There’s something inherently delightful about plucking plump, ripe strawberries straight from the garden and savoring their burst of sweetness in every bite.
Whether you’re an experienced gardener or just starting your green journey, cultivating strawberry plants can be a rewarding and fruitful endeavor. These luscious red gems are not only a joy to grow but also a versatile addition to a variety of culinary creations, from desserts to salads and everything in between.
However, tending to strawberry plants requires more than just planting them and hoping for the best. Like any living organism, strawberries thrive when provided with the right care and attention. From selecting the ideal planting location to understanding the intricacies of watering, fertilizing, and pest control, each step contributes to the overall health and productivity of your strawberry patch.
In this comprehensive guide, we’ll walk you through the essential steps to ensure your strawberry plants flourish season after season. Whether you’re a balcony gardener with limited space or blessed with sprawling acres of land, these tried-and-true practices will help you achieve a bountiful harvest and enjoy the simple pleasures of growing your own strawberries.
Join us as we dive into the world of strawberry cultivation, learning how to create an environment that nurtures these delightful plants and watching them thrive under your care. So roll up your sleeves, grab your gardening tools, and let’s embark on a berry-filled journey that promises not only the satisfaction of a well-tended garden but also the irresistible taste of freshly picked strawberries.
We can’t get enough strawberries in our house, although we don’t really care for the strawberries we buy at the grocery store in the off-season. They just don’t taste the same at all.
For that reason, we are doubling the size of our strawberry patch so we can preserve some for the off-season maybe make a few strawberry and rhubarb pies.
1. The Way To Plant Your Strawberries
When planting your strawberries from their original pots, they need to be planted to the correct depth, or you could cause your strawberry plant to dry up before it takes root or rot from being too deep in the ground. The best guide is to plant them at the same depth as they are in their original pot.
When you look at your strawberry plant, once it is out of the dirt, you will see a definite line where the plant was in the dirt from the pot. That’s going to tell you exactly how deep to plant it.
2. Your Strawberry Plants Require Some Things To Be Healthy
Your strawberries require plenty of water, but not so much that they drown. For this reason, it’s wise to make sure you have soil that drains well. This will also keep your strawberry plants from getting diseases related to wet soil and plants.
As the strawberry’s roots get stronger, you will need less water, but once they start to produce strawberries, you will need to increase the amount of water to get nice plump strawberries. Too little water is going to force the strawberries to be smaller and may even be dry.
3. First Season With Strawberries
We found this hard to do, but it made for healthier strawberry plants. We pinched off any flowers the first year so that no strawberries formed. Instead, all that energy went into making strong, healthy plants and roots.
I would have to say it worked great as we had so many strawberries, and they tasted like the strawberries we used to have at home when I was just a little guy.
If you are using quality topsoil or refreshing your soil with compost, you likely won’t need to feed your strawberries. However, if you feel the need to feed them in the spring, just give them a watered-down solution of high-potassium tomato feed.
4. Taking Care of Runners
Runners are great when you’re trying to get a strawberry patch growing, but then they need to be controlled. We started our strawberry patch with just one tiny strawberry plant.
As the runners moved across the bare patch of ground, we pegged each node, which is an individual plant. I moved each runner in the direction we needed a new plant; it was just that simple.
Allowing the runners to go wild like that drains strength for their main plant, but we were not planning on having strawberries that year.
We even pinched off all blossoms so as to keep the plant stronger so it could spread in just one year that one little plant took over the entire 4″x10″ raised bed.
5. Using Mulch Around Strawberry Plants
When the strawberry plants were large enough and numerous enough, we started putting mulch around them to keep weeds from growing but also to keep water from evaporating. We were careful not to put mulch on top of the plants, so we cleaned each plant.