Tips on Growing Strawberries

Tips on Growing Strawberries
by Melvin Hoffman

Red and white currants are propagated in a similar manner to gooseberries but cuttings can be taken with success far later. With the former, as has been said, it is always better to take the cuttings while the leaves are still on the bushes in the late autumn.

With redcurrants, healthy shoots can be selected in November. These should be pieces of one-year-old wood cut into lengths 12 to 15 inches long. All the buds should be removed with the sharp blade of a knife, with the exception of the top four.

The two main periods of aphis attack seem to be June and September and it is then that one can effectively spray with nicotine. Nicotine, coming as it does from the tobacco plant and being so volatile, will kill and then evaporate without leaving any taint behind. It must, however, be applied on a warm day (temperature 65 F. at least) to be effective. It supplies a better kill of the strawberry aphis than liquid derris, but the wash must reach all parts of the plant, under and over.’

Furthermore, he will whip out any plants that appear to be diseased, the moment the trouble is seen. Such plants will be burnt or, better still, put on to the compost heap, provided they are covered immediately with an activator like a fish fertilizer so that they can be properly rotted down and the heat thus engendered in the heap will kill the disease. Make up a compost consisting of 1 part sedge peat, 1 part silver sand and I part soil. See that the compost is somewhat damp and then crock and fill 3-inch pots.

Sink these into the soil right up to the rim all around healthy one-year-old ‘parent’ plants and as the runners develop peg them down into the centre of each pot. The moment the plantl.et has sent in its roots the stolen is severed at I inch beyond the pot. Then the young plant grows quite happily on its own. Plants raised in this way can be set in their new bed with the minimum of disturbance.

Old sifted compost, of course, is just as good, but few gardeners have sufficient available for this particular purpose.

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