Growing healthy, organic strawberries isn’t rocket science, and if you’ve ever bitten into a juicy homegrown strawberry straight from the garden, you know there’s nothing else quite like it. Even so, some would-be gardeners think they’re too difficult to grow. In fact, growing your very own strawberries is easy if you follow a few simple steps.
Where to grow?
Strawberries will grow in most free draining organic rich soils, but don’t worry if you haven’t the space for a small farm to grow delicious strawberries, all it takes is a bright sunny spot where you can place a Levington Organic Blend Strawberry Giant Planter and you’re on your way. Put it near your kitchen door and you can just step out and pick garden-fresh strawberries whenever you like.
When to grow?
For the best results, summer fruiting strawberries (the ones seen in most garden centres) can be planted outside in September/October or March/April. Your local garden centre will probably have a selection of different varieties so you can pick n’ mix your plants. Make sure you pick plants with plenty of healthy green leaves that are fairly compact and not too leggy.
If you’re planting straight into your garden soil then you’ll need to remove any existing weeds (Roundup GC Weedkiller is ideal for deep rooting weeds or Weedol Gun! Rootkill Plus for smaller ones) and dig over the area before planting. For the best results incorporate a soil improver to enrich the area with organic matter. To give the bed a nutrient boost, add Miracle-Gro Gro Your Own Vegetable & Fruit Plant Food, this will provide 100% organic plant food to your strawberries and help create a bumper harvest.
Planting into a planter
Shake the planter to distribute contents evenly and pierce drainage holes in the bottom. Cut the planting holes and insert the young plants to the same depth as they were grown in their pots (warning: planting too deep can cause them to rot off).
After planting, water in thoroughly and continue to water regularly for the next few weeks until plants become established. To ensure you get the juiciest fruits it’s important to water regularly through the season, taking care not too over water as this can cause root disease.
From flowering until harvest, feed once a week with a high potassium liquid plant food such as Gro Your Own Vegetable & Fruit Concentrated Liquid Plant Food. This feed has been created to help you plants produce a bigger yield using 100% naturally occurring ingredients.
When to replace or propagate your plants?
Plants will continue producing fruits for around 6 years, however, after 2 or 3 years the yields will reduce so most gardener’s start a fresh planting. You can either buy new plants from the garden centre or make your own from ‘runners’ (these are the smaller plants that are sent out across the soil surface from the mother plant). Simply peg these down and they will root quickly to form a brand new plant for the next season.
Our top 5 favourites
Strawberries come in different shapes, sizes and flavours. Here’s our favourite 5 to help you pick the right variety for you…
- Honeoye: full flavoured goods cropping early fruiting, pick in early June.
- Cambridge Favourite: A mid June cropper with good fruit size, disease resistance.
- Elsanta: this is the most widely grown commercial variety high yield and large fruit.
- Hapil: produces large juicy strawberries and grows well in planters and containers.
- Irresistable: an ever bearing variety that can fruit continuously from July to September.