How To Grow Strawberries
Strawberries are one of the sweetest and tastiest fruits that can grow in a small garden. They require moderate care, but in return, they provide us with one of nature's best gifts - fresh homegrown strawberries.
There are strawberries in supermarkets and shops that claim to be "organically" grown, but commercially grown strawberries can't beat homegrown strawberries in taste and fragrance. And today, there are also strawberry varieties that are very close to wild strawberries in taste and smell and can bear fruits the entire season.
Soil for Strawberries
Strawberries prefer slightly acidic soil with a pH between 5.5 and 6.5, preferably around 6.0 - 6.2. Fertile loamy soil is the best - it should be rich in organic matter and must be drained well.
When preparing the soil patch for strawberries, it is a good practice to make a soil test to find out the exact pH of the soil and the amounts of various nutrients.
To improve the drainage and the soil in general, be sure to add good potting soil in abundance, mixed with organic fertilizers like compost, aged manure, worm casting, and similar.
Strawberries like the sun, so plant them in the full sun and keep the soil constantly moist - strawberries have a relatively shallow root system, so be sure to add nutrients regularly.
The best fertilizers are those with a gradual release of nutrients, organic or not. Balanced NPK fertilizers, like 15-15-15 with the gradual release of nutrients, are also an excellent choice when fertilizing strawberries, especially ever-bearing and day-neutral strawberries.
Thanks to their size and growing requirements, strawberries can be easily grown in containers, grow bags, raised beds, etc. Also, in cold areas, strawberries can be grown indoors, just be sure not to forget to pollinate them manually.
How To Prune The Strawberries
During the growing season, remove any dead, damaged, or ill leaves and stems. Strawberries need plenty of air and sun to stay healthy, so growing them too thick is not recommended.
To improve the harvest, remove the runners as soon as they appear - leave runners only from the best plants and only replace the old ones.
In the late winter or early spring, prune strawberry plants more thoroughly to promote new growth.
How To Water The Strawberries
Strawberries have shallow roots and, as such, must be watered regularly.
During warm weather, strawberries must be watered every 2-3 days, and when grown in pots and containers, one should water them daily.
Note: when watering the strawberries, don't get plants (leaves, stems, flowers, fruits) wet.
The best option for watering the strawberries is a dripping water system (under the layer of mulch) - it keeps the moisture in the soil constant and avoids getting plants wet.
Strawberry Plants Growing Issues
Strawberry plants bear fruits for several years, after which they have to be replaced with new plants. Since the strawberries propagate via runners (one of the most popular methods), it is often more difficult to keep their number in check than to replace old plants with new ones.
Preventing contact between strawberries and soil is important for avoiding fruit rot - good mulch (straw, for example - hence the name) will help prevent fruits from touching the soil.
Also, strawberries are often grown using thin, non-transparent foil, or in containers, or using vertical planters - such systems prevent contact between fruits and soil and keep the fruits dry as much as possible.
Strawberry plants are generally very healthy plants, especially when fruits are kept away from the soil (must be dry), when the plants are kept dry during watering, when there is plenty of air around the fruits and leaves, etc.
The most dangerous pests are birds, rabbits, deer, and similar animals that like the sweet taste of strawberries. To protect the strawberries from birds and other animals, cover the strawberry plants with a protective net that allows bees and other insects to pollinate the flowers.
Bugs that threaten the strawberry plants are often kept under control by ladybugs and similar "predatory" insects.
However, should You find it necessary to use some chemicals in your garden, not just for strawberries, always read the instructions before applying the chemical - better safe than sorry. Personally, it is better to remove a few ill or damaged plants than to use chemicals, but ...
For more information about strawberries, feel free to check the following:
- Health Benefits of Strawberries
- Can Dogs Eat Strawberries?
- Can Guinea Pigs Eat Strawberries?
- How to Make A Strawberry Banana Smoothie
- How To Make Chocolate-Covered Strawberries
- Simple Fresh Strawberry Pie Recipe
- Blueberry, Strawberry, and Raspberry Smoothie Recipe
- Strawberry Whipped Cream Dessert
- Raspberry Strawberry Smoothie Recipe
or check the following articles:
Pineberries - What Are They and How to Grow Them?
Pineberries are hybrid strawberries with distinctive white or pink colors and pineapple-like fragrance and aroma - they are not genetically modified berries as some people claim.
Pineberries are rarely available commercially due to their relatively low yield and smallish fruits, and when they can be found, they are pricey. One more reason to grow pineberries in your home garden.
Updated: April 18, 2023.
How to Grow Strawberries Indoors
Growing strawberries indoors can yield great results, but it has some challenges.
If you really like this aromatic and healthy fruit and have some indoor area to spare, give them a chance, they might surprise you.
Updated: March 23, 2023.
Growing Strawberries in Raised Beds
Growing strawberries in raised beds have few disadvantages and many benefits when compared with growing strawberries in the garden strawberry patch.
Raised beds allow the gardeners to tune the growing conditions to the plant or plants they intended to grow, in this case, strawberries, including position, soil mix, pH, fertilizers, position, etc.
Updated: December 19, 2022.
Guide to Strawberry Companion Plants
What’s better than growing sweet, bright strawberries? Growing them with the help of companion plants! If this is your goal, you’ll be happy to explore this guide to strawberry companion plants.
Strawberry plants are at their most healthy when they are grown in full sunlight and sandy soil and are kept from harmful pests.
Published: November 8, 2022.
Is Strawberry a Fruit or Vegetable?
Hardly anyone might wonder if a strawberry is a fruit or a vegetable as it’s been considered a fruit for a long time.
Well, this hypothesis is not wrong. A strawberry is a fruit. But it’s interesting to see why.
Published: September 19, 2022.
Why Are Strawberries Called Strawberries?
Strawberries are one of the most popular fruits globally for children, adults, and the elderly - everybody likes their fragrance, aroma, and refreshing taste.
Strawberries are easy to grow, feature many health benefits, and are consumed both fresh and processed in juices, jellos, jam, cakes, etc.
However, from time to time, people also wonder why are strawberries called strawberries?
Published: May 9, 2022.
Strawberries can be grown from runners or from seeds. Both methods have advantages and drawbacks.
Growing from seeds take more time, but one can easily plant several types of strawberries and/or grow a much larger number of plants.
Published: April 16, 2022.
How To Protect Strawberries From Rotting On The Ground?
Strawberries are very sensitive and delicate fruits susceptible to fruit rotting during the growth period, especially during the last few days when the strawberries are heavier and tend to touch the soil surface.
Fruit rot can be prevented in many ways, but the simplest one is to prevent the strawberries from touching the moist soil using various supports, mulch, and similar.
Published: February 19, 2022.
Growing Strawberries in Grow Bags
Strawberries are an easy-to-grow plant hardy to USDA plant hardiness zones 5 to 8, and if grown indoors, they can practically be grown everywhere, year long. If one having no backyard is wondering if they can grow this perennial in containers or grow bags, the good news is that they can do so, because strawberries actually do well in grow bags.
In fact, grow bags are an excellent option to grow various vegetables and fruits including strawberries because they save garden space by growing strawberries vertically and in a healthy way.
Updated: November 10, 2021.
Obtaining Strawberry Plants
There are many ways that strawberry plants can be obtained. It depends on gardener skills, free time, the desired number of plants, etc.
In many cases, the simplest solution is to go to the nearest garden center and buy potted strawberry plants or to order them from online shops. But why keep it simple ...?
Published: October 19, 2020.
How to Grow Strawberry Plants in Containers
Strawberries can be easily grown in containers and various flower pots.
Strawberries like growing in fertile, loamy soil that is rich in organic matter, well-aerated, drains well, and is a slightly acidic with pH around 6.
Updated: June 20, 2020.
Strawberries come in three types - June-bearing, ever-bearing and day-neutral. They all have their strength and weaknesses, so care must be taken when choosing suitable types.
Updated: March 14, 2020.