"The key to success lies in meticulous planning"

British company Hugh Lowe Farms operates on over 750 hectares. The business dedicates one-fifth to soft fruit production and sells around 4,000 tonnes of strawberries per year. One million berries will be served up at this year’s Wimbledon tennis tournament alone.

For strawberry growers, the key to success lies in meticulous planning. At Hugh Lowe Farms, around 60% are "everbearers". These types of strawberry are not influenced by day length and are designed to crop continually (but less heavily) throughout the season.

The remainder are "June bearers", which crop more heavily for a short space of time. These form their flowers in autumn for the next year and can be subtly manipulated by chilling the plants to trick them into dormancy.

"We have some great new varieties," explains Marion Regan, who runs Hugh Lowe Farms. "Our mainstay at this time of year is still the excellent locally bred Malling Centenary, but we will soon have the new varieties Zara and Katrina, and we are already picking the premium sweet-tasting Driscolls Elizabeth."

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