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Author Topic: Advice on growing strawberries please!  (Read 3451 times)


  • Joined Jul 2009
  • Wokingham, Near Reading, Berkshire
Advice on growing strawberries please!
« on: July 29, 2009, 10:05:05 pm »
Due to a need to save money this year I decided I would go back to growing a lot of my own fruit and veg. My raspberries were fantastic, now finished and we have had fresh salad and veg every day in one form or another for about six weeks now, including spring onions, mixed leaf lettuce, carrots, beetroot (fresh and am pickling some too), also more recently the first runner beans and my tomatoes which are outside have loads of fruit but we are waiting for them to ripen. Also I am growing peppers (capsicums) in my conservatory and the first ones are almost ready for harvesting. So I am very pleased so far. However, we all love strawberries (5 in the family) and I decided to grow some this year for the first time in pots to help avoid rot and pinching from the birds! I followed an idea I saw on the internet which was basically to start with a very big pot at the bottom, put a smaller pot on top and then another etc etc. and grow the strawberries in those. I bought the plants as small 'cuttings/ runners' from spaldings and they all appeared to take. However although I got half a dozen fruits early on, I then lost half a dozen plants (? due to over watering?). The others are now just really taking off regarding growth but not much in the way of fruits. Was I naive to think I would get a lot of fruit this year, and will they do better next year if i just leave them? Or should I actually plant them in the ground next year? I deliberately bought a variety that is supposed to fruit over a long period and I have protected all the plants with a wire cage so no birds can get at them. Also I have been getting a lot of runners, some I have allowed to root to replace the plants lost but others I have cut off. Help from any 'strawberry experts' greatly appreciated. The variety I bought was Ostara by the way. Thanks in anticipation  :)


  • Joined Jul 2009
  • Wokingham, Near Reading, Berkshire
Re: Advice on growing strawberries please!
« Reply #1 on: July 29, 2009, 10:19:35 pm »
Hi all.
I've just realised this should have been in the 'fruit section', I'm new to this site and not used to so many options sorry! Please be gentle with me!!


  • Joined Jan 2009
  • Fife
    • North Fife Blog
Re: Advice on growing strawberries please!
« Reply #2 on: July 29, 2009, 11:08:17 pm »
Strawberries can be a bit erratic. I have about 20 plants in different containers. I do not plant them in the ground because they'd disappear between the weeds  ::) Some days we had half a punnet, some days the slugs had them all. I have some of the spaldings plants and I lost one. But one plant just started to flower again, so wait and see! None of my own runners ever died just like that, who knows. I throw the plants out once they are 4 or 5 years old an do not grow any useful fruit of runners any more. Don't cut the runners off before they are not firmly rooted in the pot or ground. I have pots littering about with runners in them now, which I will leave in place over the winter. In spring you can cut them off and plant where you want. Someone else might be able to help with soil conditions for straws, I'm not good at that... :&>


  • Joined Jun 2008
    • golocal food
    • Facebook
Re: Advice on growing strawberries please!
« Reply #3 on: July 29, 2009, 11:10:09 pm »
Two things struck me when reading your post-

1 ) did you make sure you had plenty of drainage material and drainage holes in all the pots. Remember wild strawberries like well drained sites
2) if you planted this spring the plants will use a lot of energy creating roots and storing energy for next year so won't produce many flowers or fruit

another point to remember is that after your runners have set cut the leaves and runners off the parent plant and give a mulch to keep from getting too much frost

then sit back and wait for another year


  • Joined Jul 2009
  • Kirriemuir Scotland
Re: Advice on growing strawberries please!
« Reply #4 on: July 29, 2009, 11:55:27 pm »
My stepfather is a strawberry breeder But I haven't always listened I am sad to say. Anyway the things that I remember that have worked for me include;-
When ever we planted new plants we remove the flowers and runners for the first season. This allows the plant to establish and the second year the plant is in full production.
We always give seaweed feed and straw much under the plants. The plants are on small ridges which I have always thought meant that they didn't want to get water logged.
This year I have moved and potted up about 70 young plants to establish our new stock. They have not enjoyed being potted and it has about halved or more their productivity as well as producing smaller berries.
So my instincts tell me that well prepared ground is the best thing. However I have put some plants in hanging baskets just because I had too many and I like them.. They look healthy and glossy but don't really produce much.
I realise that my info is all very traditional but I haven't had to come up with any alternatives before.


  • Joined Jul 2009
  • Wokingham, Near Reading, Berkshire
Re: Advice on growing strawberries please!
« Reply #5 on: July 30, 2009, 09:46:28 am »
Thanks for all the posts. I have come to the conclusion that 1) I may have been overwatering, trying to be kind! and 2) am probably expecting too much as this is their first year. I am hoping for better things next year, although having said that I am now getting quite a few flowers coming on them again, so I will keep my fingers crossed for those.


  • Guest
Re: Advice on growing strawberries please!
« Reply #6 on: August 05, 2009, 12:22:38 pm »
I'm just here for a wee gloat! I planted 40 new plants last October and we have just finished picking the last of a wonderful glut of strawbs. Only thing we did, seaweed feed, mulch mats under each plant & netting from fruit cage left over to stop birds. Apart from that, they were left to their own devices & now runners galore getting potted up for new poly tunnel adventure.


  • Joined Jan 2009
  • Muiravonside, near Linlithgow
Re: Advice on growing strawberries please!
« Reply #7 on: August 07, 2009, 02:57:19 pm »
most annoyed

my strawbs - about 40 plants - all in containers have done little this year, maybe 1-1.5 bowls (they were gorgeous though)

as they are now into their second year, i'd have expected more as it's about what i got form 8 plants last year.

I'm about to move the plastic tunnel (wee greenhouse they are in) and once moved, i'm putting in raised beds inside it and putting them back into raised beds. fingers crossed for next year!!


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