An early crop of strawberries

How to get an early crop of strawberries

Find out how to get an early crop of strawberries with the help of this practical guide.

Do it:

Mar, Apr

Takes just:

20 minutes

At its best:

May, Jun

Strawberries are one of the most eagerly anticipated crops of summer, and early varieties of strawberry usually start fruiting in June.

Find out how to grow strawberries with the help of our practical strawberry Grow Guide.

If you can't wait that long, you can encourage strawberries to flower and fruit six weeks ahead of outdoor plants by potting some up and bringing them into a cool greenhouse or conservatory.

All you need to do is keep them well lit, ventilated and watered to prevent the plants becoming leggy - and then enjoy your early harvest.

Here's how to get an early crop of strawberries in three simple steps.

You will need

  • 3 strawberry plants (pot-grown, or lifted from the garden)
  • Large pot or hanging basket
  • Multi-purpose compost

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Plant two or three strawberry plants in a hanging basket or large pot of multi-purpose compost. Keep them well watered and ventilate the greenhouse on hot days - this will encourage pollinating insects, too.

As strawberries develop, cut off any long runners that grow, as these will divert energy from the crop.

Check pot-grown plants carefully as the fruit develops for signs of slug damage. And it's worth netting greenhouse doors and vents to stop the birds stealing the fruit as it ripens.

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Watering can

In very hot weather, it's worth covering your strawberry plants under glass with a piece of horticultural fleece. This will stop the leaves, flowers and fruit becoming scorched.

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