Nothing beats the flavour of strawberries picked fresh from the garden.
Warm and oozing with sweetness, perfectly ripe and unblemished, home-grown strawberries are a garden's ultimate gift.
Growing your own strawberries isn't difficult - everything you need to know is included in our guide below.
Simple steps to growing strawberries
Luckily you don't have to be a green thumb to grow your own delicious strawberries.
With the right plants and our advice, you could be eating your own fresh strawberries for months on end.
Start by preparing your soil. Enrich with organic matter and an organic fertiliser like Scotts Performance Naturals™ Soil Improver
Strawberries like free draining soil so create raised beds or mound the soil and plant into the top of the mound to ensure good drainage.
Buy virus-free plant stock from reputable growers or garden centres to ensure healthy plants and tasty strawberries. Labels usually include this information.
Space plants about 30cm apart to allow room for them to develop fully.
Water regularly, especially during Summer. Fertilise with Scotts Performance Naturals™ Vegetable & Herb Organic Based Fertiliser or Scotts Osmocote® Boost+Feed Vegetables, Tomatoes & Herbs.
When flowers appear:
- Mulch around plants to reduce water loss and help keep the developing fruit clean.
- Harvest regularly - strawberries ripen quickly and will spoil rapidly if left too long. Check every 2-3 days and pick as required.
- Replace plants every three years to maintain maximum cropping.
Strawberry plants for free
Strawberries are naturally spreading plants, sending out shoots (called runners) to create additional new plants. Runners will produce roots where they touch the soil.
These runners can be cut from the main plant, potted up in Scotts Performance Naturals™ Premium Potting Mix and given to friends, or left in-situ, where they will eventually create a carpet of foliage and berries.
Because of their natural inclination to self-propagate, it's best to plant strawberries in a permanent position where you can maximise their plant numbers without interfering with the rest of the garden.
Every two or three years, cull older, less productive plants to leave room for new runners to establish and take over the main cropping.
How many do I need?
As a guide, for a family of four you will need around 20-30 plants for a generous harvest. If space is limited, 8-10 plants will produce a reasonable crop.
Don't underestimate the value of just one or two plants in a pot - your tastebuds will be the first to thank you!