As you may all know Mrs McGregor has bought some strawberry plants for me to grow, just in time for the Wimbledon tournament. It’s a family tradition of ours to indulge in some home-grown strawberries whilst watching the tennis, so as soon as Mrs McGregor walked in bearing her plants I instantly got myself into the garden.
The strawberry variety she bought was Everbearing, which produces a crop during the spring, summer and fall seasons. I have planted them in a container in a cool place and made sure they have plenty of moisture so they will provide the McGregor household with plenty of crops.
Planting your strawberries
1. To avoid the strawberry plants drying out during planting, I have found it’s best to soak them in water first. After removing the plant from the pot, spread the roots out well and plant them in your container so that the soil level is at the base of the crown. Press the soil down firmly around the base of the plant.
2. Water your strawberry plants so the soil settles around the roots.
3. To prevent moisture loss, mulch the plants with straw. However, I have found that snails love to hide in damp straw, so keep a watchful eye for the pests. If straw is hard to come by, black plastic is a good alternative, but ensure the water applied can get to the plants.
Caring for your strawberries
• Top-dress your strawberry plants with some manure when the flowers begin to emerge.
• To keep the plants flowering remove any runners as soon as they appear (this tends to happen in mid-summer).
• Pick the fruit as soon as it’s ripe as this will encourage the plants to yield more strawberries.
Have fun growing your strawberries,