Allow the ground several
weeks to consolidate before planting in autumn.
If planting of the summer fruiting kinds has to
be delayed until spring, remove the flowers the
first year so as to build up a strong plant frost.
Before planting, rake in 30g per m (1oz per yard)
of sulphate of potash or plenty of bonfire ash.
If the land is heavy and not well drained, it
will be advisable to plant on ridges or on a raised
bed to allow winter rains to drain away. Also,
plants on raised beds are less liable to be damaged
by frost. This type of bed is made 15cm (6in)
higher than the surrounding land and 150cm (5ft)
across to allow for picking without treading the
bed. Plant 37cm (15in) apart in rows 40-45cm (16-18in)
Runners begin to form towards the end of summer,
and where growing for fruit, remove them with
scissors before they begin to root. This will
enable the plants to concentrate on fruit production
and in this way the plants may be left down for
four or five years. A few plants may be allowed
to form runners which are removed when they have
formed roots. These are used to make a new plantation
each year, to take over when the original plantings
begin to bear poorer-quality berries.
When planting, use a blunt-ended trowel and make
the hole large enough to take all the roots and
to enable them to spread out. Only just cover
the roots, with the crown of the plant at soil
level. Use a garden line to make the rows which
should run north to south. Tread the plants in
and do so again in spring for some may have been
lifted by frost. Keep the hoe moving between the
rows during April and May, but do not hoe too
near the plants, for they are surface rooting.
In April, after a cold winter and to stimulate
the plants into growth, give a dressing with 30g
per m (1oz per yd) of sulphate of ammonia between
the rows. Give this on a showery day when it will
be quickly washed into the soil. If the weather
is dry when the fruit has formed, water often,
preferably around mid-day so that moisture dries
off the blooms before night frosts.
When once the green berries have turned white,
inspect them daily for they will soon turn pink
and then scarlet, this taking only two days or
less in warm weather. Pick them with the calyx
attached if possible and place in a refrigerator
to cool. Then remove the green tops, sprinkle
with sugar and replace until required.