Strawberries - So Easy to Grow!

Strawberries are so yummy and who wouldn't want to grow them right in their backyard? They are one of the easiest to grow fruit crops and will bring a huge reward to the home gardener as they produce ample harvests that last year after year. Each strawberry plant produces one quart with the right conditions. So, how do you do it??

HOW TO CHOOSE YOUR PLANTS There are 3 types to choose from but we feel the best is the everbearing strawberry which produces 2-3 harvests of fruit during the spring, summer & fall. They do not send out many runners.

WHERE SHOULD I PLANT MY STRAWBERRIES? You should consider the following when choosing a site to plant your strawberries. - Full Sun - Well drained soil, loose loam is best - They shouldn't be planted where you have previously or recently grown tomatoes, potatoes, peppers or eggplants

HOW DO I PLANT MY STRAWBERRIES? The hilling method for everbearing strawberries is best, here are the requirements you should apply to do this: - Plant in spring as so as the soil can be worked or in late fall - Be sure of the source you are receiving your plants from - Amend the soil by adding 1-2 inches of organic matter/soil - Keep weeds from competing - Make sure the hole you provide is large enough to spread out the roots of your plant. Hill the center of the hole and place the crown at soil level and spread the roots downward on the hill and then bury the plant so that the soil only goes approx. halfway up the crown.

DO I NEED TO MULCH MY STRAWBERRY BED? The short answer is yes. Mulch between the plants after they are planted to the keep the soil temp cool. It will also help deter the weeds and keep the fruit off the soil. Straw is traditional strawberry bed mulch. We like it best. Do not use black plastic since it raises the soil temps.

DO I WATER MY STRAWBERRIES? Of course, you do! 1-2 inches of water per week is need for nice, big juicy fruit. Water is very important while the fruit is forming, from early to end of each harvest.

SHOULD I FERTILIZE? Starting with a rich, organic soil is great and you can use a fertilizer that is well balanced, like 10-10-10 at a planting rate of one lb. per 100 sq. ft. You can fertilize again for the everbearing strawberries after the second harvest. Do not over fertilize so it doesn't result in excessive leaf growth and poor flowers. Never fertilize your strawberry plants late in the season for colder climates so you prevent new growth late in the season which will be damaged by frost.