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How to grow strawberries

Strawberry plant growing in soil in a garden

How to grow strawberries

from £1.99

In the world of gardening, there aren’t many things that feel as rewarding as growing juicy, sun-kissed strawberries from your own back garden. 

Strawberries are not only a delight to eat but also relatively easy to grow, making them a perfect choice for anyone new to gardening. It’s also a great project to get young children interested in gardening – whether you’re growing as a class at school, or looking for a shared activity with little ones in your own garden

Here are some top tips on caring for your strawberry plants:


1. Where to plant your strawberries

If you have room, create a strawberry patch and plant alongside members of the allium family, like chives, onions and garlic to help ward off pests.
Strawberries also grow well in containers, dotted in borders and even hanging baskets.

2.  Planting conditions

Plant strawberries in mid-spring once the risk of frost has passed. Strawberries thrive in well-drained, fertile soil that is slightly acidic (around a pH level between 5.5 and 6.8). Try to make sure your plants receive at least six to eight hours of sunlight a day, and plant them around 30cm apart to avoid overcrowding and prevent disease.

3. Proper watering

Regular watering is crucial for healthy strawberry plants, especially during the fruiting season. Aim to keep the soil consistently moist but not waterlogged, as excess moisture can lead to root rot. Check the soil daily by pressing your finger at least an inch deep into the soil. If the soil feels dry, it needs a good watering.

4. Fertilising

Feed your strawberry plants with a balanced fertiliser high in potassium and phosphorus to promote fruit development.

5. Mulching

Mulching around your strawberry plants helps retain moisture, suppress weeds, and protect the fruit from soil contact. Organic mulches like straw or pine needles are ideal choices that also enrich the soil as they decompose.

6. Pruning and maintenance

Regularly remove old or diseased leaves to improve air circulation and prevent the spread of diseases like powdery mildew. Trim runners to focus the plant’s energy on fruit production, and weed the area around your plants to reduce competition for nutrients.

7. Pests and diseases 

Keep an eye on your strawberry plants for signs of common pests like slugs, aphids, and spider mites. Copper tape and clean, crushed eggshells can help deter slugs from eating your berries.

Strawberry plants are considered to be a perennial, so if cared for well, summer-fruiting strawberries usually can last for up to four years. It’s a good idea to replace after a few years to avoid diseased plants.