Growing Strawberries: When Should You Plant Them?

If you’ve ever wanted to grow strawberries in your garden, then you’re in the right place! In this blog, we’ll go over all the details of when and how to plant your strawberry plants to make sure they grow big delicious berries. We will discuss the few different ways you can grow your strawberries to get that sweet flavor. Also we list a few strawberry varieties that you might consider growing. Last, but certainly not least we will detail out some of the nutritional benefits of strawberries, so hang and read on. I promise it won’t take too long. You will be glad you did.

Why choose to grow Strawberries?

Strawberries are a delicious fruit that can be enjoyed fresh, in jams and jellies, or in pies and other desserts. But before we can get to that point we actually need to plant and take care them so that they will fruit to give you that classic strawberry flavor.

Yes, strawberries are relatively easy to grow, and they can be planted at different times throughout the year, depending on your climate. In warmer climates, you can plant strawberries in late winter or early spring. In cooler climates, it’s best to wait until late spring or early summer. Whether you start with bare root plants or young strawberry plants will also determine how difficult it will be to grow.

Best Growing Conditions for Strawberries

The ideal growing conditions for strawberries are full sun,between 6-8 hours per day. You want well-drained slightly acidic soil, and a pH between 5.5 and 6.5. Strawberries thrive when temperatures are between 60-80 degrees Fahrenheit.

So When is the Best Time to Plant Strawberries?

If you want to plant a strawberry bed, the best time to do so is in the spring, after the last frost. This gives the plants a chance to establish themselves before the hot summer weather arrives. You can start planting as early as March in warmer climates, but April is usually the best month to plant strawberries. You can also plant strawberries in the fall, but they may not produce as many fruit during their first year unless you have a longer growing season. Some Say they get better fruit with a fall planting, as the cold weather helps them produce a sweeter fruit. Why not try both and see what you think? After all, strawberries are perennial, so try planting one garden bed in the early fall and one in early spring. 

growing delicious strawberries, ripe fruit

Growing Strawberries from Seed or from a Cutting?

Strawberries are a fruit that can be grown from seed or from a cutting. If you are growing strawberries from seed, you will need to start them indoors in late winter. Strawberry seeds can be started in peat pots filled with potting mix. Once the strawberry plants have sprouted and grown to be about 4 inches tall, they can be transplanted outdoors.

If you are growing strawberries from a cutting, you will need to take a cutting from an existing strawberry plant in late summer or early fall. The cutting should be about 6 inches long and should have at least 2 leaves on it. Rooting hormone powder can be used to help the cutting root. Once the cutting has rooted, it can be transplanted outdoors.

Do strawberries like acidic soil?

Strawberries prefer soil that is slightly, they are one of the few fruits that actually like it. So ensure your strawberry beds have a soil pH level between 5.5 and 6.5. This is because they contain high levels of citric acid, which helps to keep them looking red and juicy. If your soil is too alkaline, it can cause the strawberries to lose their color and flavor.

How to Plant Strawberry Plants

When you’re ready to plant, make sure you choose a sunny spot in your garden. Strawberries need at least 6 hours of sunlight each day. When growing strawberries, choose a spot in your garden that gets full sun and has well-drained soil. If you have clay soil or soggy soil, consider planting your strawberries in raised beds or on mounds to improve drainage. You can also improve drainage by mixing in some sand or organic matter into the soil before planting. Prepare soil by digging up the entire area you want to plant them, to give strawberry roots loose soil to grow into. Add rich organic matter and slow release fertilizer to to the soil to ensure proper plant growth. The soil surface should be soft and loose for your baby plants.

To plant strawberry plants, dig a hole that is large enough to accommodate the root ball of the plant. Gently remove the plant from its container and loosen any roots that are tightly wound around the bottom of the root ball. Place the plant in the hole so that the roots are spread out evenly. Then, backfill the hole with soil and water well.

Strawberry plants should be spaced about 18 inches apart. If you are planting more than one row of strawberries, space the rows about 3 feet apart. This will give them adequate space to grow and not have to compete with one another. Using a ground cover between the plants will help retain moisture which will help you grow vigorous plants.

Strawberry plants will produce runner plants (or daughter plants) during their first growing season. These young plants can be used to create new strawberry plants for next year, while the mother plants

young strawberry plants, daughter plants

How to Care for Strawberry Plants

Your strawberry plant needs regular watering, especially when they are fruiting. Water your strawberry plants deeply once or twice a week, providing enough water to wet the entire root zone. Mulching with pine straw or peat moss around your strawberry plants will help retain moisture and keep the berries clean.

Fertilize your strawberry plants monthly with a balanced fertilizer such as 10-10-10. Apply the fertilizer around the drip line of the plant (the area where the leaves reach out from the stem) and scratch it into the top inch of soil.

To encourage continuous production of bright red berries, remove any flowers that form on your strawberry plants during the first year after planting. Once your strawberry plants have been in the ground for a year, you can allow them to set fruit if you wish.

How do you make homemade strawberry fertilizer?

To make your own strawberry fertilizer, mix together 1 cup of coffee grounds, 1 cup of Epsom salt and 1 cup of used tea leaves. Add this mixture to a gallon of water and let it sit for 24 hours. After 24 hours, pour the mixture into a spray bottle and apply it to the leaves of your strawberry plants. Having a good fertilizer on hand will ensure flower and fruit production. It will also help them better prevent leaf diseases. I didn’t say growing delicious strawberries would be without some work.

Growing Strawberries in hanging baskets

Hanging baskets are a great way to grow strawberries if you have limited space. They also make it easy to protect your berries from pests and diseases.

When choosing a basket, make sure it has drainage holes and is at least 18 inches wide. It’s also important to use a potting mix that contains compost or manure.

To plant your strawberries, start by soaking the roots in water for an hour. Then, fill the basket with potting mix and place the plants so that the roots are covered but the crowns are exposed. Water well and keep the soil moist but not soggy.

Fertilize your strawberries every two weeks with a balanced fertilizer. An organic fruit plant food you buy at your local garden shop will work just fine. You can also add mulch to help retain moisture and keep the fruit clean.

Harvest your strawberries when they are ripe (usually about 60 days after planting). To pick them, simply twist and pull gently on the stem. Enjoy your delicious homegrown berries!

berry patch, a few berries

Growing Strawberries in Containers

Strawberries are one of the easiest fruits to grow in containers. You can start with a small pot and gradually move up to a larger one as your plant grows. The most important thing is to make sure that your pot has drainage holes so that the roots don’t get waterlogged which will lead to fungal diseases.

When it comes to choosing a pot, plastic is usually the best option because it’s lightweight and won’t crack if it gets too cold. Terracotta pots are also a good choice, but they’re more fragile and can be more expensive.

As for soil, you’ll need something that’s well-draining but still has some moisture-retaining properties. A mix of peat moss, vermiculite, and perlite works well. You can also add some rich compost to the mix for extra nutrients.

Once you have your pot and soil ready, it’s time to plant your strawberry plants! You can either buy them from a nursery or grow them from runners (the long stems that strawberry plants produce). If you’re growing them from runners, make sure to cut off any flowers so that the plant puts all its energy into producing fruit.

Once your plants are in the ground, water them well and give them plenty of sunlight. Strawberries need at least 6 hours of sunlight per day, so if you’re growing them indoors, you’ll need to place them near a sunny window.

After about 2 months, you should start to see  small white flowers, followed by green berries. As the fruit ripens, it will turn a deep red. Be sure to check your strawberries regularly and pick them as soon as they are ripe to enjoy their sweet flavor! Container strawberries are another good for those with limited space to grow delicious strawberries.

Growing Strawberries in Raised Beds

Raised beds are an ideal option for strawberries, as they provide good drainage and make it easier to keep the berries off the ground (which can help prevent rot). Also just like growing in containers or in hanging baskets, You have soil control ensuring you have rich soil will ensure you produce ripe fruit.

To plant strawberries, start by preparing your raised bed. You will want to build a raised bed that is about 2 1/2 – 3 feet wide and 7 feet long. Given that you will have far better control of the soil and other factor, you should be able to grow 6 plants. Six plants should produce one and a half gallons of ripe berries, or enough for one person for the season. Add organic matter, and loose soil, filling your raised bed. Then, dig a hole large enough to fit the root ball of your plant. Gently remove the plant from its container and place it in the hole, making sure that the crown (where the leaves meet the stem) is at ground level. Pack soil around your plants and water well to ensure the roots are all touching soil. Add peat moss around the strawberry beds to keep your soil moist.

Once your plants are in the ground, give them a boost by applying a fertilizer made specifically for strawberries all the way until the berries ripen. Follow directions on the package for proper application rates.

Now all that’s left is to wait for your berries to ripen! Check out our guide to strawberry varieties to learn more about when different types of strawberries will be ready to harvest.

Strawberry Pests & issues

Strawberries are a delicious and versatile fruit that can be enjoyed in a variety of ways. However, like all plants, they are susceptible to pests and diseases.

The most common strawberry pests include aphids, slugs, and spider mites. All these will hinder plant growth. Aphids are small, soft-bodied insects that feed on the sap of plants. They can cause stunted growth and deformities in strawberries. Slugs are slimy creatures that feed on the leaves of plants. They can cause extensive damage to strawberry crops. Spider mites are tiny spider-like creatures that suck the juices out of plants. They can cause yellowing of the leaves and eventual death of the plant.

Gray mold is the most common of these fungal diseases, and it can cause extensive damage to strawberry plants. The best way to control this disease is to plant resistant varieties of strawberries, and to practice good crop rotation.

Anthracnose is another serious fungal disease that affects strawberries. This disease usually occurs in wet weather, and it can cause the berries to rot. To control anthracnose, you should avoid overhead irrigation, and you should pick up any fallen berries from the ground immediately.

Powdery mildew is a less serious disease, but it can still cause problems for strawberry growers. This disease appears as white or gray powder on the leaves of the plant, and it can reduce yields. The best way to control powdery mildew is to plant resistant varieties of strawberries, and to use a fungicide if necessary.

There are a number of ways to control strawberry pests. Chemical pesticides can be effective, but they can also be harmful to the environment. Biological control methods such as introducing natural predators or parasites into the environment can be effective and sustainable in the long term. Cultural control methods such as crop rotation or using organic mulch can also help to reduce pest populations.

ripe fruit, ripe berries

Types of Strawberries

There are three main types of strawberry plants: June bearing strawberries, everbearing, and day neutral varieties.

June-bearing strawberries produce a single large crop of strawberries in late spring or early summer. Everbearing plants produce two crops of strawberries each year, with the first crop typically ripening in early summer and the second in late summer or early fall. Day-neutral plants produce small crops of berries continuously throughout the growing season.

Which types of strawberries that is best for you will depend on your climate and when you want to harvest your berries. In general, June-bearing plants are best suited for cooler climates, while everbearing and day-neutral plants do better in warmer climates. If you want to be able to enjoy fresh strawberries all summer long, then a day-neutral variety is probably your best bet.

Here are some of the most popular strawberry plant varieties:

June bearing: Allstar, Honeoye, Ozark Beauty, Sparkle

Everbearing: Fort Laramie, Ozark Beauty (also everbearing), Seascape

Day neutral varieties: Albion, Fort Laramie (also everbearing), Seascape (also everbearing)

Tips to Grow Strawberries

Here are a few: 

  • Choose the right location. Strawberries need full sun and well-drained soil in order to thrive. Avoid areas that are prone to flooding or have heavy clay soil.

  • Prepare the soil. After you’ve chosen the perfect location for your strawberry patch, it’s time to prepare the soil. Loosen the top layer of soil with a shovel or tiller and mix in some organic matter, such as compost or manure. This will help improve drainage and provide nutrients for your plants. Avoid planting in clay soil.

  • Plant at the right time. The best time to plant strawberries is in the spring, after the last frost date for your area. This will give your plants ample time to establish themselves before the hot summer weather sets in.

  • Water regularly. Strawberries need about 1 inch of water per week, so make sure to water them deeply and regularly during dry periods. Mulching around your plants will help retain moisture and keep weeds at bay.

  • Fertilize regularly. Feed your plants with a balanced fertilizer every few weeks during the growing season. This will help promote healthy growth and bountiful fruit production.

  • Protect from pests. Slugs and birds are the two most common pests that attack strawberries. To deter slugs, set out traps or use a natural slug repellent such as diatomaceous earth. To keep birds away, cover your strawberry patch with netting or row covers.

  • Harvest often. Strawberries are best when they’re fresh, so make sure to harvest them as soon as they’re ripe. Cut off the entire fruit, stem and all, using sharp pruners or scissors. Eat them right away or store them in the refrigerator for later.

Conclusion

Hopefully this information will help give some insights and confidence that will get you growing strawberries. Then you too can enjoy fresh berries all season long! Be sure to water regularly and fertilize according to the package directions. With a little care, your plants will produce an abundance of delicious fruit.

What is your favorite way to eat strawberries? Do you have a favorite recipe that you’d like to share? We’d love to hear from you in the comments section below.

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Posted by Amaral Farms

HI and thanks for visiting my blog. I guess I would say I have always been a gardener at heart. My parents gardened and I helped them from a young age. As an adult I took to the organic movement and began gardening using almost exclusively organic methods. My focus has shifted the last decade to add heirloom gardening to the mix. By no means an expert, I do enjoy it and spend at least a few hours a week dedicated to it. I hope you enjoy and gain some value from my blog. Check out my tips for growing tomatoes in pots.