Of all the fruit and vegetables that I have grown, strawberries are my favourite. Home grown strawberries are so much tastier than any that you will buy in a shop or supermarket. Strawberries are so very easy to multiply as they send out new plants at the end of every growing season.
Strawberries are perennial plants. They start to grow in spring, will flower in June or July and then die back in winter time. Strawberries are hardy plants; I left mine outside last year in rain and frost and they came back to life in spring. It does however take them several weeks to spring back to life. Once they start to produce flowers, then you are on the way to having strawberries. While I have found that the strawberries will survive frost in the winter, when they are dormant, the same is not the case once they have started to produce strawberries. They may need to be covered or placed inside a greenhouse to protect them, if you have one available. I didn’t and they still survived and tasted good.
Strawberries do need sun to grow, so I would recommend the sunniest position you have available. I would also recommend growing strawberries in an area that has been previously planted with strawberries or is fresh ground. They are easily pick up diseases from other plants or struggle to form if roots are still present from other plants.
If you don’t have open ground to grow strawberries in, they will also thrive in raised beds or in pots; I have grow all of mine in pots. Good drainage is important so they don’t get water logged but this is easily resolved by placing stones in the bottom on the container, then a layer of sand, if you have it available and then the soil.
An important tip when planting is to ensure that the roots are well covered but the crown is still exposed. The crown needs light and fresh air. The plant will rot if the crown is buried.
Strawberries also like a feed; I use an organic seaweed feed but you can use tomato feed too. For seaweed feed it is recommended to use it every ten days to two weeks once the plant has started to grow fruits.
I love this part of the strawberry process because of the way that strawberries propagate. Strawberries will send out runners. These will develop their own roots, which can then be removed from the parent plant and will grow strawberries themselves in the next season.
I normally wait to repot the runners until after the plant has finished producing strawberries. However this is my preference and they can be removed any time between spring and autumn. The runner closest to the parent plant will be the strongest, so I would recommend cutting that one for propagation and disgarding the remaining. Obviously this depends on the strength of the runners, but you will be able to judge this based on their size.
Some people recommend pulling the runners away from the parent plant, I cut them in order to avoid any damage on the runner or the parent. I also like to leave the runners attached to the parent until I see very small roots appear. I will place a pot near to the main plant and the runners will grow in that, then I cut the runners away and give them their own pot (or pots if you wish to plant them individually).