Taste of summer
Strawberries, one of the most versatile fruits available and growing in my garden. If you’ve never tasted a sun warmed, freshly picked strawberry, straight off the plant, then your missing out on one major sweet, juicy pleasure – not long till I do just that.
Strawberry plants are very easy to look after – first year ;-
- Choose a weed free, full sun, fertile, well-drained site.
- Space plants 10-12 inches a part.
- Before planting add extra organic matter to make the soil rich.
- Once planted keep soil moist.
- In first year remove flowers to encourage a strong root system.
- Remove dead leaves at the end of the season.
Second year and thereafter ;-
- In spring feed plants with a general fertiliser such as growmore.
- Weed and keep moist.
- During the growing season, feed every 7-14 days with a liquid potash such as tomato feed.
- As fruits start to swell, lay either straw or fibre mats around plants to prevent strawberries from being contaminated by soil.
- Pin down any runners until a good root system develops, then cut from the mother plant.
- Once harvesting as finished, remove old leaves, straw or fibre mats and do a general tidy-up of the area to prevent a build-up of pests and diseases.
Strawberry plants crop at their best for 3 years, use runners as a replacement of old plants. It’s also a good idea to use the crop rotation method as this helps to minimise attacks from pests and diseases that lurk in the soil.