STRAWBERRIES FROM SEED – A FIRST FOR SA
Known for being at the forefront of innovation, Mayford Seed will be offering strawberry seed to gardeners around the country, a South African first. The high quality, world class strawberry variety, ‘Florian’ produces bright pink blooms that are followed by a heavy crop of aromatic, red fruit with a distinct Japanese style flavour. Sow in spring and harvest the fruits from early summer right through until autumn.
‘Florian’ is an ever-bearing variety that forms a compact plant 35 cm wide. The plants are ideally suited to being grown outdoors, either in their own row in a vegetable garden or in garden beds because their flowers and fruit are so attractive. ‘Florian’s’ compact form is also well suited to container planting on a sunny patio and because it fruits from the runners as well as the main plant, it is also ideal for growing in hanging baskets.
Growing tips include the following:
sow from early spring in seed trays using coir/peat or seedling mix;
the seed is very small so cover lightly, press down and keep moist;
germination takes up to three weeks;
after about eight weeks, or when they are large enough to handle, the seedlings are ready to be planted out;
plant strawberries in full sun in fertile, moist, well-drained soil and spaced 35cm away from each other;
keep plants well-watered, particularly if they are potted up and feed every two weeks with a liquid fertiliser;
to keep plants neat, remove the runners from time to time. They can be planted in other parts of the garden;
as the fruits develop, place dry straw or mulching material underneath them to ensure unblemished fruit;
put netting over the young fruit to protect from hungry birds;
harvest the strawberries as soon as they turn red and are firm to the touch;
when harvesting, cut rather than pull berries off at the stem and when the growing season is over, cut the foliage back and mulch around the plants.