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WHERE TO PLANT SUMMER STRAWBERRIES


In an ideal world strawberries would be planted in long beds with paths either side for easy access to the fruit. They would also be in full sun for all the day. This is how the Pick Your Own farms do it and they are the experts.

However, many of us don't have the garden layout that allows for this ideal situation. We explain both planting in rows and block planting with the spacing required. Two examples are given with planting plans.

Other pages on strawberries are shown below:

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

Strawberries are tolerant of most soil conditions and over winter will happily survive freezing temperatures. Their key dislikes are:
  • Hard and prolonged frost when the plants are flowering. This can damage the flowers and will also discourage bees and other insects from coming out to pollinate them. You should aim to plant strawberries in the warmest part of your garden / allotment. See the section entitled Cloches, Fleeces and Raised Beds if you are in a particularly cool area of the UK.
     
  • Water logged soil. This will encourage fungi to attack the plants.
     
  • Soil which has had potatoes, tomatoes, peppers and other plants susceptible to Verticillium Wilt growing in it during the last couple of years. Strawberries are prone to Verticillium Wilt and can easily pick up this disease from the soil.

Before preparing the ground as described below you need to decide if you are going to grow your strawberry plants in rows or blocks. Rows are best but the space you have may dictate that growing in blocks is best. To help you decide what are of ground to prepare we show two typical planting plans below.

Plan for planting strawberries in blocks

The above block is 2m by 2m (just over 6ft by 6ft) and can take 25 plants at roughly 38cm / 15in apart. If you make the block any larger you won't be able to reach the middle to harvest the fruit.

Plan for planting strawberry plants in rows

The above diagram shows a row of two plants wide and five plants long, it can of course be as long as want and may only be one plant wide. The planting distance is again 40cm / 16in apart with each row separated by a path of 45cm / 18in wide

With the key dislikes of strawberry plants in mind and your decision on whether to grow on blocks or rows, the best way to prepare an area in open ground for growing strawberries is as follows:

  • Dig the ground to a fine tilth to a depth of about 30cm / 1ft. While you are doing this add lots of well composted compost, or other well-rotted organic matter to the soil.
     
  • Remove all weeds. Remember, the plants will growing in the same position for three to four years and it's difficult to weed around growing strawberry plants.
     
  • Strawberries grow best in soil which has a pH of about 6.5 (neither alkaline nor acidic). Click here for information on testing the pH level of your soil. Most soils will be about the correct level for growing strawberries.
     
  • Allow sufficient space beside the plants to enable you to easily pick the strawberries without walking on the growing area. The average person can stretch about 1m / 3ft from the side of a strawberry bed to pick to fruit.

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