Journal’s new Welsh Gardening Column June 2020

Shwmae everyone, it’s almost the end of June and we’re currently in the strawberry growing season, and although unfortunately Wimbledon will not be held this year, the strawberries are still growing and are growing extremely well. I’ve been collecting them every day for about three weeks now and they keep coming. How are your strawberries this year?

Strawberries are among the most delicious and sweet fruits we can grow. For so little effort, they offer us so much as long as we remember a few little things to look after them. So here are 5 golden rules when growing strawberries:

1) Sunshine, sunshine and more sunshine – Plant your strawberries in a part of the garden that receives the most sunlight. If you don’t have an exceptionally sunny garden, plant the strawberries in pots that you can move around the garden following the sunlight.

2) Plant several different types of strawberries to ensure a consistent crop during the year. I grow ‘Mara de bois’ which gives a steady crop throughout the summer until mid October. I also grow ‘Elsanta’, ‘Malling Opal’ and ‘Malling Centenary’; all of these plants grow well here in Carmarthenshire giving us an abundance of strawberries.

3) Create new plants from the shoots that grow off the plants. You will notice that as you grow strawberries they love to spread everywhere and create small shoots. This is the plant’s way of creating new plants. Pick up these small plants and pot them on to create new plants.

4) Strawberry plants fruit at their best in their second and third years. After the third year they will still give fruit but not half as well. The best thing to do is to dig up the old plants and plant the new ones you’ve potted on instead. If you do this every three years, you will be up to your eyes in strawberries!

5) Feed the plants once a year with a potash when the first flowers open. I use ash or as we say in the Amman Valley ‘Lliti‘ of the wood fire because it’s full of potash.

If you would like more gardening advice and hear more about my life in the garden, follow @adamynyrardd on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook.