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Guide to Buying Strawberry Plants

Updated: May 3

Selecting the Perfect Strawberry Varieties for Your Garden

The arrival of spring marks the season when we start thinking about growing strawberries. With so many strawberry varieties available, it can be overwhelming to decide which one to pick for our gardens. That's why we've created this handy guide to buying strawberry plants.

Whether you're a beginner unsure where to start or an experienced gardener looking for new varieties to try, we'll help you navigate the options and choose the perfect strawberries for your growing conditions and taste preferences. Let's explore the world of strawberries together.

Guide to Buying Strawberry Plants - Blog Outline:

1. Strawberry Plants at a Glance.

Strawberry plants are herbaceous perennials that crop well for about two to three years before they should be disregarded. There are three types of strawberries:

  • summer fruiting varieties that are divided into early, mid and late-season types;

  • perpetual types that have two flushes of growth over the summer months;

  • alpine strawberries that produce smaller fruits (red, white or yellow) in flushes through summer.

2. The Best Time to Buy Strawberry Plants in the UK.

The best time to buy strawberry plants in the UK is typically in early spring, around March or April. This timing allows planting them when the soil is starting to warm up but before the last frost date, which is usually in late April or early May in most regions of the UK. Buying strawberry plants during this period gives them the best chance to establish strong roots before the growing season kicks into full gear. Nurseries tend to stock up on strawberry plants in early spring, offering various choices for gardeners.

3. Which Strawberry Variety to Choose When Buying Strawberry Plants?

Growing strawberries is an exciting and rewarding experience, however with so many varieties to choose from, it can feel challenging to choose the most suitable for your preferences. To make your strawberry growing journey easier, below, we have introduced some popular strawberry varieties in the UK, focusing on what makes each type special.

Strawberry Alice

Strawberry Alice stands out in the garden with its vibrant red colour and deliciously sweet flavour, making it a popular choice among gardeners. The berries it produces are not only large and juicy but also incredibly versatile. Whether you enjoy them fresh off the plant, incorporated into desserts like pies and cakes, or preserved in jams and jellies, Strawberry Alice delivers a burst of flavour in every bite. What's more, its robust growth habit and resistance to diseases make it a reliable option for gardeners of all skill levels. Whether you're just starting out or have been tending to your garden for years, Strawberry Alice is sure to thrive and provide you with a generous harvest season after season.

Strawberry Lucy

Strawberry Lucy is a fantastic strawberry variety that stays ripe for picking for about four weeks. You can usually start picking Lucy from around mid-June to mid-July. Lucy's berries are shiny and shaped like hearts, and they're really juicy and sweet. They're easy to spot and pick, which makes harvesting them a breeze. Lucy is also resistant to crown rot, a common strawberry disease. It's a hard-working plant that will be a favourite in many gardens for a long time. With its easy growing habits, delicious flavour, and long picking season, Lucy is one of the top recommendations for any strawberry patch.

Strawberry Cambridge Favourite

Strawberry Cambridge Favourite is a classic English strawberry that's loved for its traditional taste and how well it grows. Its big, floppy, light green leaves usually stay healthy and don't get sick easily. This strawberry gives a good amount of mostly round, red/orange fruits in the middle of the season. They taste great and are perfect for making jam or eating fresh. You can grow Cambridge Favourite under covers or in pots, and it always gives a lot of fruit. It's the standard strawberry that everyone compares other varieties to. Whether you're new to gardening or have been doing it for a while, this strawberry is a great choice. It's resistant to diseases and gives fruit for a long time, making it a must-have for UK gardens.

Strawberry Elsanta

Strawberry Elsanta is a popular strawberry with a smooth shape, shiny look, and a taste that's a mix of sweet and tart. It's a hit with both professional farmers and home gardeners. Elsanta berries ripen a bit later than Cambridge Favourite, but they're worth the wait. They're usually medium to large in size, firm, and a vibrant red colour. Inside, the flesh is orange-red and tastes really nice. Elsanta plants produce a lot of strawberries, making them popular with big farms. The juicy berries stay firm even after being picked, so they look fresh for days. It's a type of strawberry that's ready to harvest in the middle of the season.

Strawberry Eros

Eros is another variety of strawberries similar to Elsanta, but it produces more high-quality fruits that look nice and are less misshapen. Strawberry Eros also gives a higher yield of strawberries and is better at resisting diseases. The strawberry fruits themselves are shiny and a nice red colour, shaped like cones with a good flavour. The plants grow moderately well and have an upright shape, which shows off the fruit nicely. In colder places, Eros is better at surviving frost. Overall, it's a great type of strawberry that gives lots of delicious fruit.

Strawberry Florence

Strawberry Florence is a wonderful addition to any garden, offering a bountiful harvest from early July to early August. Its firm, brightly coloured berries are a perfect shape and taste really good. They're easy to spot and pick. Florence strawberries don't get diseases easily and are resistant to wilt, powdery mildew, and vine weevils. If you're short on space, you can grow Florence in containers on your patio. They do well under covers. And if you have a greenhouse or polytunnel, you can make the cropping season longer or start it earlier.

Strawberry Hapi

Strawberry Hapil is a simple-to-grow mid Summer (late June - mid July) strawberry plant. You can plant it directly in the ground or in pots, containers, or baskets. Hapil strawberries originate from Belgium and are famous for being tough and able to handle dry weather well. These strawberries are small, shiny, and have a bright red colour, and they keep producing fruit until midsummer, giving you strawberries for longer. They're easy to look after and perfect for beginners who want to grow their own strawberries without much fuss.

Strawberry Honeoye

Strawberry Honeoye is one of the first strawberries ready to pick, usually starting in early June. Its berries are bright red, medium-sized, and look really nice. They taste great too! Even though it's an early variety, Honeyoye gives a lot of fruit, and they're all top quality. The plants grow well and the berries are shiny and firm, with juicy flesh that makes your mouth water. This strawberry originates from America and is becoming really popular because of its amazing flavour and quality. If you're looking for an early strawberry, Honeyoye is definitely heavy cropping variety worth trying.

Strawberry Pegasus

Strawberry Pegasus is a relatively new addition to the strawberry scene. This late summer variety is great for gardeners who like to grow things organically, especially if you have soil that's a bit heavier. The plant has an open shape, which helps air to flow around it, lowering the chance of a disease called botrytis. Pegasus strawberries also resist other common strawberry diseases like verticillium wilt, crown rot, and mildew. The berries are medium to large and are soft, sweet, and full of juice. You can expect a lot of fruit from Pegasus plants because they produce a big crop.

Alpine Strawberry

For those seeking a charming and flavourful addition to their garden, Alpine Strawberry is the perfect choice. Often seen in the woodlands of northern Europe, this petite variety produces small, intensely flavoured berries that are reminiscent of wild strawberries. While not as large as traditional strawberries, Alpine Strawberries make up for their size with their exquisite taste and delicate aroma. Perfect for edging beds or growing in containers, Alpine Strawberries add a touch of whimsy to any garden space while providing a delectable treat for the senses.

4. Guide to Buying Strawberry Plants. Summary.

Strawberry plants are a staple in many gardens, offering delicious fruits for about two to three years before needing to be replaced. In the UK, early spring, around March or April, is the best time to buy strawberry plants. This allows them to establish strong roots before the growing season kicks into full gear. Nurseries usually stock up on strawberry plants during this time, providing a wide variety for gardeners to choose from.

When it comes to choosing a strawberry variety, there are plenty of options to consider. From classics like Strawberry Alice and Strawberry Lucy to popular varieties like Strawberry Cambridge Favourite and Strawberry Elsanta, each offers its own flavour profile and growing requirements. Whether you're a beginner or an experienced gardener, there's a strawberry variety to suit your needs.

If you're looking for something a bit different, consider Alpine Strawberries. These petite berries are perfect for edging beds or growing in containers, adding a touch of whimsy to any garden space. No matter which variety you choose, growing strawberries can be a rewarding experience. With a bit of care and attention, you'll be enjoying delicious homegrown strawberries all summer long.

Buy Strawberry Plants Online

Are you looking to start your strawberry-growing journey with confidence? With a wide selection of top-quality strawberry plants from Pepperpot Herbs you can enjoy a bountiful harvest of sweet, juicy strawberries straight from your garden throughout the season.

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