. Lol, see no weevil would be my choice.

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  5. I'm not that fussed about strawberries, I much prefer blackberries and raspberries. However I do grow them on the plot and moved 12 plants last autumn which are just starting to show signs of new growth. I was given the original plants by a plot neighbour so have no idea of the variety(s). Flighty xx

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    1. Ooh, I love strawberries, Flighty! I usually have so many we can't eat them all so I end up making loads of jam.

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  6. I only grow strawberries in containers, and touch wood haven't had any vine weevil problems yet. Nigel Slater says Florence is his favourite strawberry so you are in good company.

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    1. Oh, you're lucky Elaine, I hope they stay away for you. And Nigel is one of my food heroes, so if he says the Florence is his favourite then it must be really good :-)

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  7. Ugh! I hate nasty little grubs like those! Hopefully, they all got stomach aches from their feasting. I love strawberries, too. :o)

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    1. Now there's a thought, a bug with a stomach ache ;-)

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  8. I have had problems with vine weevils too in my garden, last year the adults ate my entire crocosmia before the flowers were out, and many of my evergreens. This year I have decided to go to war against them, and I intend to win! I have ordered vine weevil nematodes from Amazon, will get it next week, and I will do another purchase in the autumn. It is a bit costly but well worth it if it works. Will keep everyone informed about how it goes :-)

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    1. I did look into the nematodes too Helene, but you're right, they are costly and I have 6 large beds to dose with them. I think I'll wait and see how you get on with them before making a purchase.

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  9. Ahhh, strawberries. You can never have quite enough of those, can you. I hope the vine weevil stays away. I have put my strawberries in between lavender bushes which seem to help a bit with keeping "pests" away.

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    1. That sounds like a good plan Linda, although the vine weevil tends to be more of a pest in pot and container grown plants so I think that's probably why they're attacking my strawberries in the beds. I'll be squishing any adult ones I find!

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  10. I love strawberries too... especially fresh with icecream or in homemade jam. Mmm...... Your little plants look the picture of health!

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    1. Oh yes, jam from your own strawberries is just divine!

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  11. I love strawberries, but I gave up long ago trying to grow my own. I tried several times, using good soil and good varieties, only to see them succumb to disease. Maybe I had some weevils, too! Best wishes for yours!

    Also, thanks for visiting my own blog and for your kind comment!

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    1. What a shame. I must say, up until now, I haven't had any problems with growing them and they appear to do well here.

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  12. The very first time I grew strawberries, I planted them in a very large plastic strawberry bin that took a large bag of compost to fill. They grew well in the first year, but the following spring they looked really poorly. On investigation I found the entire bin full of vine weevil grubs. I threw the bin and all its contents away, and now grow strawberries in smaller pots that I can keep an eye on.
    I use the nematodes on strawberries and blueberries, and they do work, but you have to keep using them and they are expensive.

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    1. Yes, that's the problem Crystal. If it was a one time purchase I wouldn't mind, but when you have to keep re-applying it is going to be very costly.

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  13. Strawberries are such a great food source, I really love them. I have not run into vine weevils so it would be interested in see how well with your planned solution.

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    1. I just hope it works Charlie, I'd be lost without my strawberry beds.

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  14. I hope you get a good crop of strawberries. Vine weevils are nasty little pests. I do love strawberries, even though, in a good year, it can be strawberries every day for a while! We've started growing them in hanging baskets.

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    1. Strawberries every day Wendy...that's my idea of heaven :-)

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  15. Eugh, nasty little critters, I hope they don't "do" for this years crop. I'm growing alpine strawberries from seed too this year, and am hoping to edge various beds with them, but in future years I will definitely be tempted by "proper" strawberries too, vine weevils notwithstanding.

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