A Beginner’s Guide to Growing Strawberries


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A short guide to growing strawberries including top tips on choosing varieties and how to deal with common problems.

Growing your own strawberries can be a delicious and rewarding experience. With a bit of preparation and care, you can enjoy sweet and juicy berries all summer long. Here are some tips and tricks for growing strawberries:

Choosing the Right Variety:

There are many different varieties of strawberries to choose from, each with their own unique flavour and growing requirements. Some popular varieties for home gardens include:

  1. Elsanta: A high-yielding, disease-resistant variety that produces large, firm, juicy fruits with a sweet flavour.
  2. Malling Centenary: A popular variety known for its heavy cropping and excellent disease resistance. The fruits are medium-sized, firm and juicy with a sweet, tangy flavour.
  3. Honeoye: A hardy variety that produces large, firm, bright-red berries with a sweet flavour. It is an early-season variety, meaning it will produce fruit from June to July.
  4. Cambridge Favourite: A popular variety with excellent flavour and disease resistance. The fruits are medium-sized and bright-red with a juicy texture.
  5. Sonata: A newer variety that is gaining popularity for its high yield and large, bright-red fruits. The flavour is sweet and juicy, making it a great choice for eating fresh or making jam.


Preparing the Site:

Strawberries require well-draining soil and plenty of sunlight to thrive. Before planting, prepare the soil by removing any weeds or debris and adding compost or manure to improve soil structure and fertility. It’s also important to ensure that the soil pH is between 6.0 and 6.5, as strawberries prefer slightly acidic soil. Plant strawberries with pollinator-attracting flowers, some options are yarrow, dill, borage, nasturtium, or thyme.



Strawberries can be planted in the spring or fall, depending on your location and the variety. When planting, be sure to space the plants about 12-18 inches apart, and bury the roots just below the soil surface. Water the plants well after planting, and add a layer of mulch around the plants to help retain moisture and control weeds.



Strawberries are one of the most common plants that love mulching, that’s because they benefit from the process in so many ways, including;

  • Keeping the berries clean.
  • Protecting the berries from rotting into the soil.
  • Insulating the plants from extreme temperatures.
  • Conserving moisture to reduce irrigation needs.
  • Avoiding splash-back from rainfall.
  • And many more….


Overcoming Problems:

Strawberries are susceptible to a variety of problems, including pests, diseases, and environmental stress. Here are some common issues and some of the reasons for them:

Flowers but no fruit?

  • Lack of Pollination
  • Poor Soil 
  • Nutrient Deficient
  • Weather
  • Pests
  • Strawberry Variety

Small berries?

  • Lack of Pollination
  • Lack of Pruning
  • Plant Age
  • Strawberry Variety

Deformed fruit?

  • Lack of Pollination
  • Nutrient Deficiency
  • Frost Damage

Holes in fruit?

  • Birds
  • Deer
  • Rabbits
  • Slugs

Drooping yellow leaves?

  • Overwatered


Top Tips:

  • Water deeply but not regularly as strawberries require consistent moisture to produce juicy and plump berries. Water deeply once or twice a week, depending on weather conditions and soil type. They can rot easily in overwatered conditions so ensure your soil drains well. Planting strawberries in small mounds will help prevent the soil from becoming too damp.


  • Remove the runners, which are off-shoots of the strawberry plant. A young strawberry plant will not fruit as well if the runners aren’t removed as they use up too much energy. Runners may however be left on a fully mature plant if you are looking to plant more.


  • Keep an eye out for pests and diseases, strawberries are prone to a variety of pests and diseases, including slugs, aphids, and fungal infections. Regularly inspect your plants for signs of damage, and treat any issues promptly to prevent further damage.


  • Utilise mulching, which is an important practice for growing strawberries, as it helps to retain moisture, suppress weeds, and regulate soil temperature. Organic mulches like straw or shredded leaves are ideal for strawberries, as they also help to improve soil structure and fertility as they decompose.


  • Pick the first flowers that come up on your strawberry plants as this will encourage growth.


  • Make sure there’s enough to go around! Everyone loves strawberries so to make sure there are enough for everyone we recommend planting around 5 plants per person. This will ensure you’re getting juicy berries all summer long!


In conclusion, growing your own strawberries can be a fun and rewarding experience. With the right preparation, care, and attention to detail, you can enjoy a bountiful harvest of sweet and juicy berries all summer long.

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