Monday, 23 April 2007

Strawberry Bed Re-vamp

My old strawberry bed was in need of a re-vamp. Some of the plants were over three years old and that's the time we replace them.

Diseases build up over time and even the runners can't be used as replacement stock.

These diseases are carried from plant to plant by aphids that visit the flowers.
According to Linda Woodrow in her book 'The Permaculture Home Garden' by keeping a couple of plants in a sheltered pot in the shadehouse I am able to use the runners for replacement stock as long as I stop the plants from flowering.
I have managed to do this and have some healthy young plants to plant out.

I have also split the original two parent plants and have selected three strong young runners to continue as breeding stock.

The old bed was made up of tyres and I am replacing these now.
I have discovered that Red-Back Spiders love to live in tyres in my garden and picking early morning breakfast strawberries with poisonous spiders lurking around is something I'd rather not do.

We had an old bed frame left over from the kids bunk beds and have been using this as a garden bed around the place.

I decided to use a piece of cardboard under the frame to slow down the Cherry tree suckers that keep invading the Strawberry area. I don't mind these suckers growing as I use them for grafting practice in the spring. It's just that I'd rather them not grow in with the strawberries as it's hard to dig them up from there!

I covered the cardboard with garden soil, some compost, chook house 'manure/bedding' and new soil. During the next few weeks I watered it regularly.
As a final layer on top I used a mix of soaked coir, topsoil and some acid potting mix as strawberries like a soil slightly more acidic than our general soil.

Then I set up some of the new in-line dripper (spaced at 30cm) that I have left over and a line of drippers in the centre for some Companion Plants of Feverfew and Borage with Lettuce and Spinach in between.

The Moon Planting Guide said to Plant Strawberries under Jupiter on the 22nd April.
So that I did.

I have high hopes for these strawberries and one is in flower already!

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