strawberry Sweetheart - mid season fruiting ( Fragaria vesca )
- Position: full sun
- Soil: any soil
- Rate of growth: fast-growing
- Other features: ready to pick from June
- Hardiness: fully hardy
Sweet, conical berries appear mid-season on vigorous plants that have a good resistance to mildew. A recently introduced cultivar, it has consistently scored well in tests for fruit production and taste.
- 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 a 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.
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Q:Advice on watering strawberry tubs please
Hello I bought one of the strawberry tubs shown on your website. I have assembled it and put in the plants. There is a water tube going down the middle of the tub, which waters from the inside all the plants along the length of the tub. When watering, do I fill the tube fully and how often should I do this? I have put the tub in a plastic greenhouse. I would be grateful for your assistance. Thank you CliffordAsked on 4/12/2010 by Clifford Sullivan
A:Hello Clifford, When watering you can fill this tube up to the top, but then you must let all the excess water drain away from the bottom of the pot. This should be repeated as and when the compost in the planter gets quite dry. I hope this helps. Helen Plant DoctorAnswered on 4/12/2010 by Clifford Sullivan
Q:How do I plant my Strawberries, and Raspberry canes?
Hi, I've just take delivery of my order and need some advice please as I haven't grown soft fruit before. The strawberry (Elsanta) runners are bare root plants, and I wanted some advice on how to plant them, - soil type, size of container initially, and any other tips. Also, the 10 raspberry canes (Tulameen) arrived planted in one large pot - please can you advise how I proceed with these. Do they need splitting and separating into individual pots, - or do I leave them together in a single pot? I'm really in the dark as to how to treat these canes, so as much advice as you can give would be really appreciated. Thanks GillianAsked on 2/25/2010 by firstname.lastname@example.org
A:Hello Gillian, The strawberries can be planted individually into quite small pots initially (say around 1 or 2lt), but they will be equally happy with several squeezed into a large pot pot filled with John Innes No 2 compost. As for the rasberries, if you want them to grow in a really large pot, then use the same compost as above and separate all the canes. Ideally you should just have 1 cane per pot. Alternatively, if they are going in the ground, you should prepare the planting area well, removing all perennial weeds and adding plenty of well-rotted garden compost or manure. Plant canes 8cm (3in) deep, at 45cm (18in) intervals, carefully spreading out the roots and backfilling with soil. I hope this helps. Helen Plant DoctorAnswered on 2/25/2010 by Crocus Helpdesk
Q:Strawberry barrel planting compost?
Hello Helen, I have recently bought a strawberry tub and have a query about what compost mixture to fill it with. The instruction leaflet has a heading Compost but doesn't say what compost to use. It does mention a peat one later on in the writing but the first thing it says is "The mixture should consist of two thirds by one third of perlite (20 litres) or coarse grit (20 litres/25 kg)". So do I just get 20 litres of perlite or grit and 40 litres of a peat based compost and then add a slow release fertilizer? Also when do I plant the tub up. Is it now or do I wait until next spring? Thank youAsked on 10/7/2009 by anne barke
A:Hello There, I am not suprised that you are confused by the instructions as I would be too. I think I will have a chat with our products buyer to see if he can have a word with the supplier to try to make them clearer. Anyway... these planters will hold 50lt of compost, and I would recommend John Innes No 2. We do sell lots of strawberry runners, and the best time to plant these is in the autumn as soon as they arrive. I hope this helps and apologies for any confusion. Helen Plant DoctorAnswered on 10/7/2009 by Crocus Helpdesk
A:Hello again, I would recommend you ignore whatever they say in the instructions and just use John Innes compost. Best regards Helen Plant DoctorAnswered on 10/8/2009 by anne barke
A:Hello again, Thanks for your reply. Just to clarify. I put 20 litres of perlite or grit and the other 35 litres as John Innes No 2? Later on in the instructions it mentions peat/sand mix. What is that about? Sorry to be so thick. RegardsAnswered on 10/9/2009 by Crocus Helpdesk
Q:Strawberry tub and plants
I am just about to order the strawberry tub and would like to know which strawberry plants you would recommend for it? Would ordinary peat compost be suitable? WilliamAsked on 10/7/2009 by William Cooper
A:Hello William, You can use any of the strawberry plants, so try to choose some early, mid and late fruiting types. As for the compost, you can fill it up with John Innes No 2. I hope this helps. Helen Plant DoctorAnswered on 10/9/2009 by Crocus Helpdesk
Hi, This summer we planted lots of strawberry plants in pots. We got quite a few strawberries. What do we do now the seasons ended? Many Thanks, PennyAsked on 7/24/2009 by Micklewright, Penny
A:Hello There, You dont really need to do anything. The strawberry plants will die back in winter and you can then remove any dead foliage. Carry on feeding them for the next couple of weeks and make sure they are watered, but you can cut this right back throughout the winter. I hope this helps. Helen Plant DoctorAnswered on 7/24/2009 by Crocus Helpdesk
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