Simple Tips for Success with Strawberries

The strawberries around my little urban farm are growing like gangbusters! I’ve harvested just under 15 pounds so far. It’s not really a surprise considering how I plant strawberries in every empty space around. They obviously spread like wild fire, making the best edible ground cover. I just can’t get enough of them! Today, I offer you a couple simple suggestions for growing strawberries with success!

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image (8)Select a Sunny Site: Like most edibles in your garden, there are a few fundamentals all berries need to thrive. Berries need access to full sun, which means at least six hours a day. Another very important element is good drainage. Most berry plants are sensitive to soils that remain wet for long periods of time. Planting them in a raised bed can be an easy solution for that. Consistent watering is also critical for big, plump strawberries!

berry1Variety Matters  There are three types of strawberries: June-bearers, which produce one big crop a year; Ever-bearers, which produce two crops, one in the summer and one later in the fall; and Day-neutrals, which produce small berries throughout the growing season. The thought of having a continuous harvest always had me choosing day-neutrals in the past, but once I planted a patch full of June-bearing strawberries and reaped a generous harvest of beautiful, ripe berries, I officially became a June-bearing strawberry convert. June-bearing strawberries, especially if you start with a large quantity of plants, will provide you with bigger fruit, a bigger yield, and a crop that has a large quantity of fruit ready at one time.

image (7)Go Big!  You have to be willing to plant an abundance of berry plants if a bountiful harvest is what you want. They don’t call it a berry patch for nothing! When I plant strawberries, I take advantage of plant sales, like Swanson’s bare root plant sale so I get a lot of bang for my buck. Also, consider using strawberries as a type of groundcover – tuck them into random unused spaces.

IMG_4138Planting Pointers:  Berries should be planted in the spring, as soon as the soil can be worked. If the soil is really wet, wait for a few consecutive dry days to dig that hole. A well-maintained strawberry patch will be productive for three to five years. Make sure when you plant them to keep the crown — the place where the foliage begins to grow — level with the soil. The top roots should be just below the soil surface and aiming downward to give them a good start.

Renovate! A June-bearing strawberry patch also benefits greatly from a pruning process called renovation, which should happen soon after your last harvest.

For a Q&A about strawberry patch renovation, click here.

 

3 thoughts on “Simple Tips for Success with Strawberries

  1. Lilly

    This is awesome! Thank you so much for sharing. I “mowed” down my strawberries one year with a weed whacker and it worked that time, but what I learned from this post and video is that I also should have thinned and fertilized. I also think I have day-neutrals, not June bearers. I want June bearers! I want big fruit, and lots of it, so I can make jam! My strawberry plants are several years old as well, so it may also just be time for new plants. Anyway, thanks again for this!

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  2. Pingback: Grow an Abundance of Strawberries this Summer! |

  3. Ellen

    Thanks for this great post! Do you have squirrels, birds, slugs (or something I’m not aware of) eating your berries? I had many partially eaten berries last year. I’ve tried netting, but I think it’s slugs eating them, so the netting doesn’t help.

    I’d love advice! Thanks!

    Reply

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