How To Make New Strawberry Plants Out Of Runners And Plant Tea Bushes
Hello and welcome to organic edible garden.It's late summer and now we're going to use our strawberry runners to make new plants for next year.Strawberry plants are only really productive for 1 or 2 years so at this time of the year it's really good to take runners from your strongest plants.We're also going to put in some camellia sinensis to make a tea hedge so i can make my own tea at home.One of the easiest ways to take your strawberry runners is from the ones that have grown along the dirt itself.
If we pull them out they're going to already have their roots on.You can put them straight into pots and then we can transfer them into the tunnel house.And then we have to just put them next into pots.It's really easily done.We just make a hole.Pop them in and cover them with dirt again.And afterwards we'll give them a really good water.Sometimes with runners like this you can get 4 or 5 plants from one.Even the end here it's just started to go green so we can also pop that in the soil.
Sometimes with small end of runners like this we can also bury them and they'll come through.If you find they pop out, i find these big paper clips, if i open them up and push them into the soil, they help keep it down.Now we're going to leave these strawberries in situ here.They're still going to be connected up to the mother plant and once they've grown and they're strong enough, then we can get a pair of scissors and chop them off.These guys i put in about two weeks ago and they've really grown well.
It's time to cut them so what i'm going to do is i'm going to try and separate them by just cutting them off at ground level.Even though we're cutting these runners off, the plants is now strong enough that it can stand on its own.The roots are already coming out the bottom now.These other plants aren't ready to be separated from the mother plant yet so i'm going to give them a good water.I'll also really water heavily the new plants we put in today.We're now going to take these guys and take good care of them.
We want to put them somewhere by a back door or somewhere where you know you can keep them watered during the warmth of the late summer.And even if you've been growing your strawberry plants in a pot, you can still take the runners in the same way.We're now going to put in our tea hedge of camellia sinensis.It's the only type of camellia you can make tea with.If you want to know why we even bother putting in our own tea plants with tea being so cheap, but if i grow my own hedge and harvest my own leaves i'll have fresh tea which is fantastic.
After about a year or two when the plants get big, spring growth will have these lovely new tips which we'll pick and we'll dry for about 24 hours in the shade.After that we'll get a rolling pin and we'll actually bruise them, put them together, ferment them slightly and then dry them and we'll end up with a black tea.You can have your green tea by just drying them only and use it that way.Like all camellias, the tea plant has specific requirements.They do like a slightly acidic soil.They're very hardy but i'm planting them under the trees here because they do like a bit of protection from strong frosts.It does say they'll go minus 5.
The other thing about planting it under the trees here is that it's northfacing and they're going to get some shade during the hot period of summer which they also like.Another important requirement with camellias is good drainage.If you've got heavy clay soils or bad drainage especially during winter, adding organic material or even things like pumice and sand really does help.You can see how freedraining and friable this soil is.The camellias will love it here and i'm going to plant them reasonably deep and then plant them about a metre apart.
These plants can grow up to 2 metres tall and i don't want that to happen so what i'll do is i'll give them a good hard cut back each season so when it comes to spring and we get our new growth again, they're the tips that we want to make our teas with.At this stage i don't want leaves like this dragging on the ground so i will give it a hard prune back of the lower limbs so it'll all grow up.And we've got the bonus of these beautiful white flowers coming out at this time of year which are great for the bees and the beneficial insects.
Camellias, like other plants, also have their problems.This plant here's now got sooty mould.It's caused by an insect and what we need to do is we need to get rid of that insect so it stops the sooty mould from growing.We'll do that by spraying some neem oil in the evening about 2 or 3 times.It should get rid of the problem.If we don't, the sooty mould will affect the taste of the tea.I'm pruning all the lower leaves so they don't sit on the soil.
But i'm not going to prune any of the top because i actually want the plant to grow up.It'll eventually form a hedge which will provide good protection for the plants in the garden but in late spring i'll give it another hard chop and we'll get all those nice new lush growth coming through.Now all we need to do is give it a really good watering and then i'll put a heavy mulch over the top of it.As far as feeding's concerned, there's probably enough nutrients for it to get started.
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