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Homes & Gardens: ASK TOBY.

Q WHAT should I do with strawberry plants that have lots of new shoots? And what about the strawberry planter that I bought earlier this year?

EILEEN JONES, West Bromwich

A STRAWBERRIES will lose their fruiting vigour as they get older, Eileen, so clear out the planter now.

You can propagate from the existing strawberries then plant them in a bed if you have space. Take the cuttings now, grow them in pots this winter, then replant the planter with new compost and new plants next spring.

To propagate strawberries is easy, although it is a little late in the season.

You will see long, thin stems on which are baby strawberry plants - these are called runners. Detach the runners from the stems and plant in a pot - it's that easy.

Keep them and the pot frost-free for the winter and look forward to a new crop next summer.


1. Now is a perfect time to make a rock garden and it's also a good idea to reposition those alpines that have encroached on one another.

2. If you have brown spots on the leaves of your irises, it's leaf spot. To control, remove the leaves and burn.

3. Trim any hedges that have put on growth over the summer except those that are to flower on new growth next spring. Also plant new evergreen hedges but please think twice about Leylandii unless you're going to keep them under control.

4. To improve soil texture and nutrient status, spent compost from Gro-Bags or similar can be mixed with some well-rotted organic manure and added to the garden.

5. The shelter of a greenhouse offers cover to bugs so have a good tidy and clean to kill them off. Check that all heating systems work before the first frost, too.
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Publication:Sunday Mercury (Birmingham, England)
Date:Sep 21, 2003
Previous Article:Homes & Gardens: TOP THREE SHRUBS.
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