My Aunt gave me this fantastic book for Christmas.
And part of the wisdom I have already gleaned from it is that strawberries and blueberries benefit from an acidic soil, so using pine needles as mulch is a good idea. But where to get copious amounts of pine needles from in January? Christmas trees that are getting thrown out of course!
Our Christmas tree looked like this:
so no joy there.
I've been on the lookout for trees put out for rubbish collection, but I'm a procrastinator, so until now each time I've returned to pick up a tree it's already gone. (This isn't helped by the fact that I return periodically to check on the tree to make sure it's there - not taking it home or anything sensible like that - until of course one day I'm disappointed. I procrastinate A LOT.) But this weekend I finally made it my mission to find a dead Christmas tree.
Unfortunately the one I'd been intending to pick up had gone (what a surprise, it had only been there a week) so I stalked the streets for rogue pines. I located one next to someone's bins in their front yard, clocked that they had a compost heap and therefore a garden, and kept walking so I could think over this find. Were they so into their garden that they'd want it? Would they think I was a freak for asking? Could I pluck up the courage to knock on someone's door and ask to go through their rubbish? I did manage to pluck up the courage, they didn't want the tree, they looked at me like they thought I was a freak, but I got the tree, so it doesn't matter. They weren't the only ones giving me a wide berth. As I manhandled my tree a few blocks home people shied away from making eye contact, and one guy looked scared even when I smiled nicely at him. I later realised I'd been holding the tree in a manner that may have looked like I was about to whack him over the head with it, so fair enough if he didn't want to encourage my advances. But the tree and I made it home.
Where I stripped it, and put it all over my little berry patch.
Almost like another little Christmas present. Now if I only I could convince the blueberry bush that its time to die hasn't come.