Strawberries are a highly popular fruit which are often enjoyed during summer. However, when growing strawberries in your greenhouse, there are a number of steps that you will need to follow to ensure that they are provided with everything they need in order to thrive. Here are ten tips for growing strawberries in your greenhouse.
1. Choose Certified Plants
Because strawberries are susceptible to diseases, you will need to ensure that you choose certified strawberry plants. This, along with the right conditions in your greenhouse and plenty of care, will increase your chances of successfully growing your strawberries.
2. Grow Your Strawberries Organically
Supermarket strawberries may seem like the ideal option for those wishing to quickly have access to their favourite fruit, but home-grown organic strawberries have much more to offer. By successfully growing your own organic strawberries, you can be free of the harmful chemicals that are often found in the supermarket version.
3. Ensure that The Conditions within Your Greenhouse are Suitable
As with all types of plant, you will need to make sure that the conditions within your greenhouse are suitable for your strawberries. Strawberries require plenty of sunlight, so you will need to ensure that your strawberries have access to plenty of light. Mature strawberries will thrive in a greenhouse with plenty of light and in dry and hot conditions.
4. Choose The Right Type of Soil
Strawberries are best suited to well drained, rich and slightly acidic soil (preferably with a pH of 6.5). Be sure to carry out a test to see if the acidity level for your soil is correct. Pine needles are particularly good for raising the acidity level of your soil. Choose soil that is high in organic matter. You will need to mulch the soil once the plant begins to grow to keep the crown of the plant free from damp. Use straw to prevent moisture from getting to the fruit. Because strawberries thrive in dry conditions, it is vital that you keep the fruit free from moisture. Use fresh mulch in winter and spring.
5. Keep an Eye on Humidity Levels
In order for any plant to grow successfully, the conditions within your greenhouse need to be just right. When growing your strawberries from runners, you will need to keep an eye on humidity levels as runners may not be as suited to the hotter environment like the mature plants are. Some varieties of young strawberries, such as Tamella, can be grown in pots within your greenhouse.
6. Manage Greenhouse Pests
If not kept at bay, there is an increased risk of greenhouse pests such as aphids, slugs and snails damaging your strawberry plants. Be sure to clear out your greenhouse during spring and summer, as pests are more likely to occur as the weather grows warmer. Check your strawberry plants for any signs of pest damage. Use organic pest removal methods to keep your strawberry plants free from harmful chemicals.
7. Keep Diseases at Bay
Strawberries are susceptible to plant disease, particularly verticillium wilt. To avoid this, select a plant that is certified as this will reduce the risk of you having to deal with plant disease when it comes to growing. Addition to this, keep your greenhouse clean and healthy. Throw out any dead leaves or plants and avoid planting your strawberries close to other plants that are susceptible to diseases such as verticillium wilt, such as tomatoes or eggplants.
8. Water Your Plants Regularly
Your strawberry plants will require frequent watering, particularly in the summer. Although strawberries do not require too much water, the soil will still need to be kept moist as the plants are shallow rooted. Strawberries do thrive in dry conditions, but still require water regularly during summer.
9. Keep Your Strawberries Free from Weeds
As strawberries are shallow rooted, it is vital that you keep the area in which you are growing them free from weeds. Weeds will prevent your strawberry plants from having access to nutrients and will need to be removed immediately.
10. Provide Your Strawberries with Plenty of Sunlight
In order to grow successfully, strawberries need plenty of access to sunlight. It is recommended that strawberries have at least six hours of sun each day. Make sure that there is plenty of sunlight in your greenhouse. Remove any items that are blocking any sunlight and keep the panes of your glass free of dirt and dust, as this can reduce the amount of sunlight your plants have access to.
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Photo. Miguel Garcia