Learn all about how to grow delicious strawberries in your backyard. We’ll cover the varieties of strawberries, how to plant and care for your plants, and when to harvest.
Strawberries are highly productive plants that make a wonderful groundcover in the garden. Most types are now very disease resistant. The strawberry plant is a herbaceous perennial that spread by runners so it is easy to grow. Let’s learn how to grow strawberries.
Strawberry Varieties to Grow
A) June-bearing or Short-day: forms flower buds in the fall, becomes dormant in the winter, flowers and fruits in the spring. Most widely grown type of strawberry.
B) Day-neutral: yield fruit almost continuously from spring through fall. These are becoming increasingly popular. These strawberries are sensitive to high soil temperatures, so make sure to use a mulch to regulate its’ soil temps. These plants perform best in cooler climates, especially zone 5.
C) Alpine: less well known in America, the fruit is small but very tasty. These do not spread by runners and will bear fruit from spring to fall like the day-neutral ones.
**Due to new varieties that arrive every year, it is best to talk to local plant experts for advice that pertains to your particular neighborhood.**
Planting Location for Strawberries:
**Select the site for your strawberry bed 1 year in advance.
**Do not plant strawberries where potatoes, tomatoes, eggplants, peppers, or raspberries have been planted for the past 5 years because they might have carried a certain organism that is a serious problem for the health of your strawberries.
**Strawberries require full sun and good soil and air drainage.
**A gentle slope improves air drainage for the flower buds, but too steep of a slope will make it difficult to harvest and promote possible soil erosion.
**These plants will grow in a wide range of soil types from sand to heavy loam and are not very sensitive to pH levels.
**If you do not have enough land to grow strawberries, you could always grow them in something like this.
Strawberry Propagation and Planting Tips:
**Keep strawberry plants in a shady area or refrigerator until planting.
**Place the roots in water for a half hour before planting. Do not allow the roots to dry out.
**Strawberries are best planted in April, it is not recommended to plant them after June.
**Clear the soil of grubs before planting.
**Due to their shallow root system, they are sensitive to water, both too much and too little is bad for the plant.
**Avoid over-watering because it produces bland-tasting berries.
**To avoid stress on a new plant, remove the flower buds in the first spring until July (this allows the plant to focus on establishing its’ roots).
**Mulch over the plants for the winter to protect them from the cold/frost/varied soil temperatures.
**Remove the mulch from the tops of the plants in early spring after the danger of frost is past.
**Make sure to constantly weed (or weeds will harm the root system).
**After a harvest is complete, clean up involves removing the mother plants when they are 3-4 years old, thinning the plants, and giving the plants a healthy covering of compost.
**Strawberry flower buds and fruit are susceptible to frost, so protect them during frost dangers!
Harvesting your Stawberries!
**Berries should be harvested every 2 to 3 days.
**Pick the berries when they are fully colored and pick them in the morning after the plants have dried.
**Keep the picked berries out of direct sunlight and preferably in a refrigerator.