The Selecta strawberry is the variety that grows particularly well in South Africa. It bears deliciously juicy red strawberries that are perfect for a snack on the go, juices, shakes and desserts. This plant grows close to the ground and is very rewarding in terms of its fruits.
Strawberries are a great source of vitamin C and manganese, and a modest number of fresh strawberries are renowned for their teeth-whitening properties.
Position – Plant your Selecta strawberry plants in full sun any time of year (unless your area is prone to frost, in which case you should plant them when it warms up). They thrive in at least 6 to 8 hours of sunshine a day. Give each plant 30 centimetres to a metre of space around it.
Size – The crown of the Selecta strawberry will likely reach between 15 and 30 centimetres in height. In terms of their width or spread, they extend out between 50 and 100 centimetres.
Soil Type – These strawberry plants prefer slightly acidic soil with a pH of between 5.5 and 6.8. They do well in soil that is somewhat sandy, well-drained, with a high humus content.
Mulch – Use organic materials like straw or pine needles, or even black plastic as mulch around your Selecta strawberry plants to keep them well moistened. Mulch also helps to keep weeds at bay.
Watering – Strawberries need regular watering in order to survive and thrive, especially during the hot months. Water their roots and not their leaves, and ensure that they get 2.5 to 5 centimetres of water per day.
Fertilising – Use manure and a well-balanced fertiliser to keep your strawberry plants healthy and strong.
Harvesting – Your plant will send runners out, which will take root. During the first two years of the plant’s life, it’s important to cut these runners so that the plant can become strong and healthy. Thereafter, keep the strongest runners from each plant and only cut these when they start making new leaves, as this means that they have taken root. Each of these should start bearing fruit quickly. Pluck your ripe strawberries when they are red and slightly soft to the touch. Be careful not to bruise them.