Strawberry Plant - How to Grow Strawberries in the Garden?
Strawberries are one of the most favourite fruits both among adults and children. In summer, they amaze not only with their looks but also with juiciness and sweet taste. Unfortunately, they tend to be expensive even in season. Because of this, many people decide to grow their own strawberry plants in the garden. Are you wondering if it's difficult? Surprisingly, it's not very complicated. Just remember about certain basic rules. Learn how and when to plant strawberries. Discover the best soil for strawberries. Make sure to get prepared and growing strawberries won't be a mystery anymore.
Strawberry seedlings - this is where you begin growing strawberries
Before you start growing strawberries, you need proper preparation. Start it from choosing the seedlings. Make sure to buy at trusted vendors who can guarantee that the plants will be healthy and free from disease. Otherwise, the strawberry plants could infect the rest of your fruits, vegetables and even flowers in the garden.
Strawberry seedlings can be divided by type, which determines the way they should be grown, the time of planting and price. Taking this into consideration, one can distinguish the following types:
- Potted strawberry seedlings - they are popular because of their wide availability and few needs. They are bought in small pots and planted into the soil at the right moment - at the end of August or the beginning of September. If you decide to grow strawberries, you can also plant them in late fall. Make sure they have enough time to put down roots.
- Frigo strawberry seedlings - one of the most expensive varieties because of the rich harvest and the rapid fruit growth (in about two weeks). This type is dug out for winter and stored in special cold storage chambers. The price of such seedlings depends mostly on their class. There are four: A++, A+, A and B.
- Dug out strawberry seedlings - although the cheapest, they are rarely chosen because they are difficult to grow. Sometimes, planting the strawberries in spring results in not taking root, and in autumn - they are vulnerable to cold. This type of strawberry seedlings gives a satisfactory result after several seasons. You can expect rather low-quality fruits in the first year.
Apart from the various types of strawberry seedlings, you should also pay attention to the varieties. It is the main factor that determines when to plant the strawberries and how resistant they are to weather conditions and diseases. In this case one can distinguish the following strawberry varieties:
- early - they fruit at the end of May and it’s the earliest harvest (in the Northern hemisphere); Kent and Clery are very popular varieties,
- mid-early - they start producing fruit in June; giant strawberry plants are particularly popular, in this case,
- mid-late - fruits appear in mid-June; Arosa variety is the most popular of this type,
- late - those strawberry plants bear fruit at the end of June; Pandora is the most commonly chosen type,
- everbearing - they bloom for several months from early spring to late fall; Ostara is one of the most popular ones.
What soil is the best for growing strawberries?
Plant your strawberries in a slightly acidic (pH 5.5 to 6.2) soil. Strawberry plants grow best in such conditions, so you can be sure that they will quickly take root, grow and bear fruit. You can also add some humus and natural fertilizer. Before planting strawberries, it’s recommended to enrich the substrate in scobs or conifer needles which will provide the right conditions for the seedlings.
Growing strawberries requires regular weeding. You can use chemicals for this purpose, but make sure they are not too aggressive.
It is also recommended to aerate the soil before planting strawberries. This way, you can also be sure that there are no pests in the soil.
Planting strawberries - how to pick the right spot for them?
Choosing the right spot is one of the most important issues when growing strawberries. Regardless of the strawberry variety and type you pick, the spot should be sunny - similar as the one for tomatoes. Sun exposure affects the taste, color and the pace of growth of the fruits.
It’s also advised to shield the strawberry plants to protect them from strong wind. Be careful, though, and make sure you don’t block the sun.
When to plant strawberries?
As for the Northern hemisphere, the time for planting strawberries mostly depends on the type and variety. Some strawberry seedlings can be planted in soil in early spring. Others can be planted in autumn. A lot depends on the weather conditions. If spring frosts keep appearing, time for planting strawberries - as well as the strawberry season - will be postponed.
How to plant strawberries?
Planting strawberries is not difficult, but make sure you follow certain rules.
- First, dig out a hole where the strawberry seedling os going to grow. The depth mostly depends on the size of the plant. The hole should be larger than the length of the roots, so that they can grow freely without folding. If the strawberry bush is planted incorrectly, it might not take root.
- Put the strawberry seedling in the hole, holding it vertically and making sure the roots are straightened. Don’t put soil over the green parts of the plant, as it will negatively affect the growth.
- Strongly press the soil around the seedling so that the ground is firm.
- Pour some bedding around the strawberry plant. You can use wheat or rye straw for this purpose. Bark chippings from coniferous trees or simply some agrotextile are as good.
- After you finish planting strawberries, water them richly to provide them with perfect growth conditions.
Strawberry planting - how far apart to plant strawberries?
Strawberries are typically planted in parallel rows. The spacing between them should be at least half a meter, which provides them enough space for growth. This method also makes it easier to move between the rows during the harvest. As for planting strawberries, the spacing between each bush should be 25-30 centimeters. It’s the traditional method.
Some strawberry growers decide to plant strawberries on raised beds. Additional bedding made of agrotextile and straws guarantees better harvest. The spacing between the seedlings is exactly the same as in other methods.
Strawberry plant care - do you have to fertilize them?
Strawberry seedlings don’t have any special requirements for growth. If the crop in your garden is small, it is enough to just fertilize the soil during the preparation stage.
Of course, it doesn’t mean that you cannot use any nutritional products if you notice it’s needed. This way, you can count on faster blooming and richer harvest. Just make sure that the product is intended for strawberries. Also, be moderate with its usage.
📍 When to plant strawberries outside?
Depending on the type and variety, strawberries are planted in spring and autumn. In spring it is from March to May. In autumn, you can plant the strawberries in September, and, depending on the conditions - in November and December.
📍 How to prepare the soil for strawberry plants?
As you prepare the soil for strawberry plants, make sure to weed it and get rid of all pests. It's also recommended to fertilize the ground using compost with conifer needles and humus. Make sure that the soil for strawberries is acidic - pH 5.5-6.2.
📍 What is the best fertilizer for strawberry plants?
Compost is the best fertilizer for growing strawberries. You can buy it in practically any gardeners shop. You can also use natural manure. It's important to fertilize the soil before planting the strawberries, and then repeat it systematically.
📍 Planting strawberries - what is the correct spacing?
If you plant the strawberries in rows, space the plants 25-30 centimeters apart. As for the spacing between each row, it should be at least 50 centimeters. This way, the strawberry plants grow effectively, as they have good conditions.
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