Putting the straw back into strawberries

Thu 29 May

There’s glorious weather down on the allotment and the strawberries are beginning to ripen. They also need some weeding and I have a bale of straw that came from a pet shop whichI have kept for trying out on the strawberries in the traditional way.

I’ve been round my strawberry patch, weeding out the rogue plants such as raspberries shooting up from the next bed, speedwell, annual dog’s mercury, dandelions and little euphorbias. Then carefully with my left hand I lift up the swelling green fruit off the ground, then with my right I grab a bunch of straw from the bag and lay it as a collar around the plant roots. The developing fruit can then be just laid back onto the straw. The fruit then sit protected from the sometimes wet soil and hopefully are a bit more difficult for slugs and snails to munch on.

Let’s see whether it works! I also pick my first crop of strawberries and realise I must clean out the freezer by making jam with the strawberrries left from last year.

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