Ken Muir’s Top 6 Tips For Healthy Strawberries
22nd May 2017gardening, strawberries,
Strawberry plants can be grown almost anywhere – in borders, containers or in hanging baskets; all they need is sun, shelter and well-drained soil.
There are two seasons in which to order plants. March to July is the best time to buy cold-stored crops, these will produce harvests within 90 days if planted before May, and those grown between May and July will produce yields within 60 days. Strawberries ordered in October to November will be newly dug open ground runners and planting them out before frosts arrive is essential.
Summer fruiting varieties are the largest and most popular, and if growing outside the plants should be spaced 30-40cm apart in rows. There are early, mid and late fruiting strawberries, cropping from mid June through to late July. The early ‘Gariguette’ produces sugar sweet fruits; ‘Hapil’ is a mid- season variety that crops well under dry conditions and ‘Alice’ is a sweet flavoured late type. To continue your harvesting season perpetual fruiting strawberries, such as ‘Mara des Bois’, will ensure you have a crop from mid August to mid October and can even bear a small amount of yield in the early summer. The crops are not as heavy as the summer-fruiting ones, and the strawberries tend to be smaller than those of summer-fruiting varieties.
Ken Muir’s 6 top tips
1) Choose healthy plants from a reputable grower
2) Use a high potash feed to grow healthy fruit
3) Avoid overhead watering to prevent crown rot
4) Plant 30cm apart and water in well afterwards
5) Keep in a sunny position and crop for three years
6) Mulch with straw under the plants at the ‘green fruit stage’ to protect future harvests
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