Grow your own strawberries

Garden Life
The strawberry season is upon us. If you want to harvest these fruits with their sweet, aromatic flavour in your own garden next summer, now is the right time to make provisions.

Strawberries can be planted year round in Australia, provided you can find them in your local garden centre. The earlier you plant them, the longer they have time to ingrain. Strawberries prefer locations where they can fully enjoy the sun but which are not vulnerable to late frost. The soil should be well drained and slightly sandy. Every three to four years the location of your strawberry beds should be changed as they rely on nutrient rich soil. 

Before planting the strawberries you should dig over the soil, the plants can be put into the soil at a distance of about 30cm apart. The distance between rows should be around 60cm and the planting hole should be deep enough so that the roots will find plenty of space. The central bud, however, the "heart" of the plant should rise above the ground. After planting water well, during the initial phase the soil must not be left to dry out completely.

To protect the plants in winter from frosts, you can mulch the soil with some straw. When the strawberries start to blossom, you can renew the straw so you have clean and dry fruits at harvest time.