Strawberries are easy to grow but like anything else you need to start of correctly. Buy virus free starter/baby plants to ensure a good crop. Strawberry plants are a fairly robust plant and can be grown outside in an allotted area or alternatively if you don’t have a big garden you can grow them in a variety of pots and containers. I’ve actually grown them in an old pair of wellington boots with the toe cap cut out.
If you’re going to be planting strawberries into raised beds or your garden, you will first need to prepare the soil which is easy as strawberries are not too fussy about what soil type you have. If the soil is extremely fertile then this will encourage good foliage but at the expense of the fruit. If the soil is too poor you will need to add a low fertile soil improver (which you can pick up at garden centres) before you plant.
- Planting Strawberries and the correct spacing and care.
Most plants are normally grown in rows and strawberries are really no different. You will need to space your plants about 30-45 cm (12-18 inches) apart and make your rows about 50cm (20 inches) apart. The reason for this is it creates good air flow and circulation, which considerably reduces the possibility of disease and obviously allows the plants to grow comfortably. A good healthy plant can produce in the region of 20 strawberries, so bear this in mind when you are planting.
Know that your starter plants are in, taking care of your strawberries will require you to occasionally water them during normal conditions. If conditions are very dry then make sure you water them well. A little bit of general weeding and that is about all you need to do.
When the fruit is ripe, pick them and enjoy. When all your strawberries have been picked you will need to tidy up some of the plants and remove any “runners” (long wiry stems with plantlets on the ends). If you decide that you want more plants use the runners and plant them for new plants.
- Problems when Planting and Growing Strawberries.
If your starter plants are virus free in the beginning there is very little that will go wrong. Some people recommend placing straw around the base of the plants to stop the strawberries from rotting but this is entirely optional.
Birds are the only other problem so you may need to cover with some netting.
Planting strawberries and watching them produce fruit is very satisfying and it becomes very worthwhile when you are eating them with your favourite topping.