LET me take you down ‘cause I’m going to fill another steel bowl full of the best strawberries I’ve ever grown.
My strawberry patch, which consists of about 20 plants, has certainly outdone itself this year.
In the few weeks that they’ve been ripening we’ve been through nearly three kilos of them. It’s almost got to the stage where, I hate to say it, but some members of the family have declared that they are sick of them.
I’m good with that, it means more for me and maybe we might get around to turning some to jam.
If you’re thinking that it’s too late to plant some strawberry plants it’s not, but you’d better run down to the nursery or get some plants from a generous friend right away.
Strawberries like well drained soil that is full of humus so when you prepare your bed, dig in loads of compost or my favourite soil conditioner, lucerne chaff. Dig in lots of organic fertiliser as well and once they start growing give them a regular dousing with liquid fertiliser.
Thankfully the birds are yet to discover my lode of strawberries but some people have real problems keeping the blackbirds at bay.
Apart from using a shotgun, there are some techniques that may prove useful.
One that I have used is to hang old cd’s from string stretched above the berries. Alternately you can use silver foil, flash tape or pie plates to reflect the light and scare the birds.
Then of course you can net them but unfortunately I tried that once on my nectarine tree and successfully trapped and killed a native bird or two.
Two other techniques are to give the visiting birds other options like water and bird feed in the hope that they will be too full to bother.
Otherwise you can make a scarecrow, get a fake cat or fake snake and sit it amongst the berries or hang a fake hawk above the patch.
Other things to do in the patch include harvesting your garlic, trussing up your tomatoes, planting your butternut pumpkins, small watermelons, cucumbers and beans.
The Beatles were wrong though about Strawberry Fields, the taste is very real indeed.