Balcony ‘potager’ in May 2014 … first taste of strawberries …

This year, I did not do much for the strawberry plants … except to take them out of the greenhouse shelves and to place them on the railings once spring had arrived. And of course, to remember to water them when the days are warm and sunny … although I sometimes forget to do so when I am busy doing some other things on the balcony.

I did have to remove some aphids when I first brought them out of the greenhouse shelves as well as I added some medium to the pots that looked as if they needed some, and I also gave them a shot of fertiliser … but only once which was a few weeks ago and then, I forgot to feed them again after that … oops!

Yet despite my neglect, they have been coping well enough with the lack of care, food and sometimes with the lack of watering on my part!

In fact, I had thought of re-potting them in early spring as I had believed that a change of fresh new potting medium might possibly encourage them to bloom more. But as they had already started to flower by the time I took them out of the greenhouse, I decided against doing so.

Anyway, I learnt that I did not really have to do so. Once they were freed from the confine of the greenhouse, the flowering became more earnest. And as I became more preoccupied with my many seedlings and gardening tasks, they were thus left pretty much on their own.

However, the time has come for me to start giving them a little more of my attention lah …

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… because strawberry season has arrived on our balcony, it would seem … yeayyyy! 😀

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See all those pretty little things? 🙂 I had not realised that they were waiting for me to look at them as I am often busy with other things on the balcony.

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Although not all the plants produce a lot of strawberries … there are those like this one that do so.

SAM_5637A This one especially is a winner.  I am ‘straw-berry’ happy this season! 🙂

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This particular pot of strawberries has a small guardian … the litlte bird is helping to keep the other birds away from the berries! hehehe …

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My pot of Camara strawberries. They are among the first of the strawberry plants to flower. However, despite the gorgeous deep pink flowers, the fruits themselves are a bit of a disappointment. I am not sure what could be the reason but the strawberries are often small or they did not develop properly. But … the taste of those strawberries that have developed to their full size (they are very, very sweet), the colour of the flowers and as they fruit until late autumn … all these virtues help them to earn their continued spot on the railing!

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Lately, the spring weather has finally started to become quite warm … with the temperature hitting well above the twenties for the past two days. As a result, the strawberries which were still quite green just a few days ago have already started to turn red.

Strawberries

And as the fruits get bigger and become redder, it is hard not to keep touching them and not to stop looking at them … whilst waiting for them to ripen.

Of course, not all my strawberries are red.

SAM_5609AThese little ones are of the white variety … and were even more neglected than their red and larger siblings. Imagine my happy surprise when I checked on them yesterday and realised that the small plants had been quietly producing a lot of little berries! I had only seen a few tiny flowers …

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… but several were in fact hidden under the foliage and have already developed into these adorable white strawberries. In fact, one had even dried up! ish, ish, ish … shame on me for ignoring them!

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However, I am still waiting for my little yellow strawberry plants ((it is the green pot in the middle) to start flowering and fruiting. It has been more than a year since I sowed the seeds … but the elusive yellow strawberry is still not in sight … yet! But I can wait … 🙂

In the meantime, I decided to do some strawberry picking yesterday as I could see that some had already ripened and were not that far away from turning mushy before finally drying up.

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So these are my first harvest of the strawberries this season. Only a few … but they are organic … and they are fresh from the balcony … and they are very sweet unlike those in the supermarkets … AND …  I did not have to do much to enjoy them! I loiikeee ….

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Definitely, the kind of plant that I love having in my limited potager garden … and I cannot wait to pick more of these beauties! 🙂

Previous entry on balcony potager in May :

 

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