The strawberry is beloved worldwide for its delicious, aromatic and nutritious fruit. Easy to cultivate, strawberry plants are a wonderful introduction to the joys of gardening – in fact, they’re ideal as a project for children. They can be grown in containers, hanging baskets or garden beds, and come in cool and warm climate varieties.
How To Grow Strawberries
Climatic Zones for Strawberries
Depending on variety, strawberries can be grown in many climatic regions in Australia, ranging from cool to mild tropical. See individual product details for ideal growing regions.
When To Plant Strawberries
For most areas, plant strawberries in April or May. They typically fruit over sprint to summer (earlier in subtropical zones).
Where To Plant Strawberries
Strawberries prefer sunny conditions, with a warmer northerly aspect giving earlier fruit. They need shelter from early frosts and hot summer winds, and may want some shade from afternoon sun in hot summer climates. They are happy growing in either containers or beds.
Strawberries prefer a well drained, friable soil – moist, but not wet. Dig in compost or well-rotted manure, and mound beds to around 15cm high to improve drainage. For best results mulch with an organic material such as straw, or lay black plastic to prevent weeds. In pots, use a good quality potting mix with slow release fertiliser and compost.
How To Plant Strawberries
Plant runners at a density of around 30cm apart. To avoid rotting, don’t bury runners too deep. Set the crowns at soil level and surround with a straw mulch to help retain moisture and keep away weeds.
Strawberry plants like weekly watering in summer, with additional mist sprays in extreme temperatures to keep fruit cool. Avoid letting them become dry, especially when fruiting. Water plants in containers more frequently.
Climate Mild Tropical
Pests to watch for include aphids, thrip and red spider mites. All of these can be controlled with commercial sprays designed for this purpose. Sprinkle snail bait around the perimeter of plants to control snails.
To obtain a third crop of fruit, prune strawberry plants to 2cm above the crown once the second crop has finished.
A great range of strawberry varieties are available through Garden Express. These include: