- Strawberries can be grown in two ways, in the ground or in pots/growbags. If planting directly into soil, it’s best to add bulky organic compost at an approximate rate of 5kg per m2.
- The pH of the soil should be approx. 5.7-5.9. If you are planting strawberries where tomatoes have previously been grown it may be necessary to flood the area before planting to wash out excessive fertiliser salts.
- Strawberry plants are readily available from garden centres.
- When planting strawberries be careful to keep the crowns at or slightly above soil level, not below it.
- If planting in the soil it may be preferable to lay plastic so the developing fruit is not in contact with the soil. If growing in growbags or pots it may not be necessary. However try to avoid situations where fruit is lying on wet surfaces as this will cause diseased fruit.
- If you are growing plants to produce fruit only, pick off runners as they emerge.
- Similarly if producing runners to increase the number of plants pick off flower stems as they emerge. Runners can be cut away for plant propagation once they have formed callus and roots have begun to grow. They can then be pinned into small pots to allow the root system to develop. The primary and secondary (closest and second closest plants to the mother plant) will produce the best plants.
- For good yields feed approximately twice a week with a high potash liquid fertiliser once flowers appear.
- As the flowers develop it may be necessary to open up vents and doorways to allow bees in to pollinate the crop. Otherwise you will get misshapen fruit. In commercial enterprises it will be necessary to introduce artificial hives of bumble bees to ensure fruit quality. Outdoors natural pollinators will be present.
- Harvest fruit when the shoulders of the fruit are red. Pinch the stem above the calyx to avoid damaging the fruit while picking.