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Sunday, May 07, 2006

Strawberries Redux

It's becoming increasingly clear that certain areas of my garden need a major transfusion of nutrients, so today I spent a couple hours working on my strawberry bed. These are Quinault strawberry plants that are two or three years old. I dug them all up (weeding as I went along) and put the strawberries aside. When the entire bed was empty, I dug in two big bags of steer manure. Then I divided and cleaned up the strawberry plants before replanting them. There are now over 30 plants in that bed, plus about another dozen in the bed by the roses, and at least two more dozen in two strawberry pots. These are everbearing strawberries, so there will never be a big harvest at one time, but with this many plants I will be able to reliably get a few each day until October or November. Hopefully, the manure will give them a good boost to start production.

I also put in four salvia starts that I got from the Merritt College plant sale a couple weeks ago. They may get too big for that spot and shade out some of the strawberries, but if they do, I can always move a few of the strawberries to another spot.

4 comments:

snappy said...

You must like stawberries Claire,I am waiting for a friend at work to give me some strawberry plants when they put out runners.Its a tidy bed you have made.Whats the big green plant in the pot?

Claire Splan said...

The big green thing in the pot is a dwarf Ranier Cherry tree.

Anthony said...

Do you ammend with anything else besides manure? I just got a few plants that I'm going to put in a big metal planter (size of a half whiskey barrel) filled with finished compost. I was wondering if I'd need to ammend it with anything?

Claire Splan said...

Yes, I do. The rains earlier this season seem to have leached just about everything good out of the soil, so a couple weeks ago I put a 10-10-10 fertilizer on just about everything. I thought the strawberries would do well with an extra boost, so that's why I added the manure. If you use a planter filled with compost, I would think that that would work fine for a season or two, but unless you plant something in it that actually puts nitrogen back into the soil (like things in the pea family, for example), you will eventually have to amend the planter soil. Container soil just doesn't hold onto the nutrients long-term.

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