As soon as your early risers come into flower it’s game on: you’re just a few weeks away from your prized strawbs! At this stage you can give plains additional strength by feeding them once a week with a liquid feed that’s high in potash – any tomato feed will do.
Pollinator can be few and far between early on in spring which may make pollination something of a hit and miss event. Outside strawberries should have covers removed on warm, bright days allowing bees and other pollinators simple access. So that the heat from the day is trapped cover plants back over before nightfall.
Special treatment is needed by plants in greenhouses or polytunnels.Use a soft artist’s paintbrush to gently tickle the centre of cash open flower, moving from flower to flower to mimic the buzz pollination of a bee. Do this once a day, or at least every other day, and your blooms should see successful pollination and fruit set.
Strawberry plants grown in a greenhouse or polytunnel will need to be kept well-ventilated to avoid the potential of a build-up of fungal diseases. Open all vents and doors on warm days, ideally keeping maximum temperatures to 24C , which should be easily achieved on all but the hottest days.
Red spider mites are a common pest of crops growing in a warm, dry atmosphere such as that found in some greenhouses. The tiny mites suck sap from leaves weakening plants and leading to a substandard harvest. You can make states hostile to spider mites by keeping compost damp and, on especially hot days, damping down the greenhouse floor to raise the relative humidity.
More information about speedy growth: http://www.fast-growing-trees.com/Everbearing-Strawberries.htm
Next year don’t drive these inferior plants – just plant them into or back outside containers of fresh compost to grow them on as normal. For maximum productivity, yet, you are retiring them to the compost heap and replanting afresh.
Like any aspect of kitchen gardening, a little preparation goes a long way. Aim us have a constant sequence of plants raised specially for driving, alongside added early, mid and late -season varieties grown in the normal way. Like the masters, you’ll be cropping with luck, sampling your own sensational strawbs from May.
HOW TO FORCE STRAWBERRIES
STEP 1. Force strawberry plants from February onwards by which time plants will have had their necessary chilling period. Outdoor plants can simply be covered with a cloche.
STEP 2. Alternatively, place potted-up plants into a cold frame. Pollination can be poor early on in the spring, so prop open the lights during the day so that insects can gain access.
STEP 3. Plants may also be planted up under cover into growing bags, which offer a convenient and immediate home. As plants come into flower use a soft paintbrush to pollinate them.
STEP 4. Like any fruiting crop, keep on picking the fruits as they ripen to encourage more to follow. Enjoy them fresh or store at room temperature to use within three to four days.