Now is the time to plant your strawberries so you can enjoy a delicious crop of sweet fruit in spring / early summer. To get you started, here are a few tips:
- Strawberries will grow pretty much anywhere but they do like a soil rich in organic matter
- Before planting, apply a good handful of blood and bone along with a good pinch of sulphate ammonia per square metre
- Dig in plenty of compost or well-rotted manure and mound the soil to improve drainage
- They prefer an acid to neutral pH so if your soil is alkaline, add powdered sulphur
- If growing in pots, use a good quality potting mix with some slow release fertiliser
- Plant runners 30cm apart in rows 75-100cm apart – they can also be planted in double rows 30cm apart to maximise space in the garden
- Don’t bury runners too deep or they will rot
- Surround plants with a mulch of straw to conserve moisture and inhibit weed competition as well as keep fruit off the soil and reduce fruit spoilage
- Plants will benefit from a fortnightly application of diluted seaweed extract
- Water strawberries regularly particularly when they are forming fruit.
- Water more frequently in pots and baskets
Enjoy the delicious fruits of your labour! And don’t forget the jam!