strawberry - early season fruiting
- Position: full sun
- Soil: any soil
- Rate of growth: fast-growing
- Other features: tasty, orange-red fruit (mid-June to mid-July) Cropping times may be brought forward or extended if you are growing them in a greenhouse or cloche tunnel.
- Hardiness: fully hardy
The proven standard early strawberry variety, fruiting 4 - 6 days earlier than Elsanta. Bright, shiny, good quality fruits. Produces heavy yields with high percentage large fruit. This variety is often grown at Pick Your Own's so you can tell its a good cropper!
- Garden care:These strawberry runners are sent out as bare root (ie not potted up or in soil) plants. They are completely dormant, so any remaining foliage or stems will look shrivelled and dry. They should be planted out within a couple of days of arrival. Once they are planted out, they will emerge from their dormancy and start to put on new growth in spring (or within 4 - 6 weeks if planted in spring).
Choose a spot in full sun and prepare the bed well by removing all the weeds and digging in a generous amount of compost. You can also work in some general purpose fertiliser if planting in spring. When you are ready to plant, fill a bucket with tepid water and leave the plants to soak for 20 minutes. This will rehydrate the roots. While they are soaking, prepare the planting holes - these should be approximately twice as wide as the strawberries root system. Plant the strawberries so the crown (the point where the roots meet the stem) is at soil level, and spread the roots out before re-filling with soil. Space them at 45cm intervals, allowing 75cm between each row. After planting, immediately give them a thorough water and apply a generous layer of mulch around the base of the plants, being careful to avoid the crown. Keep the plants well watered, especially during warmer weather and when the fruits are developing. When the strawberries are starting to form, a thick layer of straw or a strawberry mulch mat can be placed under the plants to stop the fruit touching the soil. Sheets of black plastic mulch can also be used, and this will also help retain soil moisture, reduce weeds and encourage early cropping. Strawberries can also be planted in tubs, containers and hanging baskets.
An organic garden should also be a wildlife-friendly garden. Not only is it wonderful to see nature at work, but many creatures will help you achieve better results. The ponds in my garden act as a magnet to dragonflies and...Read full article