Growing Tips

Strawberries

When choosing a variety to grow be mindful of the purpose you will be using the strawberries for. Choose varieties that will either taste better when picked off the plant and eaten immediately, varieties that are better frozen and made into desserts or varieties that are better preserved. Strawberries prefer a light well drained soil and you may find it easier to start growing them in pots or hanging baskets. If they become to water logged the fruit will begin to rot, however there is a variety called 'Cambridge Favourite' that copes well in places with high rainfall due to their ability to hold their fruits above soil level. Using light soil instead of heavy will allow more warmth to penetrate thus ensuring the plant will grow quicker. It will also promote good drainage and prevent red core root rot. If the soil you have is heavy choose red core root rot resistant varieties and plant four weeks earlier than usual to ensure establishment. If the soil you have is not free draining add sharp sand and well rotted compost.

Strawberries are also notoriously hard to weed when they are in the ground so ensure if you are planting them to clear the area thoroughly beforehand. As a strawberry plant takes the nutrients it needs from the soil it is vital they are replenished. To ensure this add manure and/or composted straw.
 

When a strawberry is growing they produce tendrils that have little plants on the end and these are the runners. New strawberry plants either bought or grown must be from runners. Wait till they reach approx 3 or 4 leaves and remove from the plant. Plant it in a pot of compost and water well. Label and date your runners

 

Pests: Aphids, Birds, Slugs.

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Strawberry

Planting Strawberries

  • Plant mid summer to early autumn and you should have a crop the following summer.
  • Plant in full sun and out of the wind.
  • For heavy not well drained land plant in raised beds ensuring sufficient room around the edges for harvesting the fruits. 
  • Planting too close together may encourage mildew. Choose varieties that do not have too many leaves as this may make them closer together and again will cause a mildew outbreak. 
  • If planting in pots or baskets water daily whilst they're growing. 
  • Add tomato feed or another potassium rich supplement approx every fortnight. 
  • If planting in rows the plants should be at least 40cm in rows that are 60 cm apart.
  • Protect the area from slugs using which ever method works best for you..
  • Place a net over the plants to protect from birds and wildlife.
  • In early Spring hoe between the plants to allow moisture and air to circulate. 
  • When watering take care not to splash the leaves or fruits of the plants. Use a watering can instead of a hose and water carefully around the base of the plant.
  • Use straw or strawberry mats around the base of the plants to stop the fruit from lying on the ground and to prevent weeds.