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Get Your Strawberries Now For A Summer Of Home Grown Pickings
The best approach to growing strawberries for pickings lasting from June till October is to plant 2 varieties such as Darselect and Albion.
Darselect is a June bearer to give a heavy crop over around 3 weeks in June. Albion, an everbearer will give a steady supply of strawberries from July to October.
Application of a tomato liquid feed once they start to flower will ensure they develop healthy fruits. A mulch of straw around the plants should be applied at or soon after flowering to help protect them from rain splash on surrounding soil. If this is not available then a polythene sheet placed around them is a good alternative. Pick the fruits as they become fully ripe and remember they always taste best later in the day when they have warmed in the sun!
Like The Idea Of Growing Your Own Fruit Trees?
Now's an excellent time to plant fruit trees and bushes for a bumper harvest of juicy fruits for years to come.
If you fancy growing your own mini orchard, then make sure the soil is well prepared with plenty of organic matter.
A mixture such as well-rotted manure and compost is ideal. Always plant at the same depth that the plant was originally growing and firm the soil around the roots. Trees will need to be staked with a good tree stake and secured with two tree ties. After planting, mulch the soil around fruit trees and bushes with a 5-7.5cm (2-3in) thick layer of organic matter to help keep weeds down and maintain soil moisture levels in summer.
This month is also a great time to give all your fruit a little TLC. They will all appreciate a good feeding with a granular fertiliser; use either Growmore or blood, fish and bone. An application of Sulphate of Potash will help boost the amount of fruit your trees produce by providing the much needed nutrient potassium. After feeding mulch the ground around the plants using plenty of bulky organic matter like well-rotted horse manure, compost or composted bark. If young fruit trees are growing in turf, remove a circle of at least 90cm (3ft) in diameter, as the grass is very hungry and thirsty and will rob the tree of vital moisture and nutrients.
You’ve Waited All Winter – Now You Can Start Sowing!
Most gardeners get itchy fingers in early spring - desperate to start sowing and growing.
But patience is a virtue at this time of year. Seeds need a minimum soil temperature of 5-7C (40-45F) to germinate, and if sown too soon they'll just rot. However, you can speed things up by covering your soil with clear plastic, cloches or cloche polytunnels to help warm it up and allow those itchy fingers to get going sooner.
If you don't have a veg garden or simply want to grow more veg in other places, then you can grow most vegetables in pots and other containers on the patio - and some can even be grown in window boxes and hanging baskets. So check your stocks of containers now and buy lots more if you need them. Tomatoes, peppers, chillies, cucumbers and aubergines can be sown indoors this month, but you will need a propagator to ensure good germination. If you don't want the bother of growing your own from seed, then buy young plants.