STRAWBERRIES

Growing Strawberries 

The best strawberries you will ever taste come straight from the garden. They are some of the first fruits to ripen in the spring and are so sweet and nutritious, and if looked after, can be very productive.

Homegrown strawberries are deliciously sweeter than store-bought, plus you know that they are chemical-free. Strawberries are relatively simple to grow, and their compact size allows them to be grown in nearly any position – in pots and hanging baskets, on balconies, or in the ground amongst other vegetables and they are lovely when used as an edible edging. There are many varieties to choose from for yield, flavour and season. 

 

Planting Strawberries for Beginners 

When planting strawberries, make sure you don’t bury the crown – the leaves, flowers and fruit arise from these. To plant bare root strawberries in the ground, first, dig a small hole and make a mound of soil in the middle of the hole. Spread the bare roots out over the mound and fill in with soil. Plant the strawberry deep enough that the crown of the plant sits towards the top of the soil (but covered with a thin layer of soil). 

Mulching with straw insulates the roots, helps to retain moisture, and minimises soil-borne disease. Plant runners 30cm apart in rows 75-100cm apart. Strawberries can be planted in double rows 30cm apart to maximise space in the garden. To plant strawberries in containers, use the same method as in the ground. 

Strawberries, like most berries, require full sun. They like 6 hours or more a day. The small Alpine strawberries can tolerate a bit more shade, but if you want large, sweet strawberries, they will need full sun. 

 

Soil For Strawberries 

Strawberries also need good drainage, so ideally, grow them in a raised bed or at least plant into a mound of soil. They will grow and fruit well when grown in rich, well-drained soil, allowed plenty of sun and are well-watered throughout their growing season. They prefer acidic soil, although only slightly acidic with a pH around 6.0 to 6.5, so they love lots of organic matter such as compost and aged manures. 

 

Strawberries in Raised Beds 

Raised beds are ideal for strawberries, which benefit from good drainage and fluffy soil. Strawberries won't tolerate weed competition and raised beds help keep grasses and weeds from sneaking into the planting area. Raised garden beds enable a gardener to tailor the soil to suit the strawberries. Strawberries like sunny positions, so it is vital to set up the raised bed in the full sun. Strawberries can grow in partial shade, especially during long and hot summer days, but the quality of the fruits in spring and autumn will decrease. 

 

Strawberries in Pots 

Strawberries are great to grow in containers with their compact, quick-growing habit. Hanging baskets, terracotta pots and special strawberry planters are just some of the containers to grow them in, but you are only limited by your imagination in what you can grow them in as they look great in crates, baskets and even old teapots. When planting, use a good quality potting mix and you can mix compost through or put a layer on top. A final layer of straw is beneficial for the fruit to rest on and helps minimise fungal disease. When watering, keeping moisture off the leaves will also help with disease prevention. 

There are several advantages to growing strawberries in containers. Plants can be moved to track the sun, thereby enjoying more warmth and light than they might get otherwise, and it is also easier to control pests such as slugs and helps to avoid soil-borne diseases.

Harvesting 

Harvest ripe strawberries in the cool of morning and refrigerate them right away. Strawberries are so delicious that lots of critters in the garden like to take a munch, so keep a lookout. As soon as they start to colour the birds will spot them so netting helps. Fruit is typically ready for harvesting 4-6 weeks after blossoming. Ideally harvest fully red (ripe) and pick every 3 days. 

Strawberries are so delicious that they rarely make it to the kitchen as it is so nice to enjoy them in the garden. 

 

Shop our strawberry range here.

Shop our strawberry range

There is no better flavour than sunkissed strawberries straight from the garden. Rich, sweet flavour, free from chemicals, they can be eaten immediately unlike supermarket bought rock hard fruits. Diggers have a range of the best tasting and heirloom varieties so you can choose for yield, flavour and season.

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Step-by-step videos

Watch our step-by-step videos to learn how to plant your strawberries.

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