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Strawberry companion planting dilemma

 

Photo: Strawberry plants

Photo: Strawberry plants

I love the idea of companion planting and really want to get the best out of my strawberries this year. Most companion planting charts state that strawberries hate potatoes and cabbages. A lot of charts declare that onions and strawberries are incompatible and a few declare that they are friends.

I have a patch of alliums (Christophii) in one of my fruit cages – left over from the days when it was a herbaceous border. So when I discovered that strawberries this incompatibility on the companion planting charts I whistled down the garden to inspect the state of the plants. Strawberries have never done well in this border.

Initially the row of strawberries growing right next to the alliums were looking much healthier than their puny siblings further away. These are the Albion strawberry plants that I bought in November. But just a few days later they are looking wan and the others have perked up. Perhaps the alliums are smelling stronger?

I’ve discovered that strawberries also like acid soil ours is very alkaline so have topped dressed with chicken poo and pine needles from the Christmas tree and will be dosing them with cold tea.

The borage that I sowed in the Spring has been hardened off and is now ready to join the strawberries. Everyone declares that borage and strawberries are best friends.

The strawberries in the other fruit cage look great – they had the chicken poo treatment in the Autumn.

So is it a soil problem or a companion planting problem? Or both? The deeper that I research makes me more aware of how little I know.


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12 Comments

  1. Didn’t mean any commercially pelleted rabbit pellets, Fiona. Just the little black “beans” that rabbits produce on their own.

    The looser and sloppier the dung, the hotter / more likely to burn your plants it is. It is the wet, high nitrogen urine component that causes the most problems. Pig is very hot, so is chicken. Cow more so than horse. Rabbit and llama are both very mild and non-burning. Fresh llama dung analysis is 5-3-3 NPK. Llamas have a dominance thing and poop in one place making lovely piles, easy to collect.

    My friend had rabbits and just scooped the pellet-like feces that fell through the screening of their hutch. That was what she used for her strawberries. Hope this clears up any confusion.

    Judy

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