A Canoe Full of Strawberry Plants
This is part two of how to mess about with soil and strawberry plants on a very abandoned little bit of allotment. Part one called is here if you’d like to see how things have progressed. Reclaiming the Strawberry Patch.
There is a reason why these plants are in a canoe, honest.
I’ve continued with my mission to reclaim the strawberry patch, I shall beat the Doc leaves – it’s personal now you see. They don’t like me and I don’t like them. My poor strawberry plants will be released from their cruel clutches, consider me a strawberry plant superhero battling against nature’s leafy green allotment bullies. I’m not being over dramatic or anything. (speaking sensibly, I’m doing a lot of weeding at the moment!)
The weather has been absolutely glorious, so it’s been a great excuse to venture outdoors, soak up some sun and do something productive. Darlek and Sausage have loved playing in the garden while I’ve been digging, they’ve been finding worms, playing in the sandpit, watching frogs, searching for unearthed random potatoes and generally being really happy as far as I can see. There seems to be so few tears when they’re occupied outdoors, which is a welcome change from drizzly days stuck indoors when all they seem to do is bicker with each other.
There were a ton of Forget-Me-Nots ranging all over the place too, so they all had to be dug up. Most of them went into the compost bin, which seemed so wrong. I love their sky blue with a hint of lilac scatterings, and to take them out and replace them with uniform, dark brown soil, seems like back to front gardening in a way. My girly side wants things to look pretty, as it is they’re looking very practical instead. Which is a good thing really.
The strawberry plot has been completely taken back to basics, everything has been taken out of it – Docs and their other weedy friends are now rehomed in the council green bin, and the strawberries are temporarily living in a canoe. Yes you did read that correctly. My neibour (who owns the plot) is one of those people who collects random things and somehow or other manages to make use of them. I have no idea where the canoe came from, but it arrived down there a week ago, and it is actually brilliant for keeping the strawberries in while we muck about with their home. It’s by no means river worthy, but it is fairly waterproof so we filled it with water and strawberry plants while we got on with ‘The Plan’. (Drum roll please…..)
I make no pretence of knowing what I’m doing in an allotment. Basically I know nothing, but I do enjoy messing about. Thankfully my neibour knows a lot more than me and has been helping me set up some raised beds. This involves her saying ‘Dig here’, ‘Put that there’ and my favourite ‘Would you like a cup of tea?’ I did wonder for a while if I was actually building a bungalow under the pretence of cultivating a strawberry patch, but things do seem to be coming together. I’m really grateful for the advice and it’s all part of the learning process. The plan is to outline the plot with bricks that are dug into trenches, and then prop long planks of wood along the sides (the bricks will stop the planks from sinking into the soil). Once that stage is completed we’ll be piling a load of compost and soil into the middle of the construction and then…ta….daaaah!! We’ll have a raised bed, perfect for the strawberries. Not a bungalow after all. Mind you it will be somewhere for the strawberries to ‘live’ so maybe I’ll just call it that anyway.
So there we have it! Next stage is to complete the other three sides, thoroughly dig out the remains of the weeds’ roots that still lurk under the soil, and then transplant the strawberries back into their new bungalow home. One day soon hopefully, I’ll be able to herd the kids down to the strawberry plot with little tupperware pots that they can fill with bright red, squishy strawberry fruit and stain their fingers tips red.