Plant up a strawberry patch

Start them now for a summer full of tasty, sweet fruit.

Strawberry Patch - shutterstock_185585858.jpg

It’s time to get your own little strawberry patch going now, if you didn’t plant one up in autumn. If you planted one up then, ensure you’ve tidied up the old leaves, the soil has been mulched and feeding has commenced.

Strawberries don’t mind most soils – the key element to strawberry growing is to keep the plants situated in really well-draining soil. Strawberries are versatile when it comes to soil type but when it comes to wetness, if they get waterlogged they may rot and die off.

Straw placed underneath the plants has a few benefits – it can retain moisture in really dry periods, prevents leaves and fruit from touching damp soil and rotting off, prevents weeds and also helps to deter slugs and snails, who may find the straw surface too rough to crawl across. Replace this straw if it gets soggy and muddy.

Plants grown in raised beds ensure nicely-drained soil, and strawberries in hanging baskets makes for a fun feature and means slugs and snails can’t get to them. Harvest fruit in dry, sunny weather so they taste sweeter, and continue to grow from the same plants for around two years – then replace.