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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.

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