Strawberries are fruiting prolifically now.
Remove runners, as allowing these to develop will use energy at the expense of fruit production.
Control grey mould by removing infected fruits early enough so they don't infect other strawberries, but don't compost these, as they may spread the disease to other plants in your garden.
Strawberries are a favourite snack for many types of wildlife - possums, rodents and birds, so cover plants with netting to stop them feasting.
The main bandit in the strawberry patch is often the children - while control is nigh on impossible at least the nutrition cannot be questioned!
A good solution for this "pest" is to encourage them to grow their own.
- Continue preparing beds for planting spring-flowering bulbs. End-of-season specials are available now and can be great value; while the bulbs are often smaller and may only produce a single flower head, the bulbs will bulk up over time.
- The recent rains have made for great weed-pulling conditions. Either compost them or toss them into a bucket filled with water to make a weed tea. After a few weeks mix the brew with water at about 1 part weed tea to 3 parts water. Use it to water and fertilise seedlings and vegies.
- Take cuttings from tender perennials such as pelargoniums, fuchsias and marguerite daisies and find a protected place to keep them over winter while they establish.
Lightly trim evergreen hedging, even if it has not yet reached the desired size. Box hedging does not tolerate being cut back hard, so it needs to be trimmed lightly and regularly into shape.
Trimming hedges, especially hedges of plants with large leaves, is best done with hand shears.
A hedge trimmer can bruise rather than cut the leaves, making them turn brown. It does take more time, but the overall appearance of your hedge will be better.
March / April is your last chance to trim New England hedges - if you leave it any later, the newly clipped shoots will be easily damaged by frost over winter, leading to die-back and bare patches
The next meeting of the Armidale Garden Club is currently scheduled for Thursday 26 March at 7:30 pm in the Uniting Church Youth Club Hall.
All protocols as advised by the NSW Dept of Health advice in relation to COVID-19 will be in place. Should the meeting be postponed, members will be notified by email.