There are several steps to growing strawberries, including choosing the right variety, prepping the soil, and planting the strawberries. We will also discuss when to plant your strawberry patch, and how to mound the planting ground. Lastly, we’ll cover the most important steps to consider before planting strawberries. Read on for a comprehensive guide to growing your own strawberries. Then, plant your strawberries with success! The results of your labor of love will be worth the wait!
Choose The Right Variety To Grow
The first step in growing strawberries is to decide which type of plant you want. Strawberries like well-drained soil, full sun, and a pH between 5.5 and 7.5. You can amend your soil with lime or sulfur before planting your strawberries. If you’re worried about soil quality, check out reputable sources for tips on strawberry care. Once you’ve decided on a type, consider the spacing and harvest dates of your plants.
The time between bloom and first harvest varies widely from one cultivar to another. It takes approximately 18 to 45 days for strawberries to bloom, but it can take longer. The berries can vary in color when they reach ripeness, so be sure to taste them. Strawberries store best in the refrigerator, so pick them during cool part of the day. If you plan to process your strawberries, you’ll want to select varieties that have long necks.
After you’ve selected a suitable site for your strawberry patch, you need to decide on the type of raised bed you want to use. Depending on your budget and aesthetic preferences, you can opt for an elevated wooden or plastic bed. If you have a sunny porch, an elevated wooden bed will work nicely. Otherwise, an elevated plastic bed will work well. However, you should plan on harvesting less than your expectations for the first year. However, over time, your bounty will increase.
Preparing The Soil
Before planting strawberries, prepare the soil for optimum growth. Strawberries grow best in well-drained soil that has a pH between 5.5 and 7.5. Test your soil first and add compost and lime, if necessary. If your soil is lacking in nutrients, add sulfur to balance the pH level. You may also want to add some organic matter. In addition to compost, strawberries need plenty of sunlight and space.
For better growth, amend the soil with organic matter. Organic matter is dry leaves, bark, and compost that breaks down into micronutrients in the soil. Commercial soil mixes often contain organic matter, which means that they are made of plant-based matter. To avoid the use of chemicals, buy organic soil mixes certified by the Organic Materials Review Institute (OMRI).
If you have already started to prepare the soil before planting your strawberries, wait a year before planting. You can kill off the grass, prepare beds, and add extra drainage. Before planting, take soil samples and get them tested by your county’s OSU extension office. This will give you a better idea of what to expect from your strawberry patch. If your soil is not acidic, you can add ground limestone.
When To Plant Your Strawberry Patch
There are several things to consider before planting your strawberry patch. First of all, strawberry plants require full sun and a pH level between 5.5 and 7.5. To ensure that your soil is optimum for growing strawberries, you can test the soil by double-digging it and adding a bit of compost. They also do best when planted close together but should be planted far away from other plants. Avoid planting your strawberries near roses, as these plants are related and may have diseases in common.
Secondly, decide how many quarts you’ll need each year. A June-bearing plant should be pruned when flower stalks begin to appear and allow to grow to their full size before fruiting. A day-neutral plant, on the other hand, should be pruned as soon as blossoms appear and allow fruit to set in August through October. If your strawberries don’t set fruit in their first year, you’ll need to provide extra water, up to 1.5 inches per week. Make sure to avoid watering the soil too frequently, but it’s still important to keep your strawberries healthy and thriving.
Mound The Planting Ground
The first thing you need to do when planting strawberries is mounded up the planting ground. You can do this by measuring the area horizontally and vertically. Then, use the Phurba to create raised beds and footpaths between rows. Then, slowly form each bed. Afterward, you can plant strawberries. The beds will look better than straight rows, and they will be easier to maintain and harvest.
The spacing of strawberries is important. If they are planted too closely together, they will compete for sunlight and nutrients. Therefore, it is best to space them at least eight inches apart. If you have a square foot garden, you can even plant one strawberry plant in each square. This is a good strategy for maximum fruit production, but be sure to leave enough space between rows for weeds to grow.
Prevent Weeds With A Barrier
Mulching your strawberry plants is a great way to prevent weeds and conserve soil moisture. But, there’s another way to protect your berries: Lay down a layer of straw. This mulch can be purchased or collected locally, but it’s best to use a seed-free straw. You can also use pine needle mulch, which is inexpensive and sustainable. This mulch is great for strawberry plants because it blocks weeds and keeps soil moisture from evaporating away.
Weeds like curly dock, horseweed, and sow thistle can quickly establish at the edges of your strawberry patch. And they produce seeds that can move into your strawberry patch, as they grow along ditches and fence rows. Herbicides such as horseweed are approved for use on the soil surface of your strawberry patch, so you can use them safely.
If you can’t afford to buy a special weed barrier for your strawberry patch, landscape fabric is a great solution. Landscape fabric is laid over the soil, covered with mulch, and the plants are planted through holes in the fabric. These fabrics can effectively control weeds, but they can be vulnerable to wind and other conditions. It is better to plant a barrier than to risk the weeds growing up and taking over your strawberries.
Long Term Care Of A Strawberry Patch
Taking care of strawberries means keeping them in good condition and in full sun. Strawberries need full sun to thrive, well-drained soil, and a pH of 5.5 to 7.5. Before planting your strawberries, test your soil for these factors. If the soil isn’t quite right for strawberries, add some lime or sulfur to the soil. If the soil isn’t acidic enough, add more lime or sulfur, and weeds will remain less plentiful.
After harvesting, make sure to thin out the plants. During the growing season, strawberries produce most fruit. To extend the life of a strawberry plant, perform yearly renovations of the bed. You can remove foliage, keeping diseases under control. Just remember to protect the crown of the strawberry plant from the pruning. If you don’t want to spend too much time weeding, you can always cut off all leaves and shoots and mulch your beds to keep them healthy.
You can also plant strawberries in rows with space between them. It is best to plant strawberry plants in early spring, as fall planting can cause soil heaving caused by freezing and thawing. When planting, make sure the crown is above ground level. Space the plants evenly, leaving 4 feet between rows. Strawberries send out runners, and you should plant them a few inches apart. You should space them at least 12 inches apart.
Row Covers To Prevent Frost Manage
If you’re planting a strawberry patch in a cool climate, you may want to consider row covers to prevent frost. They’re not only beneficial for late-season freeze protection, but they can also help your patch avoid early frosts. Lightweight row covers are an affordable way to protect your patch from frost. You can even add overhead irrigation to prolong the life of your row covers. In any case, row covers are a worthwhile investment.
The type of row cover that you use will affect the level of protection provided by the cover. Lightweight plastic covers are less effective at protecting against frost, so you may want to use double-layer plastic if possible. However, you must remember that you should only use row covers when temperatures are below freezing. For best results, apply row covers on the day before temperatures begin to drop. A heavier cover will also restrict light, so you must remove it as soon as possible.
If you’re planting strawberries in a cold climate, you’ll want to use row covers. Row covers are plastic fabric draped over a frame. A clear row cover will allow sunlight to reach the plants, while a synthetic one may cause the plants to suffer from weather shock. A synthetic row cover can also lead to fungal infections or burns. To protect your crop, you may want to use straw mulch and fabric row covers to prevent frost damage.
Mulching Your Strawberry Patch For Winter
If you’re planning to harvest strawberries this winter, you need to know how to mulch your strawberry patch for the cold months. In Minnesota, the temperatures in December are usually just above average and snow does not cover the ground, so you still have time to prepare your patch for winter. If your strawberries are in containers, you should insulate them, as well. Winter temperatures below 18 degrees Fahrenheit will cause flower buds to freeze and kill them.
There are two basic types of mulch: inorganic and organic. Both of them help preserve moisture, suppress weeds, and improve the quality of soil. Straw is a preferred mulch for strawberries and is usually the result of chaff that comes from grain harvests. A bale of straw covers about 30 feet of a 4-foot-wide matted row. It’s not only economical but also environmentally friendly.