Sweet Beginnings: When To Plant Strawberries UK

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By Steven Hal


Strawberries, with their vibrant red hue and sweet flavor, are a delightful addition to any garden. Successfully cultivating these juicy berries in the UK requires careful consideration of planting times and seasonal conditions. In this article, we’ll explore the optimal timing, preparation, and techniques for planting strawberries to ensure a fruitful harvest in your British garden.

When To Plant Strawberries Uk

1. Understanding Strawberry Varieties

1.1 June-Bearing vs. Everbearing Strawberries

Before diving into planting schedules, it’s essential to be familiar with strawberry varieties. June-bearing strawberries produce a single, abundant harvest in late spring to early summer, while everbearing varieties yield multiple, smaller harvests throughout the growing season. Knowing the type you prefer can influence your planting decisions.

2. Selecting the Right Strawberry Plants

2.1 Choosing Healthy Plants

Selecting healthy strawberry plants is crucial for a successful harvest. Look for plants with vibrant green leaves, no signs of disease, and well-developed root systems. Purchasing certified disease-free plants from reputable nurseries or garden centers is advisable.

3. Timing for Planting Strawberries in the UK

3.1 Spring Planting for June-Bearing Varieties

For June-bearing strawberries, the ideal planting time in the UK is early spring, typically from late March to early April. Planting during this period allows the strawberries to establish roots before the growing season and produce a bountiful harvest in June.

3.2 Everbearing Strawberries

Everbearing strawberries offer a bit more flexibility in planting times. While spring is still preferable, they can also be planted in late summer for a fall harvest. This flexibility makes everbearing strawberries a versatile choice for UK gardeners.

4. Choosing the Right Site

4.1 Sunlight Requirements

Strawberries thrive in full sunlight, so choose a planting site that receives at least 6-8 hours of direct sunlight daily. A sunny location not only promotes robust growth but also enhances the sweetness of the berries.

4.2 Soil Conditions

Well-drained soil rich in organic matter is ideal for strawberry plants. Sandy loam or loamy soil with a slightly acidic to neutral pH provides the optimal conditions for healthy root development and fruit production.

5. Planting Techniques

5.1 Spacing and Depth

When planting strawberries, ensure proper spacing to allow for good air circulation and prevent diseases. Plant them in rows, leaving about 18 inches between plants and 3 feet between rows. Dig planting holes deep enough to accommodate the roots without crowding or bending them.

5.2 Watering After Planting

Watering is crucial during the initial planting phase. Provide ample water immediately after planting to help the roots establish. Maintain consistent moisture throughout the growing season, especially during dry periods.

6. Spring Care and Maintenance

6.1 Mulching for Weed Suppression

Mulching around strawberry plants helps suppress weeds, retain soil moisture, and protect the berries from soil-borne diseases. Apply a layer of straw or shredded leaves, leaving a space around the crown to prevent rot.

6.2 Fertilizing Strategically

Fertilize strawberry plants in early spring before they begin actively growing. Use a balanced, slow-release fertilizer to provide the necessary nutrients for healthy foliage and fruit development.

7. Protecting Against Frost

7.1 Late Spring Frosts

In the UK, late spring frosts are a concern for tender strawberry blossoms. Consider covering the plants with frost blankets or cloths on cold nights to protect the blossoms and prevent frost damage.

7.2 Frost-Free Varieties

For gardeners in areas prone to late frosts, choosing frost-resistant strawberry varieties can help mitigate the risk of damage. These varieties are bred to withstand colder temperatures and are more resilient during unpredictable weather conditions.

8. Harvesting Strawberries

8.1 Patience for June-Bearing Varieties

For June-bearing strawberries, exercise patience as the plants produce their first flush of berries. Harvest when the berries are fully red and easily detach from the stem. This usually occurs in June, but exact timing can vary based on local conditions.

8.2 Enjoying Continuous Harvest with Everbearing Varieties

Everbearing strawberries offer a more extended harvesting season. Begin picking the ripe berries when they reach full color and size. Continue harvesting throughout the growing season, savoring the sweetness of freshly picked strawberries.


Planting strawberries in the UK is a delightful endeavor that promises sweet rewards. By understanding the strawberry varieties, choosing healthy plants, selecting the right planting times, and providing proper care, you can cultivate a thriving strawberry patch in your garden. Whether you prefer the abundant harvest of June-bearing varieties or the continuous bounty of everbearing strawberries, the joy of harvesting your own sweet, homegrown berries awaits.

Also read: When To Plant Garlic UK: A Seasonal Guide

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