If you wish to grow your own strawberries in Melbourne, you will find this post especially useful. I grew and sold strawberry plants in Melbourne for over 15 years. Not only are they easy to grow, but they will taste like no other strawberry you have ever tasted before. I will quickly explain why.
When you buy fruit and vegetables in store, you will find that nine out of ten times they are not fully ripened. Unless a piece of fruit ripens on the tree or vine before being picked, it cannot develop it’s essential fragrances and sugars to become what it should. This applies to strawberries, tomatoes, apples, grapes and any other fruit you can imagine. However by growing it at home you can harvest it at the right moment to enjoy it at its peak level of flavour, sweetness, and texture. You can savour the fragrance. You will never get that pleasure from store bought produce.
First off all, strawberries are best grown off the ground. This minimises invasion from snails and slugs, soil borne viruses, mould and fungal problems. Hanging baskets are okay, but specifically designed strawberry planter bags are the best, like the ones shown here. This type of planter gives you the opportunity to grow several plants at once, even inter-mingling varieties to grow different types of strawberries.
- For a potting medium, use a light, peat moss enriched, premium potting mix. Avoid cheap mixtures, as these tend to deteriorate far too quickly. Go for brand names and a mixture which is suitable for vegetable growing.
- Strawberries can be planted just about anytime, however they grow best from the beginning of spring through to the end of autumn. From mid-spring to late summer, regular fortnightly doses of liquid fertiliser will ensure bumper crops.
- Like any fruit, strawberries need sun. The more sun they get the sweeter they will become. No sun means no sugar production. So a warm sunny spot is best.
- As an added tip, removing the first flowers of a strawberry plant helps to develop a stronger, more resilient strawberry plant that fruits better. The first flowers usually produce wimpy fruit anyway.