Strawberries are a favorite fruit to be a part of the kitchen garden culture. There is always a certain charm associated with growing and serving something from scratch.
Often coined the fruit of the summer, the joy of having a strawberry picked straight from the bush is something that raises happiness in every person. What makes strawberries such an attractive option to grow is the versatility of this tiny berry.
Strawberries are also an extremely forgiving plant for growers in comparison to a lot that exists out there. You can grow them in containers, hanging baskets, or even the ground.
Considering what a favorite these plants are, it is only natural that you get flooded with a vast array of information when you go online. Here we have compiled the most basic of things you need to pay attention to before you go digging.
Strawberries are perennial plants, which implies that their roots grow and expand from year to year. The produce generated, however, does decrease over time. One needs to be careful when it comes to picking the variety of strawberries you want to grow as some don’t even begin to flower till after a year.
They are also extremely hard to grow organically as they are a favorite for many insect pests and diseases that are harmful to both the plants and berries alike.
Understanding how popular these berries are for growing, one can also come to the conclusion that every time you go online, you will be bombarded with information. Below we have compiled the most essential things you need to know for growing the perfect strawberries.
The Timing Is Essential
Spring is the ideal time to start planting strawberries, but at the same time, it is not the only time you can begin. Depending on what variety you decide to plant, they might need an overwintering period in order to start producing the fruit.
These produce two crops; one in the summer and the other in early fall. Both the plants are, however, smaller.
This variety produces just one crop but a large one somewhere in late spring to early summer.
This is a considerably newer variety of strawberries, one which can produce fruit throughout the growing season.
Sun and Soil Story
Strawberries are summer babies and like to be planted in the sun. For ensuring that they are happy plants take care of that.
- They get around 8 hours of sunlight
- The location has ample drainage: Raised beds are advised.
- A ph of 5.5 -6.5 can be maintained. (lower works too but not higher)
- There is ample organic matter like peat moss or compost in the soil
Additionally, ensure that the soil is kept clear of weeds and not waterlogged. There is nothing worse than rotting strawberries.
They Need Space Too
When you are planting strawberries in the ground, ensure that you space them out. Each plant should have 18-24 inches between them for the runners to breathe. Since they are sprawling plants, the main plant sends out runners, which in turn grow their own runners.
Take care not to bury the plant too deep. The roots should be covered, but the crown should be at the surface level. Rotting is a big issue with strawberries and is best avoided.
Strawberry plants need water regularly and with increased frequency during the summer months. Water is only supposed to be put at the base of the plant and nowhere else as that encourages disease growth. Try watering only in the morning as then the water will evaporate by the evening.
Various gardening tools can be used to water the base without touching the leaves and the fruit.
- Drip Lines
- Drip Tape
- Direct -Point Watering
If this seems too much work, put mulch in the soil, and you’re good to go.
- Fertilize with a fertilizer high in Potash to focus on producing a healthy plant.
- Plant a variety in your garden as that will ensure that you have strawberries throughout the year.
- Pick your strawberries right before they ripen; otherwise, you are just inviting pests to come and ruin your crop.
- The rule of thumb is to have five plants per person in the house, as that will ensure there is enough to go around.
Strawberries are a forgiving berry. So, even if you don’t get it perfect on the first try. Don’t be disheartened. Try until you figure out the ideal formula for growing strawberries.