Growing my first strawberries. Plain and simple.
Mother Nature does the work for you!
I always wanted to grow my own fruit and veg and be more self sufficient when it comes to food however i was put off by thinking i couldn't fit in the work involved into my hectic lifestyle. The truth is that there is very little work involved, especially when it comes to strawberries.
I don't know what made me do it but i saw some strawberry plants being sold at a farmers market in a place called farmleigh in phoenix park in Dublin. I just thought why not and bought two plants to give it a go. At just 2 euro 50 per plant i think it was a sound investment. I bought two baskets to hang them out the back at either side of the door out the back yard and almost every morning since then there has been fresh strawberries every morning.
Things i learnt along the way
Not only do they provide you with a delicious fruit but the white flowers of the plant make it a beautiful compliment to any garden. Once the flower blooms it is just a matter of days before it is a plump red strawberry. The bonus of having them in baskets is that they are up out of the way of pests such as slugs etc. There are just a few simple things i learnt to keep in mind in order to get the best out of your strawberry plants;
- Water the plants to the extent that the soil is always at least a little bit moist.
- If possible, keep them in the sunniest part of your garden as this will speed up the process of fruit production. However, this is not necessarily mandatory as they will still grow in part shade.
- The reddest strawberries are always the sweetest.
- As the plant develops trim away any older stems and leaves that look worn or withered so as to make room for the younger shoots.
- You will never have to buy strawberries or even another plant again as you can get new plants from runners
Kids love strawberries! And they love to pick them too. Growing your own means that you have a handy snack at your fingertips whenever you want. I think strawberries are a fantastic starter for any would be fruit gardener and its so easy anyone can do it!
A Strawberry runner
Peg down the runner and leave it for a week
Get new strawberry plants for free by growing runners!
Your average strawberry plant will bear a good amount of fruit for at least two years, maybe three. The older the plants get then the less fruit they will bear from year to year so it is always a good idea to start new every year with a runner from the year before. It is a very simple process.
A runner is a long skinny shoot coming out from the plant and it is literally running away from its mother plant to find soil to root itself to become a new plant. To help this runner on its journey and get a free strawberry plant just follow these steps:
- Fill a small pot with 3/4 of soil.
- Find the runner and peg it down into the small pot (I use toothpicks). You may need to prop the small pot up with something so that it is level with the runner.
- Leave the runner in the small pot for just over a week and water the runner also.
- Once it has rooted itself (test by giving it a small tug) you can cut it off from its mother plant.
You can keep repeating this process and get as many runners as you like! One thing to keep in mind is that taking runners will decrease the amount of fruit you get as the plants energy will go to the runner instead of the fruit so its always a good idea to peg your runners in late September.