Alpine Strawberries, Raised Beds and Ruminations

I was expecting to admit defeat on the strawberry germination front. Despite excellent advice and carefully packaged seeds from Patrick and Steph there had been a long period of absolutely nothing happening. But today there are four absolutely tiny seedlings in the white alpine strawberry seed tray! They are minute in a completely different way to the celeriac, which is tall and spindly, the strawberries are tiny but soil-hugging, looking like tiny green pinpricks on the surface of the John Innes #2. I’m very excited, especially as I have more seeds yet to plant, and hope that there will be enough seedlings to be able to raise some for other allotment holders. And we potted up about nine rhubarb at the weekend, so we’re definitely stockpiling goodies to be sold/donated/given away, which is part of our brief in working this plot for the Allotment Society.

Anyway, because the strawberries are just too intsy to photograph, here’s a picture of our first raised beds being installed. The wood was sourced by me from Freecycle, the beds were designed and constructed by Himself from old decking, and I painted them. He hammered them into the ground. I dug the soil over. In other words, it’s been a real collaborative effort. The idea is to have nine of them, all in different colours, but we haven’t agreed on which nine crops they will house yet: definitely celeriac, climbing French beans, summer salads and chicory but the rest are up for grabs, as it were.

What I’ve been ruminating about is the excitement of germination. I’ve been out to the greenhouse three times to look at the strawberries, and I know Himself will go and have a look as soon as he gets home. But having mentioned this to an otherwise good friend today, I was disturbed to find her reaction to be lukewarm. She’s not ‘into’ planting things, she told me. I can’t understand that at all. I’ve tried, but it’s like saying you’re not into breathing, isn’t it?

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Posted by The Allotment Blogger on Thursday, February 19, 2009


Anonymous Amy said...

I totally agree, surely everyone has it in them to want to grow tasty food?

The raised beds look great. Can't wait to see the full set.

February 19, 2009 at 2:08 PM  
Blogger The Allotment Blogger said...

Thanks Amy - the brown bed is going to be transported to the plot tomorrow and I'm planning to paint the mauve bed on Monday ...

February 21, 2009 at 12:38 PM  
Anonymous Patrick said...

Besides seeds, another way to propagate the plants are with root divisions. Next spring you should be able to break the individual plants up into 10-20 smaller plants if you want.

One way or another you'll soon have lots of plants to share.

The nice thing about alpine strawberries is they multiply quickly, but don't send out runners like normal strawberries do, so they stay in a pretty confined space.

Also, starting with the second year, the yield improves significantly. Don't be too disappointed if you don't get a lot the first year.

February 23, 2009 at 3:30 AM  

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