Position – Plant your strawberries in a spot that enjoys full sun. To accommodate their spread, put each plant about 30 centimetres from the next. The rows should be between 90 centimetres and 1.5 metres apart.
Size – Strawberries grow to a height of about 30 centimetres and have a spread of between 60 and 90 centimetres.
Soil Type – Strawberries enjoy well-draining soil that is loose. Sandy, loamy soils are ideal, while clay is not a good choice. This loose soil allows water to run through, feeding the plant without waterlogging the roots. Add acidity to the soil for healthy, large plants and berries.
Mulch – Use a light mulch or organic matter around your plants to prevent too much water from evaporating from the soil. This also keeps weeds at bay, to an extent. Compost, hay, and wood chips work well. Mulch is especially important to protect your plants in the chilly winter months. In spring, it can be pulled back a little.
Watering – Keep the strawberry beds relatively moist, but be careful not to over-water them. Dry plants have a better chance of survival than waterlogged ones. So, even in hot, dry conditions, watering your thriving plant once a week should be more than enough. If your plant isn’t yet established, a more regular watering may be required for a short time.
Fertilising – Apply an all-round fertiliser to the beds early in summer and again in autumn. If the plant is flowering, don’t use a fertiliser.
Pruning – In the first year of the plant’s growth, you can pinch the flowers off to help the plant to focus its resources on feeding a thick stem. Once your plant is established, it should only be pruned mid-winter. At any other time of year, you can remove dead or diseased leaves, especially from plants that aren’t thriving.
Harvesting – Pick your strawberries when they’re a vibrant red colour all over. They should still be firm and are always best enjoyed freshly plucked from the plant. Try to keep a little piece of the stalk on the strawberry when picking it. Picking the fruit regularly will encourage the plant to keep producing fruit.