You will need at least 60 plants for a family of four. Use several varieties to stagger the harvest, half spring fruiting, half summer which fruit to the first frosts.
The soil must be well prepared with lots of compost or old manure. Remember, if you plant on plastic you cannot add anything to the soil until the end of the crop, 3 years minimum. Rather than using plastic, I advise you to mulch with hemp, composted pine bark, larch, pine needles, etc; ...
Space the rows at 50 cm apart and the plants at 40cm, especially with the new vigourous varieties. Never bury the neck of the plant. In heavy or damp soil make small hills and plant at the top, the strawberry detests having it's roots in water.
The first two months during dry weather water regularly to ensure they grow well.
Don't touch the plants when there is a frost, wait until March to clean them. Take off and burn dry leaves and rectify the mulch, which may have been destroyed during winter.
Regularly remove the shoots from the principal stems, this helps keep the plants strong and productive.
PARASITES OF THE STRAWBERRY
Voles, fieldmice and other rodents : Plant garlic between the plants this helps to deter them.
Slugs : In case of a wet spring mulching will discourage the gastropods.
Aphids, thrips : Preventative treatment for discoloured or deformed leaves is liquid nettle, for a cure liquid tansy.
Strawberry Mites : Take care, this is a mite that is resistant to insecticides and causes young deformed leaves. Look for a specific product that treats 'red spider mites'.
Mildew : A well known malady due to an excess of water and poor air circulation around the plants. Take care to keep them well spaced, treat those that suffer with a Bordeaux mixture.
Violet stains : This malady appears during a hot summer, it's not serious and can be controlled simply with a Bordeaux mixture.
SOME VARIETIES OF STRAWBERRIES
Strawberries single cropping :
- Ciflorette : New early variety, very good conservation. Good taste and perfume.
- Cigaline : This strawberry is of great interest to the lovers of the Gariguette. It has large fruits which arrive very early, a lovely perfume, and is very vigorous.
- Cigoulette : Replacing the Belrubi, it has all it's qualities, is hardy and bears good fruits.
- Cireine : It now repaces Elvira and Elsanta because it is more hardy. Large long fruits, good conservation, very good taste.
- Gariguette : Suitable for a polytunnel. Very perfumed, long average sized fruits.
- Gorella : Long large sweet fruits, good productivity and hardiness.
- Madame Moutot : Old variety, a hardy vigourous plant bearing very large fruits.
- Maraline : Conical firm perfumed fruits, very vigourous and disease resistant.
- Sengana : Late fruiting, ideal in mountain areas or at lower altitudes for an earlier crop.
Strawberry half double cropping :
- Red Gauntlet : Good vegetation with large enough perfumed fruits.
Strawberries double cropping :
- Cirafine : A vigourous and hardy plant with a good perfume and taste.
- Cirano : From Mara de Bois, a hardy and productive plant, double crops regularly, with a very perfumed fruit. A variety of the future !
- Gento : Essential, has very large , very sweet fruits, an excellent variety.
- Mara des bois : Very good fruits with a perfume of wild strawberries. Only inconvenience, it doesn't like calcerous soil.
- Ostara : A good hardy productive plant with average sized fruits.
- Rabunda : A good productive plant with large perfumed fruits, not sensitive to maladies.