Strawberries are one of the most popular fruits to enjoy in summer and a great addition to any garden. It takes 25 strawberry plants to produce the amount a typical household consumes.
Continue reading for more information on how to grow and care for strawberry plants.
Why You Should Consider Growing It
Strawberries are easy to grow and can be cultivated in small garden areas. They can be grown in containers or pots on a balcony, patio, deck, or porch. No special equipment is necessary to maintain this plant.
Strawberries are perennials. After the initial planting, you can continue to harvest the fruits of your labor for several years with just a little additional work.
Best Time to Plant
Strawberries are commonly planted in the spring, up to a few weeks after the last frost date. To identify your planting zone and the ideal dates to plant in your location, consult an online zone map.
By planting multiple strawberry varieties that bear fruit at different times of the year, your strawberry harvest can last from late spring to early fall.
Strawberry plants require frequent watering to flourish. Plants need 1 to 2 inches of water daily to produce fruit. Early morning is the best time to water your plant, so they have time to dry their foliage before dark. Keep in mind that overwatering can cause root rot.
Amount of Sun
Choose a sunny area for your strawberry plants. Although they require at least six hours of direct sunlight daily, ten or more hours per day is preferable.
However, try to give some shade during the hottest part of the day. Too much heat can scorch the leaves and harm the crop.
Strawberries thrive in deep, sandy loam soil rich in organic matter. A soil test can help you identify if your soil requires additional nutrients.
Before planting, add some well-rotted compost to the soil. Compost improves drainage, increases microbial activity, and aids in nutrient absorption, benefiting plants.
Even though they don’t require as much pruning as other berry bushes, the plants still require minimal maintenance during the summer and at the end of the growing season. When the bushes have stopped producing fruit in late summer or early fall, cut all old leaves using shears.
Strawberry plants send out runners with plantlets that root when they come into contact with the soil. You should remove the runners the first couple of years after planting to allow the plants to concentrate on growth. The mature bush will likely lose vitality due to spending most of its energy on establishing new plants if you allow the runners to form a new patch. The result would be smaller and unappealing fruits.
Check for perennial weeds in the area where your strawberries will be planted. Avoid planting them in areas where peppers, tomatoes, potatoes, or even other strawberries were planted the previous two years to help prevent root disease.