You might think you need lots of space to grow strawberries, but a high yield can be had in the smallest of gardens. They’re happy as long as they have room produce lots of fruit, but even one plant can do this, so it’s easy to bring a mini fruit garden to your plot.
There are three sorts of strawberry you can add to your garden – why not try one or two of each? Wild strawberries (or alpine strawberries) are the easiest to cultivate – they like shade too, and ‘Mignonette’ has the sweetest of small berries.
Summer bearers have large fruits during early summer – ‘Cambridge Favourite’ is a reliable classic.
Perpetual strawberries (or ever-bearers) are often the best to grow as they can produce fruit from July until the first sign of frost in autumn. ‘Ostara’ is a tasty reliable treat of an ever-bearer. Remember to always pick a few fruits to carry out a taste test before you harvest them!
3 ways to grow a mini strawberry patch
1. Climbers: Create an attractive wigwam climbing strawberry frame with unusual climbing varieties such as ‘Mount Everest’ or ‘Rambling Cascade’. Feed your plants every two weeks with a liquid tomato feed.
Tie the runners up the canes to train it, and though less attractive, a net will prevent birds from nibbling them all, and straw under the plants will prevent slugs and snails from doing the same.
2. Planters: Terracotta strawberry planters are not just a pretty face. They are functional too – not only do they keep your strawberry area tidy and neat, they are designed to keep the plants off the ground, away from slugs and snails and pests and disease.
They usually fit a good seven or eight plants in and come in plastic versions too. Simply tuck in handfuls of soil into each pocket and tightly plant a strawberry plug in each one.
3. Baskets: Again, hanging baskets keep your strawberries away from slugs and snails, and look fantastic as a bright and cheerful edible hanging display.
If fed well with a liquid tomato feed throughout summer, they’ll happily cascade down. Just put at most about four plants per basket so each one gets enough room to thrive. Always water them well.
Grow some open single-flowered blooms nearby to attract bees, which will also in turn pollinate your strawberries so they set fruit.