How to Grow Strawberries

Strawberries can be enjoyed as a sweet snack or as an ingredient in popular dishes like salads or pie, so wouldn't it be nice to grow some of these delicious berries right in your own yard?

Here are some steps you can follow to grow your own strawberry patch.

Choose the Right Variety

There are three basic types of strawberries:

  • June-bearing strawberries produce one crop for about two to three weeks in June.
  • Everbearing strawberries produce fruit about three times throughout the year, from summer to fall.
  • Day-neutral strawberries continuously produce strawberries during the growing season. However, the berries are often smaller than June-bearing and everbearing strawberries.

Day-neutral and everbearing strawberries are best for home gardeners since they produce berries more regularly and are easier to maintain.

Pick a Good Location

Planting strawberries in areas that receive at least six hours of sunlight per day will allow them to grow best. To ensure your strawberries get all of the nutrients they need, work some compost into the soil before planting your berries and test the pH level of the soil.

Plant Your Young Plants

Once the soil is properly prepared, seedlings should be planted about one to two feet apart. This gives strawberry plants plenty of room to grow without crowding each other. Make sure plant roots are fully covered in soil, but refrain from covering the crown as this serves as the main source for air and light ' both of which are needed for proper and healthy growth. Water the plants after they are securely planted in the soil, and then apply a layer of mulch on top of soil to help retain moisture.

Care for Your Plants

During the first year, pull any blooms off of your strawberry plants. Even though this will keep them from fruiting, it will encourage a bigger crop in the following year. Provide the plants with about 1 inch of water per week, and be diligent about weeding. When berries start to appear in the second year, harvest them by cutting the stem, rather than pulling the berry to prevent damage and encourage new growth.