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View from the Vegetable Patch: Strawberries sewn, tomatoes, herbs and peas potted…Soon I’ll enjoy the fruits of my labours

© ShutterstockNothing tastes as good as food you have grown yourself
Nothing tastes as good as food you have grown yourself

The strawberry roots, ordered several weeks ago, have arrived and have been potted up to grow on under glass.

I’m growing Honeyoye, an early variety that, if raised in a greenhouse or polytunnel, should start to fruit some time in June.

Normally I wouldn’t take a crop in the first year and instead would remove the flowers before they were pollinated so that all the energy of the plants would go into making strong roots instead.

But this is no normal year, so I’m going to enjoy whatever berries we can get and let next year take care of itself.

Strawberries should be kept moist but not waterlogged and they should never be allowed to dry out.

When watering, try to keep the crowns dry in order to avoid mould from developing and every two weeks, give the plants a boost with some tomato feed.

Strawberries should be replaced every four years and you can keep up a continuous supply of new plants using the runners that develop from the crowns.

After flowering, check where new leaves have appeared along these runners and peg them down into small pots of compost, keeping these moist.

Once roots have formed just snip through the runner and you’ll have a new strawberry plant.

I finally managed to get hold of some tomato seeds and, although it is late in the year, I’ve sown these into modules and popped them into the propagator.

The variety is called ‘Heinz’ and if that’s not a guarantee of deep red, juicy fruits then I don’t know what is, but I’ve never grown it before so I’ll just have to keep my fingers crossed.

I’ve also sown more peas, pricked out the some parsley and basil and potted up the courgettes.

These were sown in Jiffy pots, so it was easy to move them on without disturbing their roots.

I’d run out of Jiffy’s for the strawberries, so I’ve used egg boxes, popping one seed into each section.

Meanwhile on our daily walks I’ve discovered some huge patches of comfrey, which I hadn’t noticed before.

Once the leaves have grown a little bigger I will collect some of these, chop them up and soak them in a bucket and about four weeks later I’ll have enough strong, but smelly plant food to keep my vegetables happy all summer.