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HOW TO GROW STRAWBERRIES IN THE UK


Strawberries are a relatively easy crop to grow and they produce very tasty fruit quickly. This article will show you how to plant them, ongoing care, propagation, pests and diseases and our strawberry growing calendar.

Summer-fruiting strawberries produce fruit from early June to very early August depending on the variety grown. Weather conditions and the climate in your area of the UK also greatly influence when strawberry fruits are produced.

Other pages on strawberries are shown below:

CALENDAR
 
WHICH VARIETY?
 
SOIL & POSITION
 
WHEN TO BUY?
 
PLANTING
 
CARE & HARVEST
 
PEST & DISEASE
 
PROPAGATION
 
POTS, GROWBAGS  

CALENDAR FOR GROWING STRAWBERRIES


Not so many years ago strawberries were supplied as bare-rooted runners or potted plants. They are still the most popular methods today but nowadays misted tip plants are becoming more popular. Another alternative now commonly available is cold-stored runners. The calendar below gives dates for all four methods and a full explanation of the methods can be found lower down this article in the section entitled "When and Where to Buy Strawberry Plants".

Misted Tip Plants Plant late July to mid-August
Runners Plant late September to October
Potted Plants Plant April to early May
Cold-stored runners Plant April
Add Mulch When fruits form - May
Feed, Water Feed in spring, water ongoing
Harvest June to early August
Prune April to just after fruiting
Propagate June to July
Crop Rotation Replant after 3 seasons


WHICH VARIETY OF STRAWBERRY IS BEST?


The simple answer to that question is there is no "best" strawberry variety it's a matter of "horses for courses". In other words some varieties taste great, some have good disease resistance, some are large, some are small etc.! We list below commonly available strawberry varieties in the UK with their good and bad points, you can then make the comparison and choose which one is best for you. The varieties are listed in order of their cropping period and within that in alphabetic order.

RECOMMENDED EARLY CROPPING STRAWBERRY VARIETIES

CHRISTINE

Christine strawberry fruit


Cropping
: early to late June, large crop of fruit
Taste: Sweet and delicious
Texture: Firm
Appearance: Largish bright red fruits
Disease Resistance: Excellent, resistant to Verticillium Wilt and Mildew
RHS AGM: No
Comments: Stores well and doesn't bruise easily. Our favourite early cropper.

HONEOYE


Cropping: mid June to early July, large crop of fruit
Taste: Not as sweet as some
Texture: Firm
Appearance: Orange-red to red, large conical fruits
Disease Resistance: Good but low resistance to Verticillium Wilt
RHS AGM: Yes, 2004
Comments: Grows well in Northern UK areas

VIBRANT


Vibrant variety strawberry fruit

Cropping
: early to late June, large crop of fruit
Taste: Top of class! Sweet and aromatic
Texture: Firm
Appearance: Largish red fruits, very few sub-standard fruits
Disease Resistance: Good, resistant to Mildew and Crown Rot but low resistance to Verticillium Wilt
RHS AGM: No
Comments: Bred by East Malling Research, release in 2011

MID-SEASON CROPPING STRAWBERRY VARIETIES

ALICE


Strawberry Variety Alice
Cropping: mid June to mid July, large crop of fruit
Taste: Very sweet and rated highly
Texture: Juicy
Appearance: Medium to large bright red fruits
Disease Resistance: Very good
RHS AGM: Yes 2006
Comments: Does well all over the UK from Scotland to the South



CAMBRIDGE FAVOURITE


Cropping: late June to mid July, medium crop
Taste: Sweet, full of real flavour
Texture: Juicy and soft
Appearance: Medium to large bright red fruits
Disease Resistance: Very good
RHS AGM: Yes
Comments: Doesn't store well but the taste makes up for that

PEGASUS


Cropping: late June to late July, large crop of fruit
Taste: Sweet and full of flavour
Texture: Juicy and soft
Appearance: Medium to large bright red fruits
Disease Resistance: Excellent, no weaknesses
RHS AGM: Yes 2006
Comments: Does better than most on clay

LATE SEASON CROPPING STRAWBERRY VARIETIES

JUDIBELL


Judibell variety strawberry fruit

Cropping: Late July to early August, medium cropping levels
Taste: Very sweet, slightly lacking in flavour
Texture: Firm initially but does not store well
Appearance: Slightly small than normal fruits with a red, glossy skin
Disease Resistance: Prone to mildew
RHS AGM: No
Comments: A very late variety which waits until mid May to spring into life

FLORENCE


Florence variety strawberry fruit

Cropping: early July to mid July, crops well
Taste: Sweet and rated highly for flavour
Texture: Firm but softens if not picked on time
Appearance: Medium sized fruits with a deep red, glossy skin, darkens slightly as it matures
Disease Resistance: Good resistance to fungal diseases
RHS AGM: No
Comments: Pick regularly to avoid the fruit softening and taking on a brown tinge.

SYMPHONY


Cropping: mid July to late July, medium cropping
Taste: Sweet and rated highly
Texture: Firm
Appearance: Medium fruits with a deep red, glossy skin
Disease Resistance: Good
RHS AGM: No
Comments: Withstands rainfall better than most.

NEXT PAGE ABOUT STRAWBERRIES

FIND OUT MORE ABOUT STRAWBERRIES BELOW

CALENDAR
 
WHICH VARIETY?
 
SOIL & POSITION
 
WHEN TO BUY?
 
PLANTING
 
CARE & HARVEST
 
PEST & DISEASE
 
PROPAGATION
 
POTS, GROWBAGS  

COMMENTS / QUESTIONS LEFT BY OUR READERS

Date: 8 August 2017 From: Leyla
QUESTION: I have read the above, but I'm still very confused as I'm an absolute beginner and have no idea how to plant strawberries. I have bought 200 Strawberry "Four Seasons" Seeds and it has arrived in a sealed packet. It is now early August. Should I place in the freezer now for 2 to 4 weeks or plant straight away? Is there any guidance you could point me to please as I didn't see 'four seasons' in the options above. Thanks in advance.

ANSWER: The strawberry article I wrote advises against growing strawberry plants from seed. Germination rates are low, the young plants are tender and prone to frost damage. The fruits you get may not be true to type. For those reasons I have never grown from seed.

Date: 8 September 2016 From: Lynn M
QUESTION: Hi there, when it says plant runners in September. What does this mean. I am brand new to gardening.

ANSWER: Strawberry plants send out stems which lay on the ground, these are called runners. Where the stem has a growing point (node) it will put down roots into the ground. Each of these rooted stem points is an individual strawberry plant which can be grown on. See our page for a detailed explanation with pictures.

Strawberry plants can also be bought from garden centres and online. Planting ones you have grown yourself from runners or shop bought ones is exactly the same. See our page on planting new strawberry plants.


Date: 3 September 2016 From: Nigel
QUESTION: I'm taking strawberry runner from plants in polytunnel now, can I plant them straight into grow bags for an outside row next year?

ANSWER: Unless you live in some of the coldest parts of the UK, the runners should have time to establish themselves this year. The only problem may be that they are in grow bags which are exposed to the cold and wind. I suspect this won't be a problem because I have done the same thing in Warwickshire with no problems.

Date: 6 August 2016 From: Not Given
QUESTION: Do strawberries cross pollinate?

ANSWER: As far as I know they do but this is only important if you attempt to grow strawberry plants from seed. The fruits and the runners from a plant will be unaffected by cross-pollination. Only the seeds (which are on the outside of the strawberry fruits) will be affected.

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