‘It’s not too late!’: Alan Titchmarsh shares ‘neat trick’ for planting strawberries now

Alan Titchmarsh demonstrates how to grow your own strawberries

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From planting to picking, strawberries are the fastest fruit gardeners can grow. For those who started a new bed last autumn, it should crop well this summer. However, it’s not too late to put in pot-grown plants this spring, according to Alan. Strawberries are super easy to grow and they don’t take much maintenance once they’re in the soil.

In a video for Waitrose & Partners, Alan Titchmarsh shared top tips on how gardeners can grow their own strawberries.

The gardening pro said: “No summer is complete without the test of British strawberries and it’s not too late to grow your own.

“The larger fruited varieties of strawberry are best planted earlier in the year but at this time of year, you can plant these, the alpine strawberry.

“You can tip these out the pots and plant them straight into the ground on your veg patch, spacing them about a foot apart.”

A path of two to three feet wide between rows should be added to allow easy access for cultivation and picking. 

Alan added: “The strawberries are going to grow as soon as the petals drop, you’ll see them start to form in what was the centre of the flower.”

But if for those who haven’t got a garden or an allotment at all it doesn’t mean to say they can plant strawberries. 

The gardening guru explained and demonstrated how they can also be grown in posts.

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Alan demonstrated to viewers how this can be done using a strawberry planter stacking pot.

For strawberry plants that don’t fit in pots, the expert shared a “neat trick” to fix the issue.

He said: “Now when you get a plant that’s this big, it’s not going to go in here, it’s too big.

“The neat trick is to knock it out and divide it up, just tear it apart into smaller plants.  

“It doesn’t matter that you’ve got a bit of cut root there that will soon heal up.”

Alan then proceeded to add the next layer of the stacking pot on.

The framework in the bottom of the pot allows the water to drain through right down below so they’re never sitting in water “which strawberries hate”, he says.

The next step to planting the strawberries is to add compost and water.

Alan said: “Feed in a little peat-free multi-purpose compost, about half full, then your plants will sit one in each of these pockets.

“Leave enough room at the surface, about an inch, to allow for watering.

“Give it a really good soak and all the excess water will run through down each layer.”

The plants “will start to mature, the berries will start to grow” as a result.

The gardening expert continued: “Then in about three or four weeks time liquid feed it with dilute liquid tomato food or strawberry food and that will make sure they keep dropping right the way through until autumn.

“Strawberries, no garden should be without them.”

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