Good enough to eat

Macclesfield Express - - LEISURE -

●● FORC­ING straw­ber­ries

Get a head start to sum­mer by plant­ing straw­ber­ries un­der glass now to en­cour­age early fruits.

Plants need ex­pos­ing to a pe­riod of re­ally cold weather to set plenty of flow­ers, so don’t bring them in too soon.

You can lift and plant them into a pot filled with com­post and soil, then bring them into the green­house or cold frame, or al­ter­na­tively cover any plants which are in the ground with a cloche, to en­cour­age an ear­lier crop.

Make sure that the plants which are un­der cover can be ac­cessed by pol­li­nat­ing in­sects.

Throw open the doors of your green­house and re­move cloches when the weather is mild and sunny, closing ev­ery­thing up again at night.

In the green­house, once the straw­ber­ries start to flower, take a soft paint­brush and just run it over each flower once a day.

This way you will en­sure good pol­li­na­tion.

You won’t need to do that with the plants you grow out­doors.

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