I’m planting carrots, parsnips, spring onions, and beetroot, all by my standard method. The floods really knocked all my root crops around so I’m keen to get a new round in. However my main job this week is to refresh the strawberry patch.
The strawberries have finished bearing now. I have two patches in different beds. The one-year old patch I’ll clean up, remove runners, feed with seaweed brew and add mulch, and I’ll get another round of fruiting next year. The two year old patch though is becoming very ratty. Fungus and virus diseases have started to build up, runners are crowding the plants, and the original plants have just got old. Strawberries are real surface feeders. They have used up all the supply of nutrients in their little root zone by now. If I top dress too heavily, I will cover the crown and they’ll rot.
So I’ve selected the strongest of the young runners, radically pruned them of any leaf with even a sign of disease, and repotted them in a rich mix of compost, worm castings, and creek sand. I’ve watered them in with seaweed brew and I shall keep them in a fairly sunny spot in the shadehouse till they are well established. Meanwhile, I’m preparing a new bed, well away from their previous home, with lots of sheet compost and mulch. The new spot will be on the northern side of a bed because strawberries are short and won’t shade the things to their south as they come into full maturity in late winter.
And then, having used up all my seaweed brew, I shall just have to go to the beach for a few days.