19 March 2022

Our strawberry plants are begging to have their shoots potted up!  Some are even rooting in the hoggin paths!  Anyway the job has finally been done this weekend.

We re-use our pots by giving them a wash in water to which we’ve added a splash of white vinegar – this sterilises them.  Fill with a good potting mix, then we’re off out to the garden.

I choose nodes from runners all round the bed to make sure I’m getting them from a good selection of plants.  It’s easy as.  Just pop the node into the pot and pin the runner down on the mother plant side with a teased-out paper clip (unless you have the professional pins).  The plant grows quickly and in about 3-4 weeks’ time, we’ll cut the umbilical cord.  The plants will go in in May.

Last year I kept 6 plants from the previous year and grew 18 new ones.  There was absolutely no comparison with regard to fruiting.  The new ones had large juicy abundant fruit.  The old ones (despite being cut back and fed up) had fruit but it was small and the plants weren’t as productive.  These older plants have hardly put out any runners either, so they’re for the compost heap.

Speaking of which, our biomass pile is getting tall and it’s time to make a new heap.  Apart from the spent crops on the biomass pile, our ingredients for the compost include freshly-mown grass, chicken manure, fertiliser, used coffee grounds, egg cartons and some soil or compost. 

We layer it up in this order grass, egg cartons, biomass, activators (fertiliser/chicken manure/coffee grounds) and in our case the last of the last compost, watering it all well before repeating the layering. 

At the end I cover it with black tarpaulin kept in place with excess concrete posts, to encourage the heating up and to keep it rodent-proof.

Then as we’re in a Full Moon phase I’m sowing another packet of carrot seeds.  I’m adding some Revital compost and Dave’s Humate to the carrot bed to ensure the medium is nice and fine for the seeds.  There’s some Natures Organic Fertiliser in there too.

Fingers crossed they come up like last month’s!

And we have a beauty shot this time – a late-planted zucchini Partenon Hybrid.  I was so disappointed with the variety I planted in summer. Rob put me onto this variety.  What a difference!  I can finally get to make my favourite Zucchini Pickles!

Happy Autumn gardening from Jan and Rob!

4 Responses

  1. Thanks, very useful.
    So when do you get rid of old strawberry plants and plant your new ones from runners? and what do you do to your soil before you plant the new ones?
    cheers Estelle

    1. We’ll be planting out our new strawberry plants in the First Quarter in May which starts on 9 May. Strawberries require a soil full of nutrients. We’ll choose a new bed to plant our new strawberries in, to make sure the soil isn’t robbed of particular nutrients. We always fork a new bed through to aerate it and add compost on top. Then for strawberries we would create a trench first and put the nitrogen fertiliser (chicken manure/sheep pellets) into the trench, then cover it in and create a mound and plant the strawberries into this (the mound provides good drainage for the plants). Obviously you make several of these for all the plants. The reason for burying the nitrogen fertiliser is so the plants’ roots reach it once the plants are growing and needing a bit of a boost. Round the plants we’d then apply a multi-mineral fertiliser like our Natures Organic Fertiliser. Then add a mulch like barley hay into the trenches and around the plants. This keeps the moisture in and the fruit clean. All the best 🙂

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