How to Grow Strawberries
After a short trip to visit family in the UK, I am back in South Africa and the summer berry season is in full swing in the Cape. A beautiful bowl of sweet summer strawberries and cream is the perfect summer dessert and truly one of my favourites at this time of year.
The most satisfying of strawberries are ones that you have grown yourself. It is true that you need some space to grow a big crop that continues to yield through the season, but the effort is very much worthwhile.
From tiny to large
The tinest of strawberries that you can grow are the alpine strawberries. Although they are smaller than most modern garden strawberry varieties, they truly pack a punch in terms of flavour.
They are great for growing in odd corners of the garden for suppressing weeds and will make themselves at home in cracks between paving slabs.
However, the fruit are so small that you would need a vast crop for uses such as making jam or baking. If this is one of your motivations for growing your own strawberries, then you may want to consider one of the larger varieties.
Easy strawberry propagation
There are three different ways that you can propagate strawberries, namely by dividing the adult plants, rooting runners, or you can grow them from seed.
You can divide strawberry crowns in early spring, when the weather conditions are cool and wet enough to encourage the new plants to develop roots.
For most modern strawberry varieties, the most effective means of propagation is to grow new plants from the runners that are produced from the parent plants.
When your strawberry plants produce runners, you can direct them to a pot filled with loam rich soil, where they will produce…