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How to grow strawberries at home

PUBLISHED: 10:00 23 February 2019

You can't beat a homegrown strawberry  Picture: Enjoy Gardening More

You can't beat a homegrown strawberry Picture: Enjoy Gardening More

Archant

Peter McDermott shares his expert growing tips.

Is there a more unique plant than the strawberry? With its seeds on the outside and baby plants produced on the end of long stems, it really is a plant that you couldn’t dream up.

Of course, how they look pales into insignificance when you bite into one. Not one of the watery, bland imports that we seem to have adopted all year round, but one of the sweet, fragrant, home-grown, summer varieties - you’ll never taste better than when they’re home-grown!

The British strawberry fruiting season runs from late May to early September and they’re incredibly easy to grow. Strawberry plants can be grown almost anywhere – in borders, containers or hanging baskets with no experience needed, just follow a few simple rules: keep them watered (not too much, don’t get the crowns wet), feed them with a multipurpose feed, protect them from frost, and keep marauding birds away from them.

You’ll soon know when your fruits are ready for eating – they’ll be plump and tender, with a good, bright red colour and a sweet aroma and when picking, remove them from the plant leaving the leafy green calyx and stalk still attached to the strawberry. Pale, white or green berries should be left to mature.

As well as being irresistible, did you know they’re also good for you? An average strawberry will have around five calories and is an excellent source of vitamins C and K as well as providing a good dose of fibre, folic acid, manganese and potassium. They also contain significant amounts of phytonutrients and flavonoids which is what makes strawberries bright red and can help protect your body.

Supplied either as “runners”, which are small bare-rooted plants, or as “tray plants”, with a root ball of compost. We also sell some plants in 9cm pots so whatever your level of experience, we’ve got a plant to get you going.

Join Enjoy Gardening More where you can get six garden-ready strawberry plants this month for just £9.99. The Colossus variety are almost the size of an orange and are packed with fragrance and flavour.

And don’t forget to join the Enjoy Gardening More Facebook page.

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