On Monday afternoon, Jose and I walked the new and last year’s strawberry beds. The new planting, last August, has the biggest berries whereas, the previous years planting are smaller but more flavorful. We were concerned that after the weekends rain the ripe fruit would be damaged. The new crop has firmer fruit and very little damage. The older crop we will have to be picked and removed from the field. Leaving that crop will harbor disease from the rain splashed crop.
When will we have the first berries to pick? Hopefully for next week’s boxes. We planted four varieties as an insurance policy. Each seems to have it’s pros and cons. ‘Petaluma’ likes it cool, resists the rain damage, but probably will not be happy when it turns hot in the summer. Likewise ‘Albion’ likes the heat and fruits a little later in the spring.
The crop is nice and weed free thanks to a little hand weeding and the woven plastic mulch, of which, some is almost tens years of reuse. It is expensive to buy and only makes economic sense on a few crops such as Eggplant, Basil and Strawberries.