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Strawberries - Planting

UK Garden Centre - How to plant Strawberries

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Allow the ground several weeks to consolidate before planting in autumn. If planting of the summer fruiting kinds has to be delayed until spring, remove the flowers the first year so as to build up a strong plant frost. Before planting, rake in 30g per m (1oz per yard) of sulphate of potash or plenty of bonfire ash.
If the land is heavy and not well drained, it will be advisable to plant on ridges or on a raised bed to allow winter rains to drain away. Also, plants on raised beds are less liable to be damaged by frost. This type of bed is made 15cm (6in) higher than the surrounding land and 150cm (5ft) across to allow for picking without treading the bed. Plant 37cm (15in) apart in rows 40-45cm (16-18in) apart.
Runners begin to form towards the end of summer, and where growing for fruit, remove them with scissors before they begin to root. This will enable the plants to concentrate on fruit production and in this way the plants may be left down for four or five years. A few plants may be allowed to form runners which are removed when they have formed roots. These are used to make a new plantation each year, to take over when the original plantings begin to bear poorer-quality berries.
When planting, use a blunt-ended trowel and make the hole large enough to take all the roots and to enable them to spread out. Only just cover the roots, with the crown of the plant at soil level. Use a garden line to make the rows which should run north to south. Tread the plants in and do so again in spring for some may have been lifted by frost. Keep the hoe moving between the rows during April and May, but do not hoe too near the plants, for they are surface rooting.
In April, after a cold winter and to stimulate the plants into growth, give a dressing with 30g per m (1oz per yd) of sulphate of ammonia between the rows. Give this on a showery day when it will be quickly washed into the soil. If the weather is dry when the fruit has formed, water often, preferably around mid-day so that moisture dries off the blooms before night frosts.
When once the green berries have turned white, inspect them daily for they will soon turn pink and then scarlet, this taking only two days or less in warm weather. Pick them with the calyx attached if possible and place in a refrigerator to cool. Then remove the green tops, sprinkle with sugar and replace until required.

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