How To Grow & Care For Your Strawberry Plants
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Place the strawberry plants every 35cm (13 in) in rows that are 75cm (30 in) apart.
Plant with the crown at soil level and water well.
Place a net over the plants to prevent birds and squirrels from eating the fruit.
Pick any ripe strawberries so they don't rot on the plant. Check the plants every other day during the ripening period.
Regularly hoe between the rows and individual plants.
From late May, place straw in the rows and under the fruit trusses to suppress weeds and prevent the fruit lying on the ground.
Barley straw is the best option, as it's softer and more pliable. If you can't get straw, use polythene sheeting.
It's possible to extend the growing season by placing early strawberry varieties under cloches or polythene covers in late March. Grown in this way, the plants should produce fruit two to three weeks earlier than normal.
Growing strawberries in a hanging basket ensures they're kept out of the way of slugs.
From flowering until harvest, feed the plants every ten days with a product that's high in potassium, such as a tomato feed.
The same strawberry plants should continue to produce fruit the following year, but the crops will be better if the plants are renewed.
The fruit is ready when it has turned red, although different varieties have different shades.
It's best to harvest the fruit in dry weather. Pick gently to avoid bruising and make sure the green stalk (calyx) remains with the fruit.
After harvesting, remove the straw or matting that has been protecting fruit from the ground.
Leave nets off to allow birds to pick off any pests.