Strawberries are one of the quickest and easiest berry fruits to grow. The plants themselves are very attractive, bearing delicate white flowers which are later followed by deliciously sweet fruit. There is nothing better than fresh strawberries straight from your own garden.
Strawberries should be planted from May through till December. For best results, plant in late autumn to winter as this gives the plants time to settle in and get their roots established so they will be ready to take off in a flurry of new growth next spring. They can still be planted in spring, although the plants are less likely to be as productive that year.
140 - 160 Days
Strawberries will be ready to harvest in 140-160 days.
Strawberries do not need a large space to grow, so if you have a small garden or are wanting to grow some edibles in a pot, they are the perfect choice. The warmer the position the better, as strawberries grow best in full sun.
The soil must be free draining, strawberries will not tolerate either drought conditions or sodden soil. As for all plants, soil preparation is very important. If planting in the garden, enrich your soil first by digging through Kings Organic Compost to give your strawberries the best start.
Sprinkle some Kings Strawberry Food in the hole before planting, this will also help with producing large bright red fruit. If planting in a pot or hanging basket, use Tui Strawberry Mix. The water storing crystals in the mix reduces the need to water as often. When planting, be sure not to cover the crown (the part just below the leaves). To keep the site weed free and keep the soil temperature lower, put a mulch such as Pea Straw around the plants. This also creates a bed for the fruit to sit on rather than on the damp soil.
It is important with strawberries that the watering is constant. If watering is done correctly the fruit produced will be big, juicy and less prone to pest and disease. Use your discretion as when to water, usually one good drenching three times a week is sufficient, but if planted in a dry area combined with hot weather, you may need to water more frequently. Always try to water early morning, this will give the leaves a chance to dry out before night fall reducing chances of disease. Try not to water the leaves if in direct sunlight as they will burn.
Apply Kings Strawberry Food when planting then re-apply as flowers and fruit emerge. By feeding correctly you will get better fruit colour, flavour and more disease resistant plants.
From spring through till summer keep garden beds well mulched with straw, especially when the strawberries start fruiting. Make sure that the fruit sit up off the ground otherwise they tend to rot.
Be sure to protect your fruit from birds before they begin to turn red with Bird Netting.
In late summer the strawberry plants will send off ‘runners’. These will root and form new plants that you can separate to expand your strawberry patch. If they produce these runners while still producing fruit, cut them off instead as the fruiting will be significantly poorer.
Strawberry plants will fruit year after year, although crops are usually bigger in their first year and gradually reduce each season. After the second year we recommend replacing them for new plants to continue to receive good crops of large fruit.
What you need to Grow Well
Frequently Asked Questions
How many plants do I need for a good crop?
6 plants per person and cover with bird netting so the birds don't get them before you do.