And look forward to delicious crops earlier than usual.
The first strawberries of the summer are always very welcome and the taste of a freshly picked ripe fruit is absolutely delicious. If you want an early crop of strawberries, they are well worth growing in containers undercover. Even in a cold greenhouse or polytunnel the fruits will be a couple of weeks earlier than outside, but with just a little gentle heat you can be picking your first fruits of the season even sooner.
Strawberries produce fruit in their first season, meaning young plants potted now or in early spring will crop in early summer onwards. If you already have plants growing in the garden that are healthy, you can lift some of the young plants or last year’s runners and pot them. Alternatively, you can buy young potted plants in garden centres or you can buy them as bare-root runners in early spring from mail order companies. From March onwards you can also get cold-stored runners which are grown a great deal by commercial growers.
Once potted or planted, these young plants that have been kept just above freezing since autumn will start into growth and produce a crop in around 60 days. With all strawberry plants, the crop in their first season is not large, but in their second and third season they will produce heavy crops.