Apples and pumpkins are more typical of the season, but there is no bad time for fresh garden berries. This ever bearing variety, Fresca, is producing tasty fruit this fall. During the heat of the summer the plants looked rough and produced little, but they have come back nicely in the fall. Our average first frost here is in the first week of November so I won’t have these coming in for much longer.
Strawberries are a soft fruit that absorbs sprays making the average grocery store berry one of the fruits with the most chemical residue. Growing your own strawberries organically is considerably easier than growing your own peaches or apples. A strawberry patch was part of almost every garden in the days before chemical sprays. The flavor and health rewards are worth it. I have several varieties of ever bearing strawberries and now have been through at least a season with them.
I did consider pulling out the Fresca berries this summer but now I’m glad I didn’t. They suffer in hot weather (zone 7 here) and never produce a volume like June bearing types. They would likely do better further north and I’ll try them in a spot that gets more afternoon shade in the future.
My alpine strawberries also benefit from afternoon shade in the summer. Two of my three varieties are producing well again in the fall. The Yellow Wonder are the most productive of the little alpine berries I have. With yellow berries, birds don’t bother them. But turtles and ants find them delicious.
I’ve not been impressed with the Attila variety. I did get a few berries that grew on runners hanging in the air as the picture in the seed catalog showed. But mostly Attila just produced runners and very little fruit. I started the seeds in January. In May, I set eight plants in a garden bed. They have expanded and produced lots of vegetative growth. But while my other varieties are producing fruit, all Attila is doing is covering the ground. (left photo)
The full sized ever bearing variety I’ve grown for years is Tristar. It produces from early May until mid July for me. It is not a fall producer. Six weeks ago, I transplanted some to new beds. The big thriving one I had grown in a pot. The little one above was the same size when transplanted, but was a bare root transplant. Catching runners in pots and transplanting with soil around the roots significantly reduced shock of transplanting.