Did you know?
We produce the earliest, latest (and tastiest!) strawberries in Ireland.
Read on to find out what it takes to make the most delicious, best quality strawberries...
We are the only Irish grower producing 100% table top strawberries, a method of growing strawberries that limits the build-up of pests and diseases, thus ensuring the highest quality strawberries. In 2009, we built a new 50,508 square meters state of the art strawberry glasshouse on our farm, resulting in the ability to produce over 100 million Irish Strawberries for the Irish market and extend the season into December.
We also grow some strawberries in tunnels to fill the gaps in supply of our glasshouse production. Both the glasshouse team and the tunnel teams work closely together to ensure we have a steady supply of Irish strawberries from spring through to late autumn/winter.
Typically, the Irish Season runs from May through to mid-September. However due to our unique growing methods here on Keelings Farm we have Irish strawberries available from as early as mid-March and as late as mid-December. Of course, the supply of Irish strawberries depends on the weather as well!
Strawberry plants are perennial meaning they can
last a very long time. Generally, though the lifespan
of a Strawberry plant is 2-3 years.
There are 3 main ways in which you can grow your own strawberries at home
From a Runner
Strawberry runners are available from your local garden centre. You should plant your runner in a sheltered spot in your garden which receives lots of sunlight. Add plenty of compost to your soil before planting and make sure to water regularly. Plant your runners at least 30-45 cm apart so they have room to grow, ensuring their roots are buried into the soil.
Your journey will start indoors if you decide to grow strawberries from a seed. You will need to sow your seeds in a shallow container filled with compost. Sprinkle your seeds on top of the compost and very lightly cover. Spray water over your seeds daily to keep moist. The germination stage can take up to 8 weeks – slow and steady! Keep misting and providing your seeds with lots of light. Once the seedlings have sprouted, they are ready to be brought outside to adapt to the cooler climate (make sure to bring them in at night). Once they double in size you can now plant them onto into a flowerbed – remember to keep well-watered and in a well-lit area.
In a hanging basket
Strawberries grow extremely well in hanging baskets and are the perfect method if you don’t have a big garden - or live in an apartment. Ensure there is a layer of gravel/small stones in the base of your basket followed by a deep layer of compost/soil. Make sure to water regularly.
Your berries will be tastiest at a nice cool temperature of between 2-4ºC
Look for strawberries with a deep red colour. Sweet, ripe strawberries will also have a beautiful strawberry smell to them as well.
To reduce food waste, why not freeze your leftover berries instead of binning them?
Strawberries are a superfruit and one of the best fruits you can eat nourishing your body from head to toe. They are packed full of a variety of nutrients and powerful antioxidants such as fibre, folate, vitamin C & potassium– all of which help reduce the risk of serious health conditions like cancer, diabetes & heart disease.
5 Strawberries contain more antioxidant power than 3 apples or 4 bananas and provide more vitamin C than an entire orange.
Strawberries are a low glycemic fruit and like most more fruit are fat free!
Did you know? Strawberries are the only fruit with seeds on the outside.
Strawberries contain flavonoids which may help boost memory and prevent age-related diseases.
“It’s up to us as growers to assess when the strawberries are ripe. We look at things such as colour and berry size and of course the ultimate decider – a taste test!”
Zac, Assistant Grower
Keelings Strawberries; sweet, soft and juicy. The sign of a perfect strawberry is its bright, vibrant red colour and rich aroma.
Keelings Blueberries have a sturdy exterior with a sweet juicy interior. These plump little bursts of flavour can be enjoyed in a variety of ways.
Keelings Raspberries; silky to touch and a soft delicate texture. The taste of raspberries is the perfect balance between tart and sweet.
Keelings Blackberries are a deep inky purple and packed full sweet, soft, juicy goodness.
Keelings Apples are available in a wide range of varieties from juicy Bramley Apples to sweet Fuji. There’s something for everyone’s tastebuds.
Keelings Pears come perfectly ripe so that you can enjoy their unique flavour and texture.
Keeling’s Piel de Sapo Melon may not look like much but this melon is deliciously sweet with a refreshing flavour – it has to be tried to be believed.
Keelings Kol’or Pineapples are a distinctly bright and tropical fruit. They have a tough exterior but are sweet and juicy inside – the crème de la crème of pineapples.
Keeling’s Grapes are seedless! So you can enjoy these sweet, juicy pops of flavour with no hassle or fuss.
Keelings Cherries are sweet & juicy with a tint of acidity. Generally, heart shaped, cherries can vary in colour from light red to almost black!