The interesting thing about strawberries are they are versatile and you can grow them most places in the USA and in most parts of Canada. Some varieties can even be grown in Alaska. But, how to garden strawberries is a question asked by many who have never done it before. The second question is where do you plant them?
- Do not plant in a bed that had peppers, eggplants, tomatoes or potatoes in the past 3 years. You won’t get a good crop.
- Plant where there is full sun exposure. If you are in the Northern Hemisphere, plant south with slight hillside. The reason is because the hillside will give an air flow around the plants and you can avoid fungal disease.
What Type of Soil Will You Need?
Most any soil will be okay but the most important thing to know is that the soil has good drainage. The reason why is because if it has too much water going to the plant and it gets saturated, you can damage the roots. If there is water standing on top of the soil after it rains or when you water them, you will need to find a way to make better drainage.
Throw some compost over the soil and make sure the PH level is anywhere from 5.5 to 6.5. You can put mulch around the plants, just a shallow layer because you want to keep them free of weeds. Even straw will work and it will keep the soil moist.
How To Plant the Strawberries
The best way to get excellent results from strawberries is by planting in the fall, but you can plant in the spring too. The first year is actually the growing year and what it does is prepare the plant for the harvest, which comes in year 2. So the first year should be very important and you should be working on growing a healthy plant. Don’t do like I did one year! When I didn’t get any results I dug them up and threw them away!
You should plant them as soon as you buy them because you don’t want the roots to dry out, keeping them moist. The plants can be put in rows or in hills. Space the rows about 3 feet apart and the plants about 6 inches apart. You want to dig the hole big enough so the roots aren’t crowded or bunched together. Make sure when you throw the dirt over the plant, the crown of the plant is even with ground level.
Remember, the first year do not allow the plants to fruit or flower the first year. If you see any blossoms, remove them. It is a common mistake most newbies make and you will be thankful you waited when you see how the harvest year bears you some nice fruit.
How To Garden Strawberries in the Second Year
The second year is your ‘harvest’ year. Pick just the ones that are ripe and do it early in the morning. They seem to keep better if it is a bit cooler. If you see a diseased berry, get rid of it, you don’t want it contaminating your other berries.
What if you don’t have room for a garden? You can use hanging strawberry gardens too or you can use this lady’s artistic idea for growing strawberries in small spaces.