We’re enjoying the new gardening show Grow Your Own At Home with Alan Titchmarsh. This week we watched as he shared his ingenious tip for growing strawberries – where he used carpet underlay, like we’ve never seen it used before!
Week-by-week on the show Alan, along with his Love Your Garden team David Domoney, Katie Rushworth and Frances Tophill – share their secrets behind the best ways to grow fruit, veg and more from home.
‘In the height of summer one fruit that’s a must-have for any garden is the strawberry, ‘ exclaimed Alan on last night’s episode. ‘We Brits chomp our way through over 150,000 tonnes of them a year!’ He goes on to say.
‘With a little care you can grow them in any size garden,’ the gardening guru goes on to say. Before sharing his top tips on how best to do just that…
Alan’s tips for growing strawberries at home
‘Prepare your soil by working in some organic fertiliser,’ Alan starts. And ensure the plants are well-watered, with a good soggy and good root system before you plant them. ‘Plant them about a foot apart,’ he says for guidance.
‘Like all soft fruits flowers are the first sign that your strawberry plant is about to fruit’ he explains. Talking of the berries that emerge from the middle he says, ‘If I leave like that they’ll sit on the ground, slugs will eat them – they’ll get covered in mud. So what’s the solution?
‘They’re not called strawberries for nothing’ he explains, ‘What you need to do is chuck straw around them, ‘Oh come on Alan who’s got straw at the moment?” He jokingly asks himself.
That’s when he thinks outside the box to prove his gardening credentials and reaches for an unlikely home furnishing to help out!
‘We had some old carpet underlay, we took up and I’ve made these strawberry mats if you like. It’s a square with a circle in the middle, that sits around them’ he explains. ‘And it will keep those strawberries off the ground.’ Ingenious Alan, that’s one way to upcycle in the garden.
The show also points out grass clippings or sand will also do the job – if you don’t have any spare carpet!.
‘Strawberry plants don’t need much room to thrive. So they’re perfect for the smallest of outdoor spaces’ Alan explains. Before he goes on to pot up a strawberry pot. showing you don’t even need a garden to grow strawberries
Speaking of the benefits of gardening Alan says, ‘What’s become clear over these past few weeks is the healing properties of getting you hands mucky and watching something grow.’
It’s this very sentiment that inspired his new Grow Your Own At Home show.
The new gardening show, airs every Monday evening on ITV at 8.30p.m. Encouraging the nation to start growing their own from home.