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How to Grow Strawberry Plants

How to grow Strawberries: Care Tips

Is it even summer without strawberries? Easy to grow and delicious to eat, strawberries can be grown in borders, pots or hanging baskets - here we show you how.

Most common Strawberry plant questions

When can I plant Strawberries?

Strawberries can be planted in spring or late summer/early autumn.

What kind of soil do Strawberries need?

Strawberries need moist, well-drained soil.

How much sun do Strawberries need?

Strawberries do best in full sun.

Choose a position where the plants will receive 6-8 hours of sunlight each day.

How do you plant Strawberries? 

Plant your Strawberries so that the roots are just buried.

Prepare the soil by digging in plenty of well rotted compost or manure. Firm down the soil around your plants and water well for the first few weeks.

How far apart should I plant Strawberries?

Space Strawberry plants at 30-45cm intervals in a border. 

Strawberries will also do well in a grow bag - use 6-8 plants per bag.

Can I grow Strawberries in pots?

Strawberries thrive when grown in pots, and even hanging baskets.

Choose deep pots at least 15cm wide with holes in the bottom, and plant one Strawberry plant per pot. Use a soil based compost and add broken crockery to the bottom of the pot to aid drainage.

How much water do Strawberries need?

Strawberries need to be watered regularly.

This is especially important for the first few weeks after planting. Try to avoid getting water on any ripening fruit to avoid Grey Mould.

Do Strawberries need feeding?

Strawberries will benefit from a feed of potash or sulphate fertiliser.

Tomato fertiliser is ideal and will encourage the plants to grow more flowers and fruit.

Do Strawberry plants need pruning?

After fruiting, cut back your plants to about 5cm above ground level and give them a feed of general purpose fertiliser.

This encourages new growth the following year and means that your plants should crop well for about 3-4 years before you need to replace them.

How to harvest Strawberries

Wait until the berries are fully red before harvesting.

Strawberries stop ripening once the fruit is picked. Simply pinch through the stalks with a fingernail or cut with sterilised scissors. Unwashed strawberries can be kept for a few days in the fridge.

Common Strawberry plant problems

Grey Mould

Grey mould is a common problem for soft fruits. It’s caused by the fungus Botrytis Cinerea, looks like a fuzzy grey or brown patch and makes the fruit’s flesh decay.

To prevent it, make sure any dead or dying parts of the plant are removed immediately, water in the morning rather than the evening and make sure plants are not overcrowded. If you are growing in a greenhouse, increase the ventilation to prevent too much humidity.

Slugs and Snails

If you find holes in your Strawberries and slimy trails (especially in the morning) you may have slugs or snails.

Prevent them from reaching your Strawberries by tucking some straw around them just before the fruit starts to develop. You can also use a mulch of bark chips in the same way, or try deterring slugs and snails with copper plant collars or beer traps.

Birds

Strawberries are irresistible to birds and small mammals.

Stop them eating your crops by covering your plants with netting, preferably a fixed net cage. Make sure the holes are large enough for pollinators to get to the flowers, and fix it down firmly so that animals don’t get trapped.

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