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How to grow early strawberries

You will need

  • 3 strawberry plants (pot-grown or lifted from the garden)
  • Large pot or hanging basket
  • Multi-purpose compost
Do it: January - April
At its best: harvest May - June
Takes just: 20 minutes

Overview

Strawberry plants will be in growth to flower and fruit four to six weeks ahead of outdoor plants if potted up now and brought into a cool greenhouse or conservatory. Keep them well lit, ventilated and watered to prevent the plants becoming leggy and drawn.

How to do it

Strawberry plants being watered in hanging basket

1Plant 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.


Cutting off  long runners from strawberry plant

2As strawberries develop, cut off any long runners that grow as these will divert energy from the crop.


Developing fruit on pot-grown strawberry plant

3Check 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.


Adam's tip

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.



Discuss this project

Talkback: How to grow early strawberries
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minniedriver 24/11/2011 at 15:27

I pot mine up every year but don't seem to get many strawberries of them. I put them out in the day but bring them in for the night. Would you suggest I keep them in the greenhouse all the time? Last year I put them in a hanging bag but didn't get much fruit so this year I will try your suggestion of a hanging basket and see if it's any better.

Lynn from Pinxton, Nottingham

kparry 24/11/2011 at 15:27

I've used organic fertiliser from Bakker, they are great size this year.

jacquieb 24/11/2011 at 15:28

Ive never grown anything before. Do i need to have more than one strawberry plant?

FlamingJune 24/11/2011 at 15:28

Haven't tried growing them in hanging baskets in the greenhouse before, maybe worth a try, but can I fit them in amonst the vine tomatos? I usually grow them in pots, the larger the pot, the more strawbs you'll get. I put mine on the racks that come with those mini greenhouses. I seems to work. You can paint shading on the greenhouse, and stick the rack near the door to let them get some air. I don't usually have any problem with bird in the greenhouse. And we have a lot of birds in the garden.

imagewizzard 24/11/2011 at 15:28

good advice, i have allready have 4 plants in a 16" basket with some sweet peas so i shall see how thay do

thanks tony

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