How to grow sweet and juicy Strawberries
“My personal advice and tips” – Farmer Chris
“Strawberries for me are the quintessential taste of Summer!”
I have been planting, growing and nurturing Strawberries for over 30 years. Our Farm currently producers over 50 tonnes of fruit per season from 108,000 plants, half of which we replace every 16 months to ensure that we always deliver healthy, flavoursome berries to our customers across Staffordshire.
Strawberry plants are perennial and self-fertile, so will pollinate themselves. However to ensure an abundant crop, I do call upon the assistance of our bees every season who help to transfer the pollen from the stamens (the male parts of the flowers) to the stigma (the female part of the flower)! They do keep themselves to themselves however, so please don’t worry if you come across one whilst picking!
Strawberries are incredibly easy to grow almost anywhere – in borders, containers or hanging baskets. They are members of the Rose family, so you won’t be surprised to hear that there are over 103 species which come in red, white and yellow! I specialise in the red summer-fruiting varieties with ‘Elsanta’ taking centre stage on the Farm, as customers love their superb flavour and large glossy red fruits! Last year I also included ‘Malling Centenary’ in our retail growing programme, whose light red, juicy berries will hopefully also become a firm favourite with our customers!
As there is nothing better than going into your own garden to freshly pick strawberries for dessert or a sweet healthy treat, I hope that I can inspire you to do just that this season.