I love strawberries. My wife loves strawberries. My two girls (1.5 and 3.5) adore strawberries, so much that we rarely get to see them.
You know what’s the best thing about strawberries? They’re really easy to grow. In fact, you have to watch them, or they’ll take over your garden – how bad can that be??
Where to get them
The best place to find strawberries (and most likely the most legal), is to get down to your local garden centre. When they’re ready to plant, they’ll be there waiting for you. Generally, this is around Spring – early Summer.
There are so many different varieties of strawberry that you need to be a little careful about what sort you get. Once again, ask the people at the nursery what their favourite is – you don’t want a sour, or bitter, fruit if you plan to eat straight off the bush. If you plan to use the fruit in desserts, then maybe you do want some tartness to it.
If you have friends who have some strawberries that you particularly like, you could ask them for a cutting. If they don’t want to do that, I suggest that you visit often and eat all the fruit before they get a chance to eat it – you’ll find after a while, they’ll be more than happy to give you a whole plant!
The strawberry, pictured here, was store-bought. With a name like Strawberry Supreme, how could you go wrong? Indeed, this one is perfect for eating immediately – there is no tartness or bitterness at all. The latin name is Fragaria anannassas. I think that just means yum.
When I hear the word ‘cutting’ I run a mile. The last thing I want to do is hand-rear a fresh twig off some plant in the hope that it takes when you plant it. Fear not, strawberries do it all for you.
Strawberry plants, like all plants, wish to spread their seed. They do this by producing the most delicious, succulent fruit on the planet (my mouth is watering just thinking about them). Animals eat them and run off. The seed passes right through them and gets deposited some distance away.
What about close by? Well, the plant will send out feelers, which take root on their own. Eventually the new plant gets all its sustenance from its new root system and severs the link to its parent.
In Winter, take this new plant and plant it in your garden. It’s that simple.
How to look after strawberries
There are really only a few rules. They are so simple anyone can do it:
- They need plenty of sun.
- They need plenty of water.
- They need plenty of mulch.
The third point is very important. If the fruit rests on soil, there is every chance they will rot on the ground before you get to eat them. Mulch will also stop the slugs and snails and keep the soil moist (remember, they need plenty of water).
What you do with them afterwards is your business.