Growing strawberries at home is a fun and rewarding hobby that gardeners in almost every temperate growing zone enjoys. The sweet, red berries are a favorite for people of all ages.
Strawberries make an excellent choice to grow in the kitchen garden. And they are a favorite for children’s gardens too!
How to grow strawberries at home
You can grow strawberries the same way you grow any crop, really! With the right materials, time, effort and conditions, in a few weeks you will have the reward of a crop of strawberries.
The ideal time to plant them is in fall or spring, as they do best in the moderate temperatures.
Growing strawberries in containers is another convenient and great option. Choose a pot that is at least 10 inches wide.
A light colored pot will also help the plant to stay cool in the summertime. One that is wide and shallow can be the best option, or one that has plenty of drainage.
Planting bare root strawberry plants correctly is important to helping them grow their best. Put them in soil after all chances of frost have passed.
Plant them with a mixture of potting soil and fertilizer, such as compost. Dig it in a hole at least the length of the root and twice as wide. After planting, mulch and water in. They will begin to leaf by early summer.
Harvest only the berries that are completely red. Pick them off of the plant every three days. Grasp them with your hands, and pull the berry off the stem.
Annual or Perennial
Strawberries, like other berry plants and bushes, are perennials. If you leave the root systems intact, they will grow back.
Proper care should be taken to protect the plants from frost, as well as adapting a fertilizing and watering schedule to help them be strong and vibrant year after year.
Some plants bear fruit for three weeks in the spring, and others are “ever bearing” with smaller harvests throughout the growing season.
A plant that is taken care of will return for three to five years, give or take.
How long does a strawberry take to grow
A seedling will turn into a full plant from about six months after planting the seed. After the dormancy period, a strawberry plant will take about 2 months to produce fruit from a flower.
Many gardeners see that raised beds are ideal for growing strawberries. The raised bed design holds water and nutrients, and they are also easy to amend when in a controlled raised bed design.
A tip for gardeners, especially in areas where there is wildlife, is to put some kind of barrier around the berries so wild creatures do not get a chance to eat the berries before you do!
Other than that, it takes a dedicated water regime, proper spacing, nutrition, and patience.
The best type of soil for growing strawberries is sandy loam soil with plenty of organic matter. They prefer areas that are not too wet, so avoid planting strawberries in areas that are too moist during the spring. The right soil conditions is between 5.5 and 6.8 pH.
Ideally, the temperature range for growing strawberries should be between 50 F and 80 F. They are sensitive to frost, and will wither in higher temperatures, so this is the right temperature for them.
Strawberries need at least 8 hours of sunlight a day, so full sun or partial sun will help them grow their best.
Companion Plants for Strawberries
Avoid areas where tomatoes, peppers, or eggplants have previously grown, as they carry a fungus called Verticillium which can attack the roots of the plants.
Plants they grow well with strawberries are:
- some flowers are another good option to plant with strawberries