Last Saturday we started preparing the beds for our next crop of strawberries. Each year we plant a new crop because aphids carry viruses to each crop. A second-year crop would have fewer and much smaller fruits.
The plants are grown from virus-free stock at high altitudes where there are no aphids. They are dug in December and then frozen. Last Thursday I collected our plants from a freezer in Turlock. They are now thawing slowly in our cooler. We hope to start planting them this weekend.
Roberto prepared the beds with three times the usual amount of compost and then some sea-bird guano in pellet form. Arturo and Trinidad installed the drip lines on the beds. The main farm crew laid the thin plastic, which is held down with straw from our own wheat field. This is all time-consuming, but it does make for easy, pleasant strawberry picking…. Nigel