Who doesn’t love a fresh-picked strawberry, warmed by the spring sun?
Most home gardeners who want to include fruit in their edible gardens want to make room for strawberries. Though they seem easy enough to grow, it’s helpful to understand a few things before you get started.
A Beginner’s Guide to Growing Strawberries
Choose the Type You Want to Grow:
- June-bearing strawberries bear their fruit all at once. Depending on the area, this may not be June. In my Arkansas garden, our strawberries harvest in May. June-bearing strawberries produce the largest, most plump berries.
- Everbearing strawberries bear fruit either in two flushes — spring and late summer — or they trickle throughout the season. Though smaller than their June-bearing cousins, they will give you a harvest over a longer period of time.
- Alpine strawberries are great for ornamental areas or containers. They produce small, flavor-packed berries.
In Preparing Your Planting Site, Strawberries need:
- 8 hours of full sun
- well-draining location (raised beds are great)
- pH of 5.5 – 6.5 (though mine have grown in lower)
- soil high in organic material such as peat moss or compost
- Plant up to 4 weeks before the last average frost.
- Don’t plant where strawberries, tomatoes, eggplant, peppers, blackberries, or raspberries have grown in the past
- Plant at least 12″ – 15″ apart.
- Place crown at ground level, if not a bit above. (Do not bury the crown!)
- Ensure the plants receive 1″ of water per week
- Use a soaker hose or drip irrigation lines to deter diseases that might be more persistent with overhead irrigation
- Mulch around plants to keep soil moisture and temperature consistent and to suppress weed competition
For further discussion on growing strawberries, listen to the podcast episode referenced above. Do you have any advice for growing strawberries successfully?
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