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Saturday, 27 July 2013

Strawberry trials - an update

I’ve been experimenting with two different ways of strawberry growing. One used a traditional strawberry planter (left).

The other (below) was with a growing bag supported by planks and raised on bricks – a method inspired by the National Trust’s kitchen garden at Polesden Lacey, near Dorking in Surrey.

So, as promised,  here are my results.

Each method used the same number of plants and has produced around 45 strawberries (some still green). But interestingly, the grow bag fruit (on the left) - as well as the plants - are noticeably larger.This may be because the bag holds more water than the pot, even though I put a perforated bottle in the middle of the latter to try to regulate the flow. One plant in a lower hole of the pot has no fruit at all. Perhaps the bees missed it, or the water didn't get through. It might have helped if the planter was raised off the ground a bit.

The fruit from both is delicious, and I’m thrilled with the results. Nothing beats nibbling a strawberry, warm from the sun, while wandering round the garden. I’ll be potting up as many runners as possible and next year perhaps have two grow bags instead of one. But I will persevere with the planter - it looks so pretty on the terrace.

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