Strawberry Planting – Get Summer Ready!

There is nothing better than a bowl of freshly picked, ripe strawberries, warm from the sun, sprinkled with a little sugar and doused with cream! We take a look at some of our favourite strawberry varieties along with some other soft fruit that will make your mouth water. All of which can be grown in pots, and with a little care, will reward you handsomely for several years to come.

Young strawberry plants often crop lightly in their first year but can yield over 500g per plant in subsequent years. Maincrop strawberries are ready to pick in June but choosing early and late varieties can extend cropping from May – July, and there are even autumn fruiting strawberries!
Early: Christine, Honeoye
Maincrop: Elsanta, Cambridge Favourite, Red Gauntlet
Late: Symphony, Florence
Autumn: Albion

Early flowers can be hit by frost so fleece overnight if necessary. Sprinkle fertiliser around each plant in April and mulch. When fruit is swelling, tuck straw around and underneath to keep it clean, and net carefully. Pick fruit when fully coloured as strawberries don’t continue to ripen once picked. They will keep in the fridge for a couple of days. When cropping is over, clear away all old straw, and remove old leaves to keep the plants healthy. ‘Runners’ will root at points along them and produce new plants which can be planted elsewhere.

General Rules For Growing Strawberries

Strawberries will need to be replaced (in different ground) every 3 to 4 years as their health deteriorates over time.

Netting crops, preferably with a fruit cage, is often necessary to stop hungry birds getting the fruit before you!
In spring, established fruit beds should be fed with 60g per square metre and mulched with compost to conserve moisture and deter weeds.
Always use a new site when replacing fruit, as soil borne diseases build up over time.

When planting – choose a sunny but sheltered site with good drainage and prepare the ground well, removing any weeds, enriching with organic matter. Work in 60g general fertiliser such as Grow more or Fish Blood and Bone meal.
Strawberries should be planted around 30 – 45 cm apart, cane fruit generally 45 cm apart and bushes should be around 1.5m apart.

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