The ultimate guide for how to grow your very own strawberries, giving you the tips and tricks to bring in your own juicy haul!
Strawberries are a quintessential summer fruit which can be used in delicacies such as strawberry cheesecakes, jams, chocolate fountains and also strawberry wine.
They are some of the easiest plants for beginner gardeners to grow and can be grown almost anywhere with very minimal knowledge.
We teach you how to plant, care for and harvest your strawberries with extra tips and common problems you may face when attempting to grow your own.
How To Plant Strawberries
Strawberries are best planted 14 inches apart from each other. Make sure to space the rows about 30 inches apart to allow them to spread out.
Make sure to dig a hole large enough for the roots to spread out. The roots should be trimmed to about four inches if they are initially very long.
Planting depth is critical because if strawberries are planted too deep, they will rot. If they are planted too shallow, then they will dry out and die.
How To Care For Strawberry Plants
Strawberry seedlings that are establishing will need watering frequently and more so if there’s a dry period during the growing season. Avoid wetting the fruit as it may promote disease growth.
Fertiliser could be applied to your strawberry plants in the early spring but no more than about 50 grams per square metre.
To protect your strawberries from birds, you might choose to net them, although wire mesh is a better bet to ward off squirrels too. A fleece blanket will be needed if it’s expected to be cold.
Pull out any weeds that do emerge as it can stunt or even harm your strawberry plant. Once the crop is done, make sure to cut old leaves off to allow new ones to grow.
Plants will produce strawberries for 3+ years, so it can be a good time investment for many seasons to come.
How To Harvest Strawberries
Strawberries should be picked by hand when they are red all over and have little to no white on them. From planting this can take anywhere from three weeks to two months.
Pick them around noon or whenever it is warmest as this is when they are most likely to be at their best and ripest for picking.
Once the strawberries are fully ripened, they don’t keep very long, so devour them quickly. Freezing them is an option, but they come out slightly soggy.
If you’ve had a bumper year and need inspiration with what to do with your new juicy haul of strawberries, check out some recipes here!
Tips & Common Problems
If you plan to grow strawberries in the autumn or spring, then remove the flowers of the first strawberries. However, if these are summer strawberries, only remove the flowers if the plants look weak.
Grey mould is a fungal growth that spreads quickly among strawberry plants. You can remedy this by removing infected parts of the plant quickly and reducing humidity if in a greenhouse.
If you’ve got your hands on some cold-stored strawberries that can be planted in the late spring or early summer, leave the flowers on. You will be able to harvest these plants before and after winter for a double crop.
Vine weevils love to eat strawberry plants and can ruin your crops. The only solution is applying pesticides to keep them at bay.