It has been a mild Autumn in the Grimsby and Cleethorpes area so far which has provided an ideal opportunity to catch up on work round the farm, and more importantly, plant more fruit so we can keep up with the demand for our “Fabulously Fruity” fruit wines.
Maintaining a healthy, productive range of fruit is always a challenge especially when the weather plays such a huge part in the success or failure of a crop. In addition we are always on the look out for diseases and pests which have to be controlled or fruit production is impacted.
Plants breeders have made huge improvements in developing new varieties which are less susceptible to weather variations and fruit diseases. After this year’s fruit season we decided to plough an area of older strawberry plants and prepare the ground for a new planting with two different types of strawberry.
The first is an early season variety called “Christine” which should have fruit to pick from the middle of June, and in the right conditions can produce up to three crops a year. Our second choice is variety named “Elegance”. This is a mid to late season strawberry that is well known for its sweetness coupled with a juicy texture. These strawberries also have a long cropping season lasting for 4 to 5 weeks. The introduction of both of these varieties should allow us to extend our fruit picking season as well as ensuring the best tasting strawberries for our wine.
Planting started on Wednesday 29th November for two days. Over this period we planted out roughly 16,500 plants. Luckily the weather stayed fine and bright, as sitting on the back of a strawberry planter pushing each plant into the row in front is not pleasant on a cold, wet day!
These plants will bed in over the winter months, hopefully building up a good root system and should start producing small amounts of fruit next June, becoming fully productive in 2016.
Our Fabulously Fruity Strawberry wine is available in standard 750ml bottles throughout the year and in 250ml bottles as part of our Christmas “Fabulously Fruity” gift packs.