Your strawberry plants should be fruiting nicely around now.
Keep plants well watered. Because they are shallow rooting plants, strawberries will dry out very quickly in hot weather, and your crop will be affected.
When the fruits start to appear, cover the ground around your plants with a fairly thick layer of straw. Try and get ‘weed free’ straw. Barley is the best. If no straw can be found, use black plastic or something similar but watch out for slugs.
Covering the ground in this way keeps the weeds down, and stops the fruits being in contact with the soil, where they can rot very quickly or, again, get eaten by the slugs.
Growing strawberries in your garden will encourage just about every garden bird you can imagine. The trouble is, they will ALL eat your strawberries …… if you let them!
Make a small wooden frame to stand over your strawberry bed, and cover in fine netting. Don’t use heavy materials, as you will want to move the cover every day during cropping season. Use light wood, and perhaps tent pegs or the equivalent to secure it against being blown over by the wind or knocked over by cats and dogs.
NB:Always use wildlife friendly fine netting so birds don’t get their wings tangled.
Remove the ‘runners’ – little plants coming off the main plant, before they root. This will encourage your ‘mother’ plant to produce more fruit.
Pick your strawberries every day in season.
With good weather and a fairly long growing season, strawberries can produce up to 3 crops a year.