When to plant strawberries

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Strawberries are super easy to grow in your garden, and they don’t take much maintenance once they’re in the soil. But getting the timing right for planting your strawberries is absolutely crucial.

Strawberries are one of the most popular summer fruits in the UK.

They’re frequently added to fruit salads, or simply enjoyed by themselves after a big meal.

Growing your own strawberries will mean that you’ll never be left without any to snack on, and they’re really easy to plant.

If you’re thinking about growing strawberries this year, it’s best to plant them sooner rather than later.

When to plant strawberries

You can plant strawberries in two different ways; either as a potted plant, or as bare-rooted runners.

If you decide to use a potted plant, you can add it to the soil in your back garden throughout the warmer months.

But if you’ve opted to plant some runners, there are only two times in the year when it’s advisable to pop them in the garden.

Your runners should be planted in the early spring or early autumn, according to the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS).

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It’s absolutely crucial that you avoid planting your strawberry runners in the winter months, or when the ground is cold and wet.

When it comes to planting your strawberries, make sure you find a well-drained spot that gets plenty of sunlight.

They shouldn’t be grown in soil that’s been previously used for potatoes or tomatoes, as it increases the risk of disease.

Your strawberries should start to produce fruit within three months of planting.

“Water frequently while new plants are establishing,” said the RHS.

“Also water during dry periods in the growing season. Try to avoid wetting crowns and fruit as this can promote disease.

“Pick strawberries when they are bright red all over, ideally during the warmest part of the day because this is when they are at their most tasty.

“Eat them as soon as possible; they do not keep well once ripened. Most do not keep their shape when frozen.”

You may need some kind of netting to protect the strawberries from hungry birds, it added.

Squirrels may also try to steal some of your fruit. In which case, a wire mesh may be the best solution.

Once the fruit starts to develop, you should slide some fibre mats or straw underneath the plants to keep the fruit clean.

You can keep your strawberry plant for around four years before you’ll need to replace it.

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