Would you love to pick your own organic strawberries in the summer ?
To feed your family fresh nutrient fruit straight from the plant with no plastic in sight?
Don’t waste any more time because NOW is the perfect time to get a fantastic crop of strawberries in the ground.
So let’s dive straight in…
How do you grow strawberries at home?
- Pick a spot for them in your garden.They need lots of sun, so a patio or balcony is a good idea. Keep them handy so you can pick the berries easily too.
- Choosing the right container for your fruit to thrive in. A deepish pot- at least 20cm, on the patio is a great idea, it’s close at hand and makes it easier to protect your crop from birds and slugs.
- Strawberries need rich nutritious soil to grow in. They like lots of water but don’t like sitting in puddles so fill your container up with good soil after you make sure you have holes in the bottom for drainage. Strawberries need room to grow so I generally leave 30cm between plants. When you buy strawberry plants at this time of year they dpn’t look like much but they will spread out quickly.
- Buying plants is easy as most supermarkets now sell trays of young plants later in Spring. However if you want a great crop of these delicious berries, its a better idea to buy bare root plants as early as you can from garden centres and online nurseries.
- Once your woody rooted plants come, soak them in water for an hour to refresh the roots and plant them up in your pots with the tips sticking out.
- Use netting or fleece to protect your developing strawberries from pests. Blackbirds and the like can wipe out a full row in hours so it’s best to protect them so you can taste them yourself.
- Once you’ve planted them and they have been watered in. All thats left to do is to sit back with your feet up and wait.
So while we wait let’s find out a bit more about these strawberries..
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How many strawberries do you get per plant?
A general rule of thumb here is around 1kg of fruit per plant. This will vary between types of plants and varieties, as well as, care and weather etc.
Strawberries have short life span. The first year after planting its best to pick off flowers to let the plant concentrate on root production.
That way in year 2 you get a bumper crop, year 3 is also a great crop and usually subsequent years will yield less and less.
Growing Strawberries is easy and they’re so easy to propagate, so rejuvinating your plants is easy.
When should strawberries be planted?
Strawberries an be planted in Autumn or in Spring. Usually we plant in Spring so the small plants are past the worst of the winter weather and can get on with root production.
A little protective fleece might be required to begin with to get your plants groing well.
Can you grow strawberries from the tops?
In a word No! But there are lots of easy ways to get more strawberries from your plants.
Some ways are sowing seeds, simply save seeds from your strawberries and sow them into fine soil.
You can also take the runners.
When growing strawberries you’ll notice the send out a flush of long green stems that have tiny strawberry plants on the ends.
If these hit the ground (or a perfectly positioned pot of earth) they will root quickly – after only 3 to 4 weeks you can snip them apart from their parent plant by cutting the original green stem and you have a mini plant all ready to grow.
How many years will strawberry plants produce fruit?
Strawberry plants as mentioned above have a short life. Usually 5 to 6 years is a good guide.
The first 3 years are usually the best for fruit then the plant will start to struggle due to pests and diseases.
The best way to avoid this is to move your strawberries every 3 years or so and start a new bed or pot elsewhere.
How long does it take strawberries to produce fruit?
As soon as the weather starts to warm up in spring, the plants will grow a flush of green leaves and develope tiny white flowers.
Once pollinated by your local tribe of bees, your berries will start to swell and within 4 to 6 weeks you’ll be enjoying your own yummy ripe strawberries.
Like all plants, strawberries have thier season. But with modern growing techniques and new varieties it is possible to stretch your season.
- Everbearers– as the name suggests bare fruit all season from spring to Autumn. So less fruit all at once but spread over a longer season.
- Earlies– again are designed to give you a good crop earlier in the season. These can sometimes need a little extra protection.
- June Maincrop. These strawberries are designed for those who want a flush of amazing berries in the month of june. There is a mass all at once.
Do strawberries grow back every year?
Yes, as mentioned above strawberries will continue to return every spring.
However, this is less certain after the 5 to 6 years mentioned above as strawberries to attract a lot of pests and problems.
Do strawberry plants need full sun?
Yes! But not completely. Strawberries are one plant that hates total shade, but given at least 6 hours of good sunlight each day they can be grown happily.
However to get the best from them they do prefer full sun.
Is growing strawberries hard?
Strawberries have a reputation for being tricky to grow. However, in modern times they are the exact opposite.
Easy, delicious and fun to grow. We even grow some with the kids in welly boots!!
So why not try growing strawberries with your kids today. It’s fun, easy and will save you a fortune in summer!! What’s not to love.
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