Strawberries are one of the easiest fruits to grow in your garden, and they are very versatile too. You can grow them in borders, containers, or even hanging baskets. You don’t need specialist soil or an extremely precise climate for the plant to flourish.
Your garden soil should be fine for growing strawberries, whether it is a clay mix or a sand mixture. However, you should know that strawberries are particularly susceptible to root rot due to waterlogging.
If your plants become waterlogged they can easily become diseased and, before you know it, the plant will rot and die. Therefore the best soil to use is one with plenty of drainage and rich in humus.
Ideally, your strawberry plant will be positioned in full sun with little exposure to wind. Keeping them near a windbreaker such as a fence is a good idea. Strawberries also tend to flourish in greenhouses.
Strawberries should be planted from June to September, so you don’t have to worry about missing the opportunity to grow strawberries this year.
To grow your strawberries, prepare the soil by removing any weeds and adding manure to enrich them with nutrients. Place the strawberry plants in 13-inch rows that are 30 inches apart. Make sure that the crown is kept at the soil level and water well to ensure the roots are covered and compact.
Add a net over your strawberries to prevent birds or other pests from getting their hands on the fruit. Water them every other day or when the soil is dry. Make sure you pick the ripened fruit as soon as you see it to avoid it rotting on the plant.
How do strawberries grow for beginners?
Provided that you grow your strawberries in a well-prepared bed or planter, this fruit is excellent for beginners. ‘Ever-bearing’ strawberries fruit all throughout the summer so you’ll always have fresh crops, or you can choose a number of other varieties depending on your taste.
One vital thing to remember when encouraging the growth of your strawberries is to use a tomato fertilizer to feed the plant all of its nutrients. Strawberry plants are also notoriously thirsty, meaning that they need to be checked on a daily basis.
Check the soil every day to see if it needs watering. If the top two inches of soil is dry, replenish it with a refreshing shower.
Another thing that beginners don’t often know about growing strawberries is how attractive they are to birds, squirrels, and other pests.
Slugs like to come along and eat the plant to prevent it from growing. They’ll also contaminate the fruit and they might even eat it themselves.
If the slugs don’t get to your strawberries, they’re still not safe from the birds and other mammals. To prevent unwanted visitors from touching your fruit, use a sheet of netting to keep them away.
Make sure that this is secured properly; however, unsecured netting can trap the wildlife and pose a threat to them.
Strawberries should be kept in bright sunshine without much wind. If you’re a beginner, make sure that your garden has a good spot that matches this criterion before buying your strawberry plants.
What is the best container for growing strawberries?
Strawberries are fairly adaptable and therefore easy to grow in any container. However, the best option for a strawberry container is one that is in the shape of an urn with punctured hotels down the sides.
These planters look like a mother planter with lots of baby planters hanging off of the side of them. Strawberry plants love these planters as their short and shallow roots don’t need too much room to grow.
These containers also help prevent the strawberries from touching the soil, reducing the likelihood of bacterial and fungal infections setting in.
Strawberry pots are commonly made from ceramic, clay, plastic, or even wood. Clay pots will absorb more water meaning you’ll need to water your plant more often than with another pot. Ceramic pots are built to last, although they’re rather heavy and difficult to move.
Plastic pots are lightweight and easy to move, but this means that they’re easier to blow over in the wind.
Strawberries also work well in hanging baskets. This is because they are kept away from pests such as slugs, and soil that is too wet from rainfall. Strawberry plants also look great hanging down from the baskets!
Hanging baskets also allow better air circulation around the roots and soil. They can also prevent you from having to deal with soil-borne diseases such as fungal infections. Having your plants higher up in the air will also prevent animals from getting to them, as well as taking less floorspace up.
However, hanging baskets will still not protect your strawberries from birds or other flying pests. Use a net to protect from these nuisances.
How long does it take for a strawberry plant to grow?
An average strawberry plant can expect to reach heights of around 12 inches at its peak. With an established strawberry plant, it might only take two months to grow to this height.
A new strawberry plant seedling; however, will take longer to reach its peak point, growing for around six months depending on the environment.
Once the plant has reached its maximum height, the strawberry plant will begin to flower after 60 days. After these flowers appear on the plant, the fruit will be ready to harvest within four to six weeks. You can eat these strawberries to tell whether they’re ripe or not.
Some strawberry plants that are not established yet will need their first year to grow and get stronger before they actually produce any fruit. These plants will flower, giving you false hope, but these flowers won’t amount to anything.
Instead, pinch these flowers off after they pass their prime to allow for the strawberries to grow in year two.
How many strawberry plants do I need per person?
The answer to this question, you must first think to yourself - how much does your family love strawberries?
The average strawberry plant will produce up to one quart of strawberries per plant. This is equivalent to around four cups of strawberries. Of course, this depends on the conditions and whether they’re prime for the strawberry season.
If the average person needed 5 pounds of strawberries to eat, the Louisiana State University Extension office should recommend planting 2 to 3 plants.
Each plant should yield around four cups of strawberries, which is equivalent to 2 pounds. Multiply this by 2 or 3 and you’ll have between 4 and 6 pounds of strawberries.
Having said that, not everyone requires the same amount of strawberries. Some people might simply want to pick one or two strawberries every now and then for a quick snack, meaning that they won’t need more than one plant.
However, people who want to make their own jams and preserves with strawberries might require more plants.
If you’re unsure of how many to get, start off with three or four strawberry plants per 12-inch hanging pot. This number will ensure that there is enough room for them to grow and flourish without overcrowding.
It also allows for the possibility that the weather conditions are not the best for strawberries to grow. Subpar conditions might reduce the plant’s yield and leave you with fewer strawberries than you were expecting.
How often should I water strawberry plants?
Watering is probably the hardest part of growing strawberries, as too much water is dangerous, yet not enough water should also be avoided. Too much water can promote root rot and damage your plant beyond repair. On the other hand, not enough water can cause your plant to die.
When first planting your strawberry plants, you should water them frequently to prevent the roots from drying up. Pay particular attention to the soil during dry periods as this is when the roots can shrivel up and become useless.
We recommend checking the soil every one or two days to ensure that it is not too dry. How quickly the soil dries will depend on where you have planted them.
Strawberries planted in the ground or beds won’t need watering as frequently as the soil will hold onto more water and won’t dry out as frequently.
However, if your plant is in a hanging basket or pot there is less soil and therefore will dry much quicker. You should water your plants whenever the soil is dry to touch.
It’s also important to fertilize your strawberry plants on a regular basis during the growing period. Use a balanced fertilizer every two weeks to ensure that you’re getting the best yield from each of the plants.
What month is best to plant strawberries?
The best time to plant strawberry plants is after the last frost has come and gone. This is usually in early spring from March to April. With that being said, more established plants can be planted throughout the summer months until September.
This is due to the fact that they will start flowering in the optimal conditions, which is between late June and September. Established strawberry plants can be quick growing and you won’t have to wait long for your first crops at all.
If you are not using an established plant; however, and instead of using a seed or a runner, plant them in early spring so that they have enough time to germinate or mature slightly. Make sure that the weather is not too cold or too windy to prolong the maturing time.