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Fruits, vegetables and salads are easy to grow at home even if you don’t have much outside space. Homegrown, they’re super-nutritious and there's nothing quite like picking your own food and bringing it straight to the table. As berries are a great place to start, we've made a short guide on how to grow strawberries to get you started.
Don’t bother with seeds - they take too long to get going – but buy plantlets from your local gardening centre. These can be planted up into window boxes, patio pots - or even hanging baskets. Strawberries in pots and containers often do better than those planted in the ground, because they don’t get as wet and slugs and snails have a harder time trying to get to them before you do!
Once planted, you’ll need to feed the strawberry plants every couple of months during the spring and summer – tomato feed has the right balance of nutrients to ensure they grow lots of fruit, rather than lots of leaves or roots. Water them well every couple of days, especially if they are in a small pot in a warm place.
During spring, the plants will form simple and white, but charming flowers. Eventually you’ll notice the middle of the flower turn into a small green lump. This is the beginning of a strawberry. When the berry starts to get a bit of colour on it, find an old jamjar or clear plastic pot and slip it over the berry and stalk. This will keep the birds/cats/squirrels off, and create a mini-greenhouse to encourage ripening. If you have planted your strawberries in the ground, you can also use a light net to keep the animals away.
Once your strawberries get established, they’ll put out long sideshoots with whole baby plants attached. These are called 'runners' and they can be planted into a new pot. Once they grow their own set of roots you can cut through the tendril and set them free from the mother plant to grow on by themselves.
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