Strawberries can be grown in the garden or in containers and taste great! The best time to plant them is late summer or early autumn so if you’ve been inspired by the Wimbledon strawberries and cream why not plant a crop now to provide you with juicy fruit for next year’s tennis and garden party season?
They like a sunny and warm site and if like much of Essex you are on well drained clay you will get heavy and flavoured fruits. Sandy soils will produce earlier fruits. To plant; clear weeds away and add farmyard manure or other nutrient rich compost. Plant them in slightly raised rows, at about 45cm apart. Water well whilst they get established. They can be grown in tubs and strawberry pots which have holes in the sides to maximise space.
If you are already growing strawberries here are our top tips for July/August:
- Water regularly to encourage larger fruits
- You will need to net the strawberries to avoid them being eaten by the birds and slugs, and place straw or plastic under fruits to keep them clean
- Pinch out runners as they appear
- Replace plants every 2/3 years to discourage pests and diseases like red spider mite and grey leaf mould. After three years you should change the site if you have space to lessen the likelihood of soil borne diseases taking hold
There are a whole host of varieties available such as the ever popular Elsanta and Cambridge Favourite.