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Summer Strawberries

Strawberries are one of the easiest fruit crops to grow, either in containers or garden beds.

In warmer areas, strawberry plants are in shops now and are typically planted from June to September; in cooler spots strawberries are mostly planted from August to September. In either case, preparing your strawberry bed now will go a long way to producing succulent red berries in summer.

Choose a spot in full sun with free-draining soil. Strawberries don’t like wet feet, so deal to any drainage issues you have before you plant to prevent diseases further down the track. If your soil is prone to waterlogging, plant on mounds, in raised beds or in containers.

Prepare your soil two weeks before planting (even longer if possible) by adding a 6-7cm layer of compost and a light layer of an all-purpose balanced fertiliser. Dig them into the soil to a depth of about 20cm. Water the soil thoroughly and allow the area to sit for two weeks.

When it comes to planting, form mounded rows in the prepared soil. Each mound should be about 15cm high. The furrows between the mounded soil will be used for irrigation and mulch.

Dig planting holes in the mounds 30-40cm apart. Spread out the strawberry plant roots as they are placed into the soil and plant them deep enough so the crown of the strawberry plant will be even with the soil level. If the crown, which is the centre of the plant where new leaf growth comes from, is planted below the soil level, the strawberry plant will rot. If the crown is too far above the soil level, the strawberry plant will dry out and die.

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