This section is from the book "The Gardener V3", by William Thomson. Also available from Amazon: The New Organic Grower: A Master's Manual of Tools and Techniques for the Home and Market Gardener.
Give your soil a good dressing of cow-manure, and if possible add some fresh heavy loam and trench the ground, mixing the manure well with it. Thus worked, we know of no reason why your soil should not yield good crops of Strawberries. We do not think that its having been cropped with potatoes for years can have anything to do with the failure of Strawberry crops. If it is already light, heavy 6oil will do it more good than leaf-mould. There can be no objections to the lime. Treat it as above at once, and strong runners planted now should bear next year and still better the year following. If those plants which have not fruited are strong and healthy, we would certainly discard them, and replace them from a fertile stock.
If your Vines have the run of borders both outside and inside, you can renew either the one or the other now, before they shed their leaves, and while there is a chance of their rooting into the fresh soil. Take out a trench parallel with the border, and at the extremity of the border, then fork away all the soil and carefully preserve the roots. In this way you may work up close to the stems of the Vines, and, after seeing that the drainage is in good order, put in the fresh soil, and lay the roots carefully in it, about 8 inches from the surface. If you do the inside border this autumn, you may do the outside one next year in the same way. Protect the outside border from rain, the first season at least. In this way you may successfully renew the whole border without losing a crop. The Vines will be the better of shading during bright weather after the operation is performed.
Apply to the 'North British Agriculturist,' a paper devoted to farming, and published in Edinburgh. Your want is quite out of our sphere.
Areca Verschaffeltii, Areca lutescens, Cocos Weddelliana, Daemonorops melanochaetes, Geonoma Schottiana, Seaforthia elegans, are all excellent for table decoration.
You can use about a bushel of the sample sent to each cartload with advantage. The materials at your command will make a good border. Your soil being heavy, add lime rubbish liberally.
Taking every point into consideration, Vesuvius is the best of the two Geraniums you name. It is an excellent one for beds and for pot-culture, and it flowers all winter profusely in an intermediate house. Indeed, we do not know of any other with so many good points.
1. Asplenium demorphum; 2. Pteris longifolia; 3. Cannot recognise; 4. Lycopodium or Selaginella Wildenova; 5. Blechnum spicant; 6. Rheedia glaucescens; 7. a Cystis, but not being in bloom cannot say which; 8. Centradenia rosea; 9. Pteris tricolor; 10. Adiantum cuneatum.