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How to add fertiliser (manure) to strawberry plants?

Hello. I planted a few strawberry plants for the first time last year and I guess I will need to feed them now. I am planning to add some well-rotted manure to the beds but I'm not sure how to go about it. All the advice I've read online say that fertiliser should be added to "the base of the plant" but the type of plants I have grow very close to/on the ground and there is no space at all between the ground and the leaves of the plants. Should I just spread some manure around the plant but away from any existing leaves? I'm worried about manure getting on to the fruits later.

The  strawberry plants, and all the veg I planted last year, were planted in a mix of compost and manure so I've never had to add fertiliser to anything.

Thank you.


  • Nanny BeachNanny Beach Posts: 8,669
    Are they growing ok,can we have a picture?
  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 54,350
    I wouldn't bother adding manure. If the soil's in good condition, just give them a general feed of whatever you like to use. If you want, you can use some compost instead around them. That will be more than adequate for them this year, and you can do it two or three times if you want. 
    Do the manure in autumn to boost the soil, but make sure it's well rotted. 
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • EmerionEmerion Posts: 566
    I use home made compost, or occasionally well rotted manure. If it’s well rotted it will no longer look like manure, but more like very rich commercial compost. It won’t harm your plants even if it’s touching them. I cover all of the ground between the plants once a year in autumn and never feed with anything else. You don’t need to worry about how close it is to
    the plants. We have generous crops of tasty strawberries. If it’s compost, it only needs to be about half an inch deep, manure maybe a couple of inches at most. Autumn would have been better, to give time for the compost to be taken down into the soil naturally - much better than digging it in, for you as well as the soil 😁. But you didn’t and it will be fine. Put some home made compost on now if you have it, or manure if it’s well rotted. I would feed with a seaweed spray as a supplement this time. Commercial compost is not the same thing at all. It’s basically a sterilised growing medium with some artificial fertiliser added. This will
    feed the plants for a short time only. It’s better suited for
     growing new seed and potting on. 
    Carmarthenshire (mild, wet, windy). Loam over shale, very slightly sloping, so free draining. Mildly acidic or neutral.

  • Thank you for the advice, Fairygirl & Emerion. Looks like I'm better off adding some homemade compost now (we do have some although not as much as the manure) as the manure is still difficult to handle even though it's well-rotted. I will be more prepared this autumn.
    Nanny Beach - I don't have a photo but all the plants seem to be doing well so far; a lot of healthy new leaves on them.
  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 54,350
    I wouldn't worry too much. If the soil's reasonable, a bit of tomato food will do them now and again, or a slow release food if you have one - as you would for any plant that is producing a fruit.  The extra compost, or any similar organic matter,  is helpful. Home made compost is only a soil conditioner, or mulch, and it doesn't contain the extra food that commercial stuff has, so an extra feed is beneficial.

    I grow most of mine in containers, and they just get a bit of the top layer of soil refreshed, and a bit of food. That's plenty to get a decent crop.  :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • WhiterotWhiterot Posts: 42
    My wife has a very large strawberry bed at our allotment. In the autumn after the plants have finally finished cropping she trims them back and then covers the bed with well rotted cow manure. This last week she has removed all the manure and fed the plants with fish, blood and bone. She will feed them several times throughout the season with the same and occasionally will feed them with vegetable maxi crop which we buy from the allotment association along with the fish blood and bone. She always has a long cropping season one variety even crops twice. She will replace the older plants with her own new plants as needs be. Well rotted manure will look like manure if it looks like compost it has lost its goodness. You need to keep the manure heap covered otherwise it will soon dry out.
  • Thank you all for the advice. I guess the moral of the story is that I need to do more work in autumn.   :)
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