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How to Grow Strawberries

A guide to growing Strawberries in gardens, allotments and containers

Strawberries

Family/Latin Name

Ericaceae - Fragaria virginiana

Type of Plant

Perennial herbaceous

Suitable for

Gardens, Allotments,  Containers, Growbags

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Growing Strawberries - Details

See also:-  Fruit Growing Glossary  |  Tree Forms  |  Container Growing  | Buying Plants

 

Site and Soil

Prefer full sun and  well drained fertile soils
Suitable for containers, troughs, hanging baskets growbags

Plant Dimensions

Height: up to 30cm/12"  - Spread: up to 30cm/12"

Yield

Up to 450g/1lb per plant

Time between planting  and harvesting

 2-year-old plants: Produce the season after planting

Planting Time

Best June to September

Alternative October to March (soil conditions permitting)

Number of plants needed for pollination 1
How to plant - Open ground Space plants 38cm/18" apart. If planting in rows, plant rows ate least 60cm/2ft apart to aid harvesting. Dig a hole large enough to the the roots making sure the crowns are at soil level then fill the hole with soil, firming the plants in well. Mulch with a 2.5cm/1" layer of compost. Water in.
How to plant - in containers 1 plant per container size minimum 20cm/8" wide x 15cm/6" deep.  Make sure there are plenty of drainage holes in the bottom of the container.  Fill the container with soil or a loam based compost within  2.5cm/1" of the top of the container and plant making sure the crowns are at soil level.  Firm well and water in.
Aftercare Protect from birds with netting.  Replace strawberry plants every 4-5 years with new plants taken from runners provided the parent plants are healthy. Apply a liquid feed every 14 days once the fruit begin to swell and water when necessary watering the base of the plants only to avoid the risk of fungal diseases.

As the fruit being to weight down the trusses, place a shallow layer of straw or special strawberry mats beneath the plants to keep the fruit off the soil. Leave doing this as late as possible.

  After harvesting, cut off old leaves  and any runners not needed for propagation and remove the straw or mat protection.
  Harvesting Pick individual fruit as and when they ripen with calyx (green stalk) in tact. Harvesting usually takes place between  July and September depending on the cultivar. 
  Propagation Although strawberries can be grown from seed, better results are achieved by using the runners which plants through out. These can be given a helping hand by pegging them to the ground or onto a sunken pot filled with compost close to the new leaf growth in June/July. Once they have rooted, usually by August,  sever from the parent plant and replant in their permanent positions.

Strawberry Pests & Diseases

Pests Diseases
Birds - like to eat the berries which can decimate the crop. Protect  with netting, cotton or cages.

Aphids can cause leaves to curl. There are chemicals available to combat aphids which can be bought at garden centres. Organic methods include spraying with diluted washing up liquid ( 1 teasp per 2 litres of water), companion planting of flowers such as marigolds nearby.
Grey Mould (Botrytis) - Berries rot and are covered with a fluffy growth. Avoid damp or humid conditions and if the bush is congested with too much leafy growth, prune to permit air to circulate.  Spray with Copper Fungicide after the flowers have opened

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