Whether you have acres and acres of countryside, or a high-rise balcony, we all have space to grow our own strawberries! As the nation’s favourite fruit to grow, you really are missing a trick if you haven’t given them a go!
I inherited mature strawberry plants in my little village garden, they are now hardy enough to withstand the snow and take no maintenance at all. I have decided that this year I will cover the plants with fruit nets as I shared my berries with cheeky sparrows last summer, they really got the lions share!
What do you need for a successful crop….
Firstly, I would suggest a well-drained, fertile soil with plenty of potting soil, either in the hole you have dug or in the pot you have chosen. Your strawberry patch does need to kept weed-free, this way your plants get the soils goodness, not the weeds around them.
Plan to replace your strawberry plants roughly every five years. Cover the plants with straw mulch after the ground freezes in cold-winter climates, and remove the mulch as the weather warms in spring.
Types of strawberries and growing methods
You can choose among three kinds of strawberries, depending on when you would like to pick your fruit. All three varieties can be bought here – http://bit.ly/1PzxT20 Now is the time to be buying them.
- June-bearing varieties produce one large crop of berries in late spring to early summer.
- Everbearing varieties produce two smaller crops: one in early summer and another in early fall.
- Day-neutral berries, the newest type, can produce fruit continuously throughout the growing season.
- Plant dormant, bare-root strawberry plants 18 to 24 inches apart in 3- to 6-inch-high, 3- to 4-foot-wide raised beds. Set the plants so that soil covers the roots but the crown remains above the soil. Keep the soil moist but not saturated.
On any new plants planted. I have always found pinching all the flowers off until June really encourages strong root and top growth. As always, please share your successes on our Facebook page, we love to hear about them.
Happy planting, Rachel