10 top tips for growing strawberries in your Gabriel Ash greenhouse
Strawberries are one of the most popular fruits and are often enjoyed during summer. Gabriel Ash’s greenhouses are designed to offer plenty of protection when growing a variety of fruit and vegetables. However, there are a number of steps that you can take to ensure that your strawberries are provided with everything they need in order to grow successfully. Here are ten tips for growing strawberries in your greenhouse.
1. Only select strawberry plants that are certified
Strawberries are susceptible to diseases, so you will need to ensure that you only select certified plants. Choosing certified strawberry plants and providing them with the right conditions in your greenhouse will reduce the risk of plant diseases and increase your chances of growing them successfully.
2. Grow organic strawberries
Supermarket strawberries may be appealing when you quickly wish to get hold of your favourite fruit, but you will find that home-grown organic strawberries are a much healthier option. Home-grown organic strawberries are free from chemicals that are often found in the supermarket variety.
3. Ensure that your greenhouse has the right conditions
In order to successfully grow strawberries in your greenhouse, the conditions will need to be just right. Strawberries need plenty of sunlight, so make sure that your greenhouse is well lit. Mature strawberries thrive in greenhouses with plenty of light and in dry and hot conditions.
4. Choose the right type of soil
To increase your chances of growing your strawberries successfully, use well drained, rich and slightly acidic soil (preferably with a pH of 6.5). Carry out a test to see whether or not the acidity level of your soil is correct. You can also use pine needles to raise the acidity level of your soil. Select soil that is high in organic matter. The soil will need to be mulched once the plant begins to grow in order to keep the crown of the plant free from damp. Using straw will help to prevent moisture from getting to the fruit. It is important that the fruit is kept free from moisture, as the plant thrives in dry conditions. Fresh mulch should be used in winter and spring.
5. Check humidity levels
When growing strawberries from runners, you will need to keep an eye on the humidity levels within your greenhouse as runners are less suited to the hotter environment like the mature plants are. There are some varieties of young strawberries, such as Tamella, which can be grown in pots within your greenhouse.
6. Keep greenhouse pests at bay
When growing strawberries, keep pests such as slugs, snails and aphids at bay, as there is an increased risk of them harming your plants. Clear out your greenhouse during spring and summer, as pests are more likely to occur as the weather grows warmer. Check your strawberry plants regularly for any signs of pest damage. Use organic methods of pest removal to keep your strawberry plants free from harmful chemicals.
7. Keep plant disease at bay
As strawberries are susceptible to plant diseases such as verticillium wilt, it is vital that you keep plant disease at bay. Selecting certified plants will help, but you can also take other steps to reduce the risk of plant diseases, such as throwing out any dead leaves or plants. You will also need to avoid planting your strawberries near to other plants that are susceptible to verticillium wilt, such as tomatoes and eggplants.
8. Water your strawberry plants regularly
Provide your strawberry plants with water frequently, particularly during summer. Strawberries do not require too much water, but the soil will still need to be kept moist as the plants are shallow rooted. Although they thrive in dry conditions, strawberries will still need watering regularly during the warmer months.
9. Keep your strawberry plants free from weeds
As strawberry plants are shallow rooted, you will need to keep the area in which you are growing them free from weeds. Weeds will steal the nutrients from your strawberry plants and so will need to be removed immediately.
10. Provide your strawberries with plenty of sunlight.
Strawberries require plenty of sunlight in order to grow successfully. It is recommended that strawberry plants have at least six hours of sunlight each day. Keep your greenhouse well lit and remove any items that may block out any sunlight. Keep the glass panes of our greenhouse free from dust or dirt as this can reduce the amount of sunlight that your strawberry plants have access to.