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Strawberries are one of the most eagerly anticipated crops of the year. By growing a range of types, it's possible to have a continuous supply of fruit from late spring, throughout summer and into autumn. If you give plants a helping hand, it's possible to extend the season even further.
There are three main types of strawberry: summer bearers, grouped according to when they fruit, in either early, mid or late summer; perpetuals (also called everbearers or remontant), which produce small flushes of fruit from midsummer to early autumn; and alpines, a wild type that fruits almost continuously, producing small, highly fragrant berries. For bumper harvests for months on end, choose a mix of these types.
Protect varieties that fruit very early with cloches or fleece as they come into flower and your harvest could be brought forward to the beginning of May. If you do the same with perpetual varieties at the end of the season, you could be picking your own strawberries until the first frosts.
'Cambridge Vigour' – tasty, aromatic fruits
'Christine' (pictured) – large, sweet fruit, disease-resistant
'Honeoye' – sweet, heavy-cropping, deep red fruit
'Mae' – very early with large, firm, juicy fruit
'Elegance' – huge, red fruit. Good in containers
'Fenella' – hardy with large, sweet, shiny berries
'Rosie' – shiny, sweet red berries
'Royal Sovereign' (pictured) – exceptional flavour
'Alice' – lovely flavour and high disease resistance
'Cupid' (pictured) – great taste, very good disease resistance
'Florence' – prolific crops of firm luscious fruit
'Malwina' – very sweet, with dark red fruit
'Scarlet Beauty' – exquisite flavour
'Albion' – well suited to containers, outstanding taste
'Flamenco' – bumper crops of sweet, juicy fruit
'Mara des Bois' (pictured) – intense red and highly aromatic alpine with a woodland flavour