Growing Strawberries

The season for buying English grown strawberries is very short -if you can find them at all. They are often short of flavour, probably because they have been grown under cover and forced to produce fruits rather unnaturally.Any other strawberries are expensive and pretty tasteless – and think of the air miles involved in their transportation.

For all those reasons, it is worth growing a few strawberry plants yourself. Threy are easy to grow and, once established will produce new plants to replenish old stock very freely. There were strawberry plants in my garden when I moved into this house. They grew like weeds – and were equally difucult to get rid of. They produced small fruits and not many of them, so I decided to replace them.

If you do not have room in your garden for strawberries (or don’t want to be bothered with protecting them from the soil, then why not grow them in a planter by the back door (if it is in the sun).¬† Strawberry planters have greatly improved in looks in the past few years and are no longer¬† ugly and utilitarian. The problem with the old type planters was getting water to the bottom plants, now with a central watering tube you get water to all your plants

Harrod Horticulture sell three different types of Strawberry Planters.

terracotta strawberry planter

The first is a terracotta strawbery planter made from frost proof Yorkshire clay. I think it is attractive enough to be an ornament on your patio, even if you do not plant it with strawberries. It is 18 inches (46cm high and has a diameter of 13 inches (33cm) so it does not take up to much room.

The third is a very useful and inexpensive planter. In effect it is a bag with pre-cut holes, enough to take 8 strawberry plants. It has handles for ease of movement and is made of polythylene so will last more then one season.

You can buy strawberry plants from almost any plant retailer. However, you should try to buy a named variety from a reputable sales outlet so that you know exactly what to expect. Thompson and Morgan sell strawberry plants as well as seed to grow your own.

Strawberries contain high levels of vitamin C but they also have high sugar levels, they are one of the few fruits not recommended for duiabetes sufferers. That said, a fresh strawberry just picked from the plant and warm from sunshine really is delicious.

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