Good enough to eat
●● 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.