Well officially not until the solstice on 21st March but the sun shone all day and I managed to get two thirds of a 10×13 bed dug. The honeysuckle agrees with me that spring is here.
I’ve been busy at the plot these past two weekends. The trellis has been replaced. I did wonder if a tornado had visited the plot during the winter storms, it was reduced to matchsticks. The new one was much easier to install than I had anticipated: me alone with a drill, screws and a step ladder, but no mishaps and the result is a tamed and trained honesuckle.
The trellis also provides support for the sun shade; it’s a south facing plot and when the summer sun is out, there is no where to hide. I’m hoping this will create a cool, shady spot. At my age, the wrinkles don’t need any more help!
Feeling proud of my DIY prowess, I turned my attention to the strawberry beds.
These are no-dig raised beds, about 18″ high. I wasn’t around much last year and weeds colonised the beds. I thought most were annual weeds but just under the soil, I discovered the evil white roots of bindweed.
There was only one thing for it: lift the plants, jump in the beds with a spade and dig. I filled a 50l trug twice with the evil white root. As I replanted, I gave the root balls a thorough check to make sure no white roots were hiding out. I’m hoping that I’ve gotten most of the root and any broken bits will be easy to pull out once they sprout. The plants are back in and looking green and perky and I’ll water with a seaweed feed once a week to get them settled back in. Fingers crossed for a decent harvest.
I have two 8×4 beds and had a decent yield last year, enough for jam and fresh strawberries every day for about 6 weeks. The plants are a mix of Marshmello (they do produce big, juicy fruits as advertised), Perfection (amazingly sweet) and Elsanta (I was a bit sniffy about having a supermarket variety, but left to ripen they are a sweet, juicy fruit and good for jam.