Order 2016 Almanac Now - Get 3 FREE Gifts
Yes, you could gently placeYes, you could gently place ripening fruit on mulch or a stone or flower pot so it isn't on the soil; this may help prevent rot and deter pests. There isn't a rule about "when" -- perhaps wait until it's half-way to harvesting size. After your initial fertilization at planting, we would only side dress with a nitrogen fertilizer (21-0-0) after the vines develop runners. Use one to two tablespoons per plant or mound at least 6 inches away from the plants.

2015 Special Edition Garden GuideCooking Fresh with The Old Farmer's AlmanacThe Almanac Monthly Digital MagazineWhat the heck is a Garden Hod?