3: BERRY HO­LEY STRAW­BER­RIES

The Leader (Nelson) - - OUT & ABOUT -

I dis­cov­ered I should have done this weeks ago when last week I threw a net over my straw­ber­ries and found peck holes all through them. My old straw­berry patch was in a cor­ru­gated iron ‘tree’ and didn’t need net­ting as the berries hung down away from any perch – but it was hard to feed and re­plant them, and they only pro­duced enough for a tasty treat. My new straw­ber­ries were some plants my aunty had left over that I popped in un­der the ba­nana trees. They went wild and mul­ti­plied a thou­sand-fold last year, but pro­duced dis­ap­point­ingly few fruit. As it is a new bed with lots of ni­troge­nous com­post, I’ve spent the win­ter feed­ing them ash from the fire to boost potas­sium lev­els and have been re­warded with a pro­fu­sion of blos­som. I have poked half hoops of alka­thene pipe in the ground around them and thrown bird net­ting over the lot. Hope­fully we will have straw­berry jam this year.

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