Strawberries

This year I decided to grow strawberries for the first time. I love strawberries so was really excited to have a go at growing my own.

All photos by Toni Abram.

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I purchased a variety of bare root plant called ‘Strawberry Florence‘. Bare root plants are dormant perennial plants that are stored without any soil around their roots and because of this, they weigh less and are easier for the seller to ship.

I didn’t decide until June that I wanted to grow strawberries, so I chose the variety because they have a late season harvest. Producing fruit from June/July, the variety is said to be a prolific cropper with exceptional pest and disease resistance. Also it is well suited to growing in containers which because I only have a small garden, is perfect.

The plants arrived in a parcel, similar in size to an A4 envelope and slightly thicker to accommodate a narrow plastic tray in which the plants had been placed. Having never purchased a bare root plant before I did wonder what on earth I had been sold when I saw what was inside. The plants looked like clip in hair extensions – really tatty ones that needed to be removed, with only the smallest sign of leaf growth. I wasn’t convinced that I would get any strawberries from these funny looking things but ever one for a challenge, I got on with planting them straight away. To my amazement, a few days later all the plants looked as if they had grown.

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And within a couple of weeks I had a pot full of healthy strawberry plants.

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White flowers followed shortly afterwards.

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And in early August I saw my first strawberry, which was accompanied by a few days of hot weather, in which it seemed the strawberries turned red before my eyes.

first-strawberry


strawberry

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This summer I have been trying to encourage birds to my garden and I really wasn’t sure strawberries and birds were compatible but at the time of writing this, I seem to have got away with it. The verdict … very quick and easy to grow, can be grown in small spaces and the excitement of seeing the little red fruits appear is really quite special. 

Further information

For further information about growing strawberries, visit the RHS website below.

 

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