The hard thing about growing strawberries is that every other living creature loves them as much as we do. Birds, slaters, snails, rats, dogs and possums. When I lived in Esperance I had a blue-tongue lizard that came past at the same time in the afternoon to have a feed and waddled off with a very red smiley face.
So, the way to overcome some of these obstacles is to grow your strawberry plants in a container up off the ground. Slaters and snails are usually the main problem and easily dealt with if you put a barrier around the container. Strawberries need regular watering every day when they start to fruit, so growing them in a container makes it easier to achieve this and saves wastage of water. Always use a good quality wetting agent and water retainer in the mix or in-ground to keep the water supply available to the roots all summer. In-ground strawberries should be watered by drip irrigation to avoid the spread of disease.
Strawberries need a free draining soil that is slightly acid soil (pH 6 – 6.5) with added compost, cow poo and mulch. Do not use chicken poo or mushroom compost as this will be too alkaline. They like sun, but need protecting from the hot afternoon sun in the summer months. The great advantage of growing strawberries in a container is that you can move them around to just morning sun in summer and all day sun in the winter months.
Most strawberry plants become available in nurseries from October onwards and should produce fruit within a month. They need regular feeding when the flowers appear. I use 100g per square metre of Grow Safe Gardener fertiliser every 6 weeks. If you grow them in a container, reduce the fertilising to half strength to avoid over-feeding.