How to Plant Strawberries
Growing Strawberries at Home
I love strawberries and during the spring and summer I can eat a quart from the grocery store in one sitting. All I need is some sugar for dipping and I'm happy. But, there really isn't anything like garden fresh strawberries for taste. Growing up my Mother would take me to the strawberry farm and we would pick a flat or two of strawberries make jam and put some in the freezer for pies and desserts.
Over the years I have planted strawberries in my garden in many different ways. When I lived on an acreage I had over 100 strawberry plants in traditional rows mulched with straw, four different varieties in rows of twenty five plants. By the third year I was picking ten lbs of strawberries a day. I did a lot of freezing and made a lot of jam.
Now that I live in town I have tried several ways of planting strawberries, and learned a few tips. They can be summarized in just four words: Sun, water, fertilizer, patience
Plant in a sunny location, have a consistent and even water source, use fertilizer (especially in container gardening) and have patience. Your best crops will be your second year and third year, especially if you plant bare root strawberries.
Personal Photo credit: Strawberry from my hanging basket
Start with Strawberry Plants, Not Seeds - Strawberry Plants for Every Growing Condition
The best overall strawberry plant. Will produce the first year in the summer and early fall.
Ideal for traditional strawberry beds and strawberry fans say this variety is even better than Ozark Beauty for flavor and freezing.
The Evie everybearing strawberry plant is also planter and container friendly.
Ever bearing strawberry plants, 10 bare root plants which will bloom in spring, summer and fall. Compact for planters.
If you are wintering over your strawberry containers inside it's recommended to pinch back some of the young buds for a heavier crop the 2nd year.
Great garden variety strawberry which will produce large sweet berries. A great deal of 25 plants for a raised bed or traditional row planting in the garden.
Grow Strawberries on Your Deck or Patio - Vertical gardening for strawberries.
This strawberry barrel will produce the largest amount of strawberries in the smallest amount of space. Fits perfectly on decks patios and in small spaces.
The center pipe allows for even watering of 24 plants and stores away in the winter. great use of vertical space
The popular Topsy Turvy Strawberry Planter yields several lbs of strawberries in a hanging plant.
This stackable pot system can be used for strawberries or any other plants.
The Mr Stacky planters can be stacked six high and either positioned on the ground as a vertical garden or hung. Made from food grade polypropylene the planters are extremely durable and will withstand strong sunlight and use year after year.
Container Gardening - Be imaginative in your strawberry gardening
Strawberries are very versatile and forgiving plants and can be grown just about in any container. Search garage sales, yard sales, auctions and even junk yards for imaginative barrels, buckets, or containers. Strawberries don't have to be grown in the traditional garden plot but can become a yard decoration or landscaping accent.
Image credit Flickr Jennifer C.
Growing Strawberries in Raised Beds
In raised bed gardening you can grow more produce in a smaller space due to increased soil aeration, watering and management techniques with fertilization. Strawberries are no different.
Raised beds are ideal for several reasons. Gardens are more compact giving more room for back yard enjoyment, the gardens are movable from season to season, the raised height makes maintenance easier on the back and knees, very important for the elderly or senior citizens and best of all, a bigger harvest.
If you think you have the perfect sunny spot for growing strawberries consider getting a double decker raised garden bed.
Raised beds are so worth the investment. Not only do you not have to dig up the grass and hard packed soil but raised beds are easier on the back when it comes time for harvest. As I get older vertical gardening is more appealing to my back.
Raised beds drain faster than traditional row gardening and this
I'm taking a poll
Have you grown strawberries before?
Plant Food and Watering Systems - Consistent watering is the key to large strawberries
Steady and even watering is key in harvesting large strawberries. If your plants become drought stressed they will stop producing blooms and existing blooms will die before setting fruit. Trust me on this one. Nebraska is not known for consistent rain during the growing season and it's very easy for strawberry plants to become stressed.
The strawberry fruit itself is mainly water, so when fruit begins to set watering becomes even more important. There are many different types of self watering systems and if you are away from home on business, or weekend trips using self watering devices will save your plants.
Ideal watering system for just one pot. Plant the watering container in your pot with your plant, fill the reservoir and don't water for three weeks.
The ultimate automatic watering system for deck or patio gardening.
If you love gardening and plants, but want to spend more time enjoying the flowers, herbs and vegetables than making sure each pot has enough water this system is perfect.
Don't forget fertilizer for a big strawberry harvest with large berries
Plants grown in pots and containers need to have the soil replenished with nutrients to produce the maximum amount of fruit.
These organic fertilizer spikes or pegs are ideal to plant in the soil with your strawberries.
Plant Strawberries in Burlap - Rustic strawberries in burlap
If you like the rustic look you can plant strawberries in burlap bags. Most strawberry plants grown in nurseries already have a years worth of growth and will produce fruit within the first year. This method is great if you plan on growing strawberries for one season. Make sure to water frequently or use water conservation soil.
The burlap is environmentally friendly and can be composted or used as matting mulch the next season in your traditional garden if you decide not to winter over the strawberry plants.
Traditional Methods of Growing Strawberries - Large scale gardens produce enough for canning and selling
If you have an acreage, or a large yard you may want to grow your own fruits and berries not only for eating as a snack but to make into jam, jelly, preserves, or even sell at a farmers market.
The complete guide to growing your own berries and fruits gives step by step instructions which are easy to follow and will yield bounteous crops year after year.
Blackberries, raspberries, strawberries and in some regions blue berries are highly sought after in farmers markets as people are looking for locally grown produce and organic food.
Do you have a large strawberry garden and have problems with birds swooping down and eating your harvest?
This Bird Block netting is ideal for row crop strawberry gardens and covers a 14 x 45 foot area. If you're a master gardener and take your strawberries seriously then this will save your harvest and get more strawberries to market.
Won't harm birds due to the small spacing of the netting. Great for covering blueberries, newly seeded gardens and lawns. Reusable year after year.
A hoe is not just a hoe, it's a tool you use everyday in the garden to control weeds and it's an important tool which should be comfortable and and pleasure to use.
I love my DeWit Diamond head hoe, the head is angled so it slides into the soil easily and smoothly and cuts the weeds off at the roots. No digging or hacking from the top.
All four edges of the diamond are sharpened for efficient back and forth use. DeWit is a leader is creating tools that last and this one will be passed down to the next generation. I fight my husband in using this hoe every time.
Garden Fresh Berries Are A Treat
Fresh fruit for breakfast
I'm not normally a breakfast person, but whenever I travel I like to start the day with a light breakfast. My Mother-in-law sets a wonderful breakfast table and fresh fruit and berries are always part of the menu.
She freezes her strawberries, blackberries and blueberries whole and thaws them in the refrigerator the night before. The tart tangy cold hits your taste buds and has a way of waking you up in the morning.
As you can see the sugar container is close by. Normally I will sprinkle sugar on berries and let them set before putting them on the table, but this way everyone can add sugar to taste.
(Photo credit: personal photo)
I Love Chocolate Covered Strawberries
Fun part of growing strawberries is eating them
Most of my home grown strawberries get eaten fresh, most don't even make it into the kitchen for cleaning. But when they do the larger strawberries are reserved for gourmet desserts, this means they get dipped in chocolate.
Dipping strawberries is very easy, and a lot of fun. I have used almond bark, Ghirardelli chocolate, Wilton chocolate, and even chocolate chips. All do a very good job and I normally have at least one variety in the house at all times.
Chocolate dipped strawberries are perfect for Valentines Day, graduation parties, appetizers, or any other time of the year. I really don't need an excuse. I've been known to keep a bouquet of strawberry roses in the door of the refrigerator for midnight snacks.
(Photo credit: personal photo)
If you enjoy gardening and have a successful strawberry growing tip let everyone know. You might know how to get the biggest strawberries in your neighborhood or have a fertilizing tip to share. You don't have to be a member of Squidoo to comment, so add your two cents with the rest of us, we would be very grateful.