Could there be anything more quintessentially British than a bowl full of juicy red strawberries in the summer? It’s not too late to grow your own strawberries this year, so find out here just how easy it is to plant and nurture your very own fruits…
Plant Your Strawberries Right Now For Tasty Summer Fruits In No Time.
Planting in Containers
If space is limited, don’t worry. Strawberries grow like mad in our exclusive Growin-Pods. Planting strawberry varieties like our new everbearer ‘Sweet Summer’, you can guarantee a fresh supply of fruit from July to October. With space for 10 plants, you can even share with friends and family.
Fill your container or growin-pod, one layer at a time, with a mix of 50/50 John Innes No3 and our Premium Professional Compost. For an easy and effective way to ensure that your plants are always well watered and fed, incorporate Gel and Feed into the compost on planting. This contains water-retaining gel to lock moisture into the compost and a slow-release fertiliser which will release sufficient feed to the growing plants to last for up to 6 months.
Once filled with compost, for your Growin Pod plant one strawberry plant (runner, plug, or potted plant) in each ‘station’ and water in well. For other containers, it will depend on the size, but roughly 4 to 5 plants pet pot. As the plants begin to grow, ensure the compost remains moist at all times.
Planting in the Ground
Dig your soil over adding compost and Fish Blood & Bone at the same time. If your soil is waterlogged, try mixing in a few bags of horticultural grit to improve drainage.
Make a hole and plant up to the previous soil mark ensuring all the roots are covered and firm in. Plant the strawberries 12 inches apart in rows. If planting more than one row, allow a minimum of 2ft between rows. Water well after planting and throughout the first few weeks.
Apply a tomato liquid feed once they start to flower to ensure they develop healthy fruits. A mulch of straw around the plants should be applied at or soon after flowering to help protect them from rain splash on the surrounding soil. If this is not available then a polythene sheet placed around them is a good alternative.
Pick the fruits from your pot, container or from the ground as soon as they become fully ripe – they’ll look a gorgeous red colour all over. Remember, they always taste best later in the day when they have warmed in the sun.
Strawberries are highly perishable so will only last a few days at the most. They can be stored in the fridge but let them come up to room temperature before eating as the cold really takes away some of that beautiful taste. Alternatively, you can store it in the freezer then use it to whizz up yummy summer smoothies, make ice cream with or add to yoghurt and other desserts. Why not try making your own fresh, tasty jam.
Sensational (and easy) Strawberry Jam
- 1kg of fresh strawberries
- 800g of Jam sugar
- Juice of 1 lemon
- Start by wiping the strawberries with a damp cloth, then ‘hull’ them by cutting into the top and removing the stalk.
2. Cut large strawberries in half then add to a large based saucepan along with the sugar and lemon juice.
3. Mash the strawberries, sugar and lemon juice together with a potato masher to create a bit of a ‘mush’ of fruit. You can leave some larger chunks to give a bit of texture to the jam.
4. Place the pan on a medium heat and bring to the boil. Simmer for 5 minutes then turn the heat off.
5 Carefully remove any foam from the top of the jam and leave to cool for about 15 minutes to half an hour before dividing between your sterilised jam jars.
6. Leave to cool completely before sealing and placing in the fridge.
Click Here for a detailed care guide on how to ‘Grow Your Own’ Strawberries.