Adult chat in strawbery

If you plan on doing several containers then aim for a good mix to cover the season but if you’re intentions are more modest then perhaps stick to a long-fruiting perpetual type, or the day-neutral ‘Seascape’ which will bear berries in flushes right through the season.

With a little for-thought, it is quite easy to get valuable extra-early fruits that can extend your picking season by 3-6 weeks or more.

The quantity of plants you can incorporate will be determined on the soil capacity of the container; the normal rules of plant spacing do not apply here since you will not be keeping them in the pots long-term.

As a rule of thumb try to stick to 1 plant for about 1.5 litres of compost.

Any and all varieties can be encouraged to fruit ahead of their natural season but the most value lies with the earlies.

Cambridge Vigour remains at the forefront of most forcing programmes, Emily, Honeyoye and Elvira as well as Rosie are also very suitable regardless of the method you use.

By far the earliest crops will be gained by potting up established plants from a strawberry bed in February.

A standard 12” hanging basket can incorporate three or 4 plants.Very regular watering is essential throughout the growing season. Seaweed Maxicrop applied fortnightly as a foliar feed is a very good method of ensuring your container grown strawberries receive a regular dose of sustenance.You can also use Osmocote tablets which are very convenient to apply and one application will feed the plants for a whole growing season!Perhaps you wish to keep your strawberries close at hand, on the patio or terrace, or even by the door.Practically any container can be utlized provided it has a minimum depth of around 12”.But you must be very vigilant in watering as there isn’t a great depth of compost for the plants to use. You can also use proprietary bags of compost – 60 and 80 litre are ideal – and simply cut holes in the bag yourself; because the volume of compost is greater than with growbags I often feel these are a better option although a little more expensive.

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