Grow your own Strawberries
Strawberries are quick to produce fruit, making them a great choice for beginner gardeners. You can expect to harvest your first strawberries six to ten months after planting. As an added bonus, once your strawberry plants are established you can use the runners to plant new strawberry plants each season.
Step-by-step guide to growing your own strawberries :
Choose a sunny area in your garden with well-draining soil and adequate protection from the wind (if the area is too windy insects will not be able to pollinate your plants).
Prepare the soil beforehand by working in a generous amount of compost and two handfuls of bonemeal per square metre.
Plant strawberry plants 30cm apart at the same height as they were in the pot in which you purchased them.
Water your strawberry plants frequently, but make sure that the soil never gets waterlogged as this can lead to fungal diseases.
As soon as you notice fruits beginning to develop, protect the soil around the plants with straw or black plastic sheeting. This prevents the fruits from lying directly on the soil, which causes them to rot. If you use plastic, remember to make small drainage holes in the plastic so that water doesn’t collect on top.
You’ll know when your strawberries are ready for harvesting – they’ll have such a beautiful, bright red colour that you won’t be able to resist picking them.
Did you know? Strawberries are the only fruits that produce their seeds on the outside of the fruit.
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