Strawberry PlantsStrawberries have been grown since the 14th century. Initially, mostly for ornamental purposes, or for use in medicines. The strawberry we know today is really only about 200 years old. It was created by crossing various American and European varieties. There are continually new cultivars appearing, like strawberry ‘Sweet Eve’ and pineberry ‘Natural Albino’.
Strawberry varietiesStrawberry plants are perennials that are actually classified under the rose family – as are the apple, the cherry, quince and other fruit. Strawberries are easy to grow and will bear juicy red berries year after year. We generally divide strawberries into two different types of strawberry plants. 1) June bearing strawberries, 2) ‘Perpetually fruiting’ varieties. June croppers such as strawberry ‘Gigantella Maxim’ will give you fruit in early summer for about 2 or 3 weeks and are generally the largest berries. These also make lots of suckers for new little plants. Perpetuals like strawberry ‘Ostara’ flower and fruit over the whole summer period, giving somewhat smaller fruits. Most strawberry plants are self-pollinating (such as strawberry ‘Korona’) but some do actually require cross pollinating (for instance strawberry ‘Strasberry’). This means that, as well as being pollinated by insects, they need another variety of strawberry plant nearby to pollinate.
Tips on planting up strawberriesBakker strawberry plants come to you at the best time for planting. They are sure to thrive in the garden, or in pots and planters outdoors. They are practically indispensable in any kitchen garden.
Strawberry plants come to you in two different ways - already in a nursery pot, or as dormant, adult plants. Both will soon flower and then immediately fruit. Establishing the dormant adult plants is a bit more tricky – plant them immediately and water them twice a week for the first 6 weeks. Strawberry plants that come in pots will need a good soaking in a bucket of lukewarm water prior to planting.
Caring for strawberry plantsWater strawberry plants regularly. The soil should not dry out but should not be too wet either. If the top soil is dry, then it’s time to water. Water the base of the plant, not the foliage. Feed with a fertiliser that has a low nitrogen content to prevent the plant from just producing leaf instead of fruit. Tip: If the foliage is pale green, it actually requires more nitrogen. A good boost for the plants would be to sprinkle coffee grounds around the base of each strawberry plant.
Carefully snip off all the very first flowers to appear. That will give the plants a better chance to grow bigger and a stronger root system to develop. We also advise removing the first few suckers to appear. This keeps all the plants energy more focused on producing fruit instead of new stems.
Potted strawberries should be turned regularly so they all get enough sunlight. The first signs of juicy fruit developing is when you see those tiny little green strawberries appear. Check the plants every day and pick the strawberries that are sufficiently big and ripe. Be careful not to damage the main stem when picking your fruit. If the birds tend to beat you to it, consider throwing netting over a tunnel to cover your strawberry plants.
Finally, dig up all plants after three years and start a new strawberry bed full of strawberry plants in a new spot.
Do also check out the following interesting products:
- Pots and Planters
- Fruit Trees