Thursday, June 30, 2011

strawberry anatomy...

Being that this is essentially the first time that I've grown strawberries, I am observing some things that are rather me.

I had noticed last year that each plant sends out shooters (called stolon or runners) that will then create a whole new plant and once the plant is established, the shooter dies.  It's like an umbilical cord for strawberries.  This has made the strawberry hill very crowded and in need of pruning.  I can share the plants if anyone would like any...I don't like to just throw away good, healthy plants.

On to my scientific observations...this year we've finally had enough strawberries to harvest and I am busy picking them on a daily basis.  Sometimes upwards of 17 berries a day!  However, all of that is coming to an end because these are June bearers...anyway, I was mentioning to Jbo last night about a couple of things I've observed ~ 

There seems to be a main stem on the strawberry fruit cluster.  That stem is thicker and stronger than the other stems.  The fruit on that stem is large and has a nice shape, whereas the fruits on the thinner stems are much smaller and in a lot of cases, a bit deformed.

A little internet investigation confirmed my discovery.  In the F. Fruit cluster: a, primary fruit; b, secondary fruit; c, tertiary fruit.

Since we never see small berries at the grocery store or even farmer's markets, I'd wondered aloud to Jbo if it might be possible that strawberry farmers only sell as individual fruit the primary and then use the secondary and tertiary fruit for jams and jellies and Jbo thought maybe for frozen strawberries.
Another thing I've observed is that there is a beetle bug that seems to like the strawberries and must inject some kind of agent into the fruit which makes the flesh a gray color and the fruit becomes smooshy.  I have found one or two on an infected fruit.  So, not only do I have to watch out for the chippy's but also these beetle bugs.

Again, in the same page I found out about the different levels of fruit, I also found out about all the different insect strawberry predators.  I think mine is the Strawberry Weevil, but there are plenty to choose from.  

We've only lost a dozen or so fruits to the bug and about the same to the dreaded chippy.


Eric said...

Being that this is essentially the first time that I too have grown strawberries I now know that I am not alone with the deformed berries. It is good to know that this is normal.

Eric said...

And it seems that the chipmunks only like the primary fruit!

baby sister said...

I was going to mention that about the chippys. They have high class taste!

baby sister said...

essentially = did I use that word wrong?