A royal wedding, Wimbledon and the British summer all bring to mind strawberries. They are a quintessential part of every British summer, so growing (and eating) your own strawberries is tasty, rewarding, and saves you money.
Growing your own strawberries requires very little space, the plants can be bought and planted from April until August and they produce fruit very quickly.
Here are some tips to get you growing...
Where To Grow Strawberries
Slugs and snails adore strawberries, so they are better planted in pots than in the ground, and window ledges and hanging baskets are ideal spots out of reach of these slimy pests. Strawberries in full sun will produce the most fruit and they should be planted out of the wind.
If you want to buy new plants each year you can plant 3 or 4 in a hanging basket or 5 or 6 in a windowsill planter, so that you get maximum fruit from your available space.
If you are growing in a raised bed or directly in your garden give each plant 35cms of space so that you can keep the same plants for 3 years; when the last strawberry has been enjoyed, simply cut the leaves back to around 10cm.
Caring For Strawberries
Strawberry plants do not like standing in water and if the soil becomes waterlogged the plants will rot. To keep the soil moist you will need to water a little every day unless you have a self-watering planter.
Feed your strawberry plants with a tomato feed every 10 days.
Although strawberries like a lot of light, they don’t like to be too warm, so if you are planting on a windowsill, open a window regularly to let in some cooler air.
Greed is good when it comes to strawberries, pick them as soon as they are ripe otherwise they will rot on the plant. Check the plants every other day during the ripening period.
These produce one ‘flush’ of fruit. Plant an early, a mid and a late summer fruiting variety so that you have fruit all summer. Popular varieties are El Santa and Cambridge Favourite.
Also known as everberaring, these plants produce three lots of fruit spread throughout the entire summer. Popular choices are Flamenco, Albion, Finesse, Aromel and Calypso.
Hold The Cream?
Strawberries have no fat and only 27 calories per 100g, but all those good intentions are often undone by the cream. Try balsamic vinegar and black pepper instead, or of course a strawberry or two in a glass of Champagne.
A Rose By Another Name
The strawberry belongs to the rose family, explaining the delicious fragrance.
Berry Or Not?
A strawberry has, on average, 200 seeds on the outside. It is argued that for this reason, it cannot be considered a real berry, since berries carry seeds on the inside.
Eat Them Whole
Capping, cutting, injuring or squeezing the fruit reduces the vitamin content.
Did You Know?
Our Strawberry Planter
Our Saladgrow Planters are great for strawberries. The lid keeps your compost warm so that your plants get off to a flying start and the SmartReservoir ensures your plants always receive the right amount of water, no matter how hot your patio, greenhouse or polytunnel is.
So there’s no coming home from work to find the strawberries wilting or water-logged and there’s no need to worry about holiday watering cover. You will be harvetsing within weeks!
Take a closer look at our Salad & Veg Planter - Ideal for strawberries!