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Strawberry (Fragaria x ananassa)   Edit Report inappropriate crop

The quintessential taste of summer and one of the best ways to entice your children onto your plot. By growing early, mid and late season varieties with 'everbearer' or 'full season' varities, you can be harvesting strawberries for over 6 months of the year, from late May to late October. However, there's no doubt that, for taste and adundance, the traditional June/July period  is the highlight of the season.

Strawberries need fertile and moist, but well-drained, soil. They are often planted in ridges to ensure this drainage is maintained. Because they have a productive life of 3-4 years, it is essential to ensure the soil is weed-free to begin with. For this reason, it's best to deeply dig the soil at least a month before planting, removing all weeds. Then dig again at planting, removing any remaining weeds. Planting through plastic or a weed-suppressing menu will not only make maintenance easier, it will, warm the soil, giving earlier crops and will also keep the fruit off the soil...just make sure puddles don't form on plastic sheeting, encouraging mould.

To replace plants, select 3 or 4 runners per healthy plant in late spring/early summer and use an upside-down 'U' of wire to hold to plantlets onto the surface of a 9cm pot buried in the soil. Remove any stem beyond the plantlet. The plantlet will have rooted in a month or two - at this point, sever the connection with the parent plant and plant on.

Likes and dislikes
Soil
Stonyok
Lightok
Loamyprefer
Heavyprefer
pH4.5 - 7.0
Manure
Previous cropdislike
Previous autumnok
Before plantingprefer
Position
Full sunprefer
Partial shadedislike
Shadedislike
Exposure
Openok
Shelteredprefer

Bareroot plants in Autumn

plant plant

Between plants: 45cm
Between rows: 75cm

Plant rather like asparagus, creating a central mound in each trench or hole and spreading the roots over this, before covering with soil and watering in well. Make sure that the crown of the plant is no lower than the surface of the soil - many people raise it slightly. Keep well watered, especially as the fruit begin to form. Protect from birds with netting, held away from the plant or in a fruit cage.


harvest harvest

As the first fruit begin to show, place a layer of straw on under each plant to keep the fruit off the ground and prevent splashing.\n\nPick when whole fruit is red, using thumb and forefinger to take a piece of stalk with each fruit. Warm, dry mornings are best for flavour and storage.


Bareroot plants in Spring

plant plant

Between plants: 45cm
Between rows: 75cm

Plant rather like asparagus, creating a central mound in each trench or hole and spreading the roots over this, before covering with soil and watering in well. Make sure that the crown of the plant is no lower than the surface of the soil - many people raise it slightly. Keep well watered, especially as the fruit begin to form. Protect from birds with netting, held away from the plant or in a fruit cage. Remove any flowers which form in the first year.


harvest harvest

As the first fruit begin to show, place a layer of straw on under each plant to keep the fruit off the ground and prevent splashing. Pick when whole fruit is red, using thumb and forefinger to take a piece of stalk with each fruit. Warm, dry mornings are best for flavour and storage.


Pot-grown plants

plant plant

Between plants: 45cm
Between rows: 75cm

Plant in a hole slightly larger than the root ball and backfill with gritty compost, watering in well. Make sure that the crown of the plant is no lower than the surface of the soil - many people raise it slightly. Keep well watered, especially as the fruit begin to form. Protect from birds with netting, held away from the plant or in a fruit cage.


harvest harvest

As the first fruit begin to show, place a layer of straw on under each plant to keep the fruit off the ground and prevent splashing. Pick when whole fruit is red, using thumb and forefinger to take a piece of stalk with each fruit. Warm, dry mornings are best for flavour and storage.


Alpine from seed

sow indoors sow indoors

Sow on the surface of the compost and do not exclude light. Seal in a polythene bag to keep moist until seeds germinate.


prick out prick out

Prick out when large enough to handle, growing on in cool but frost-free conditions until ready to plant out. Harden off for a week or two before planting out.


plant plant

Between plants: 30cm
Between rows: 30cm

Keep well watered, especially as the fruit begin to form. Protect from birds with netting, held away from the plant or in a fruit cage.


harvest harvest

Pick when whole fruit is red, using thumb and forefinger to take a piece of stalk with each fruit. Warm, dry mornings are best for flavour and storage.


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