Are you looking for tips and tricks to planting and growing strawberries in your garden? Check out this quick guide for everything you need to know.
Do you dream of having a thriving edible garden? Some of us seem to innately have the “green thumb” and some need to work harder.
This article provides tips for planting and caring for strawberry plants. Keep reading to learn everything you need to know.
How To Plan For Growing Strawberries
If you don’t know where to begin or how to grow strawberries, follow these steps. Begin by consulting the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) zoning map. It divides the U.S. into zones to help gardeners choose plants that thrive in their area.
Next, decide if you wish to grow them in a container or the ground. In general, strawberry plants make fruit for about three years. It’s easiest to plant them in the ground for long-term, perennial growth.
Growing strawberries in containers may decrease their lifespan but may fit your needs. Containers allow you to grow them even if you don’t have a yard.
Prepare The Soil For Your Strawberry Garden
Remove grass, weeds, grubs, and soil disease to give your strawberries full access to the soil’s nutrients. Add compost, aged straw, manure, or peat to fertilize the soil and help it retain moisture. Work the fertilizer into the top six inches of the soil.
When To Start Your Garden Strawberries
Wait until about March or April to plant so you’re past the last frost and have more dry soil. This also allows plants to become established before the high summer temperatures.
Choose The Best Location For Planting Strawberries
Strawberries need full sun for at least six hours a day to grow the most fruit. When planting, make sure there aren’t deciduous trees that will create shade in the coming months.
Dig a big enough hole to allow each strawberry plant’s roots to spread out. Space the plants 12 to 18 inches apart.
Make a mound of soil in each hold that’s even with the surrounding soil. Then put the strawberry plant on top of this hill with the roots spread out in the hole. Make sure the crown of the plant is at ground level.
Press the soil around the roots and water thoroughly. Place pine needles, compost, shredded leaves, or straw on the strawberry bed. This regulates soil acidity and keeps it cooler to improve strawberry production.
Caring For Your Strawberry Plants
Water your strawberry bed with at least an inch of water on a regular schedule. Avoid standing water by creating good drainage to prevent the roots from rotting. Mulching helps to regulate the soil’s water content.
Throughout the growing season, remove some of the runners to guide the plant’s path. Remove flowers in the first few weeks after planting to improve fruit production.
Animals, slugs, and bugs pose a threat to your harvest. Cover the plants with bird netting and place copper ribbon in the beds for protection.
When’s The Best Time To Transplant Strawberries?
If you wish to transplant your strawberries, it’s best to do it after the ground thaws. Planting young plant runners can replace older roots. You can do this before the last seasonal frost.
Do You Want To Learn More About Gardening?
Mary Jane Duford has written hundreds of articles here on her gardening blog. If you found this article about growing strawberries helpful, you’ll love her site, Home for the Harvest. Mary Jane’s articles have been published on many sites including Heirloom Gardener and Mother Earth News. Subscribe today to receive her Garden Living email newsletter.