Sunday was a glorious day after a couple of days of rain. We decided to wait till later in the day to actually harvest the first few strawberries. This way they would be just a little sweeter as the extra water dries out of their system. They probably weigh less ... but taste matters more. We set up a system of boxes to enable us to track what each different tube produces and compare it with strawberries out the front and "in the back." Thankfully we can count the plants as well to get an idea about weight per plant.
The total was 17.5 ounces, from 310 plants. About right for first harvest in the first year of these plants. If this keeps up somewhere around 20 ounces a day for 30 days should be right (we planned for about 40 lbs of strawberries for us to freeze and eat throughout the year). Lots of plants that are not yet producing, and indeed a little on the small side. To early to see any trends in production. This week will be warm and dry so I will need to pay attention to watering, and we should see a lot more strawberries coming on.
Based on Treq's experience at another farm, every two weeks I run a drench of molasses into the water mix, 1/2 cup of molasses for 1 gallon of water. It's a little more than a pick me up level since they are in a reduced soil system so adding the extra nutrients to support microbial life seems appropriate. A little hard in the drip system as molasses does tend to gunk it up ... so attention is required. I also use it as a spray at the base of the plants. Will it make a difference ... who knows but I know have 5 gallons of the stuff to last me this year.