Brisbane Local Food

Growing local

Strawberry Runners and Other Things and Black Cockatoos

Time to get the Strawberry runners ready to grow on. This year I am ready even if they are not quite yet. The plants, Redlands Joy, are just about finished flowering and fruiting and most are sending out their runners.

I plant the runners into pots so they can root into the pot without my having to wrench them out of the ground. When they are rooted, I cut off the runner and get the new Strawberry plants ready for planting. It should take the next couple of months for them to be ready, planting out of Strawberries is usually in April although having got to them early this year, they might be ready earlier too.

This year I have around 24 plants most of which were runners last year. I am planning to refresh the soil in the self-wateromg pots, put back the pine needles and await results. I have read that the mother plant can produce well for 2 years so season 2012 will be their second year. The newly-rooted runners will go into more self-watering pots.

Micro-greens are a favourite at our house and there’s always a few stray plants around when the pots get emptied. This time, I put some reluctant Buckwheat sprouts into the new wicking bin the Williamette Raspberry is in. Plants need company and I try to vary the plants which live with each other. In that same bin is a self-sown bell Capsicum and an Okra. The Clemson Spineless Okra is just about to start making delicious treats for us and we are hanging out for them. The Aphids are just as keen. Roll on Ladybirds! They’ve been given more Organic Xtra and with this rain should be recovering enough to dissuade the Aphids. PS: Thurs 8th Dec just noticed the bright yellow eggs of the Ladybird among the Aphids. Thank you Joseph for alerting me to what these were, I may never have known to look for them :-).

Now I like a good mystery and as with my track record with whodunnits, there are some weird plant-hopper-kinda insects and a scale insect I haven’t been able to identify. The scale is on an Aibika and the plant-hoppers are on the Lemon. The plant hopper pic leaves something to the imagination, I have tried ‘unsharp mask’ to see if it could be made more clear. Result is disappointing but try again another day to get a clear photo. The guy on Brisbane Insects has such stunning photos ...

Planted 5 Dragon Fruit cuttings and the most advanced of them is just starting to grab onto the stake it is tied to. Dragon Fruit this summer? Let's hope!

The Yellow-tailed Black Cockatoos about whom I have written a couple of times before, made a return this morning (Thursday 8th December) to raid the Banksia. They are messy critters - not that I am a 'neat freak' - but the ground both in our place and nextdoor, looked like a small bomb had hit it. The pix may or may not do their table habits justice ...

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Comment by Elaine de Saxe on December 9, 2011 at 22:14

Partly bury them in the ground so they stay stable and keep the water up to them.

Comment by Joseph on December 9, 2011 at 20:19

>Thank you Joseph for alerting me to what these were, I may never have known to look for them

And Thank You for the tips on strawberry runners. I was just about to search for advice on caring and transporting runners. Mum's strawberries are superb and I want some. I'll be scrounging for as many little pots as I can find.

Comment by Elaine de Saxe on December 8, 2011 at 10:38

A lot depends on the variety and when and where it was planted. Strawberry season, Australia-wide is almost all year with berries coming from Victoria as well as NSW and Qld and different areas of the states, too and different varieties. This is the limitation when 'eating local' - you just get what's in season where you are.

Comment by Florence on December 8, 2011 at 10:03

Are we at the end of strawberry season already?  I've only harvested one!!  I'll try to grow a couple in self-watering pots too, they're currently in the normal black plastic pots ~

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