Tag Archives: strawberries

Strawberries: 3, Slugs: 0

A cluster of strawberries

A cluster of slug-free strawberries

It’s June, and that means strawberries. Big, bright strawberries. Handfuls of them day by day.

I even remembered to put out beer traps for the slugs. Oddly enough I haven’t caught any yet. Nor have I found the characteristic circular bites taken of sweet, sweet berries. I wonder if the recent heat dried them up?

Meanwhile in other fruits…

Image…I picked an Alpine strawberry yesterday. As it was a bit dry and tough, I probably should have waited until after last night’s rainfall, but it was still a strawberry!

Strawberries are ripe!

Ripe, red strawberries

I picked about a cup of these beauties today.  Like everything else, they’re early. Usually I have to wait until June for ripe strawberries, although I suppose Memorial Day weekend is about as close to June you can get and still be May.

Only berry had a small bite taken out, so I think the trays of failed homebrew I’ve been putting out as slug and snail traps are working. The weird thing is that the beer has been disappearing overnight. Some critter must be drinking it. I even have a suspect: Just last night, a possum hustled through the yard, about an hour before sunset. You have to wonder if it was a such a rush because it wanted some beer before it was all gone.

April flowers soaked by May showers equal early fruits

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May’s warmth arrived in April. The April rains have soaked the first week of May. It’s all so confusing, but the plants like it. The plums are ripening about three weeks earlier than they were least year. The first strawberries have set fruit about two weeks earlier. And a brand new pink columbine popped up where I don’t remember planting anything. This really is a marvelous spring!

Sometimes red means go ahead and eat

The various bright reds in the garden are catching my eye.

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Tomatoes are red.
Strawberries are red.
Raspberries are red.
Even crabapples and rose hips are red.

They are the reds of little round traffic lights,
Reds that mean Stop and pick me,
Reds than mean Go ahead and eat me.

Return of the cool

Three ripe Alpine strawberries

The cool weather coming back has brought the comeback of the Alpine strawberries. Once again, they’re good for a small handful of intensely ripe little dots of sweetness. It’s nice, but I feel like the weather is getting cooler quicker than usual this year.  I’m not used to hearing frost warnings in September. Maybe we have one last dose of hot weather coming, but I think autumn is here.

All this rain better make my fruit trees ripen!

The garden is filled with fruit that just ain’t ripe.

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A darker harvest

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Sounds like a cheesy vampire novel, but all I see are deep colored berries entering the mix: black raspberries, blueberries, and darkest of all, mulberries. Oh yeah, the strawberries are still ripening, too.

Whenever I pick black raspberries, I always remember a story I read as a child, “Green Black Raspberries are Red.” This is true. For any raspberry, you have to wait until the fruit comes off with the slightest tug. The same goes for blueberries: no matter how purple it looks, I test them to see if the stem breaks easily enough to let go. Mulberries are easy. Once they turn that nearly black purple, they drop into your hand at a touch.

Now if I could only remember how to tell if peaches are ripe. They’re next.

A raspberry and a blueberry from the bees

Today’s harvest was brought to you by the bees.

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Honeybees and small carpenter bees in the raspberries. Bumblebees, too, but they’re too fast for me to get a good picture. I caught a Lasioglossum bee in the flowerhead of one of the scallions I planted last fall. And the coriander flower is showing off one of my favorite syphrid flies, the beautifully patterned Toxomerus.

Strawberry season

Slug's eye view of ripe, ripe strawberries

There’s two races when picking strawberries. One is to get them before they go mushy. The other is to get them before the slugs do.

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