Vines and Other Climbing Plants

Strawberries – Climbing.

Everybody in Great Britain must be familiar with the bright red Strawberries both grown and sold everywhere in the Summer. They are, as everyone knows, a trailer that readily produces long runners along which will develop young plantlets that can be cut off and rooted to make new plants for future years and replace the older parent plants as they become less productive. However, several varieties have been bred with extra long runners that will grow up to 2 metres and unusually, will bear fruit as they develop. The idea is to plant these strawberries against a support framework and tie up the runners as they grow thus making them grow as if they were a climber. It is not a new idea and goes back decades, but has resurfaced and the plants are widely being promoted again. It must be remembered that they are not a true climber and in fact there was a court case some years ago that ruled they are actually trailers. 

The big advantage of these particular varieties though, is that they should produce much more fruit in a smaller space and growing them as a climber may even avoid some slug damage. Alternatively, the plants could simply be grown in hanging baskets and allowed to trail down with the berries dripping red all down the long runners. It is probably true however, that plants will grow better and be more productive if grown in the ground rather than in baskets as baskets are notoriously difficult to keep watered well and Strawberry plants do need water for fruit development.

Another unusual Strawberry type that is being sold has white berries. Often sold as Pineberries, they do actually have tinges of red round the tiny pips over the surface of the berries. The white Strawberries are not as sweet as ordinary Strawberries and are said to have a little bit of a tang to them supposedly tasting of Pineapple. Perhaps the idea is that thieving birds and other animals won’t take them, as they won’t know when they are ripe! 

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