I got two big projects that have been hanging over my head accomplished yesterday and, boy howdy, did that feel good.
The dandelions that had been growing profusely in and among my strawberry plants were eradicated. Thanks to both Papa Pea and SmartAlex (two great minds who both suggested I use my asparagus knife to cut the dandelion roots way down deep), I removed all the offensive dandelion plants and any extra weeds I came across.
Unfortunately, this is the state of many of the plants (and there are a lot of them like this) that had a monstrous dandelion growing right in the center. (The strawberry plants all got their crew cuts a week or so ago, and you can already see the new growth.) Looks to me as if the center of the plant was actually killed out by the dandelion. I'll just cross my fingers they can recover. (I know. Doesn't look very hopeful right now.)
I also popped out (using my trusty spading fork and a bit of grunting and groaning) the whole row (on the far right) of Earliglow strawberries that have never produced well for me. For next spring, I'll order more Cavendish plants (my best producer) to plant in this row. I'm thinking I should order extra, too, in case I have to replace any of the dandelion-ravished plants that don't make it over winter in the other two rows.
Next on the agenda was to work in the blueberry and haskap berry patch.
The haskap bushes really showed a lot of growth this past season and their bottom branches drooped all the way to the ground which made it hard to harvest the berries and impossible to get under the bushes to fertilize.
I took my pruners and went to work erring on the "not enough" side rather than shocking the bushes too much. The tall one in the middle is a different variety than the two on either side. With haskaps you need this other variety as a pollinator.
A quick weeding of the blueberry patch and I was ready to spread more peat moss which I never finished doing earlier this summer. Actually, I had run out of peat moss. Papa Pea picked up another bale for me (locally and more expensive than in the big city) and lugged it down to the patch a couple of months ago. I was so tired of looking at it that I finally kicked myself into gear and got it spread yesterday. Now, it's done!
This picture doesn't show our whole patch of nineteen bushes. The bushes in the row on the left are the ones we planted most recently. Blueberry bushes take forever to gain size (and a full crop of berries) but these are coming along nicely.
So good to have the strawberry and blueberry/haskap patches done. And by crikey, I really felt like I had accomplished a lot at the end of the day.
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