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Strawberries for Sweetness

strawberry_sweet_temptationI love berries of all kinds.  A bowl of berries tastes better than chocolate… almost.  Now I’m thinking of berries covered in chocolate…. mmmm.

Strawberries are the easiest berries to grow in your garden.  They aren’t mean and invasive like raspberries or blackberries.  And strawberries are my kid’s favorite.  Most of the berries I grow don’t even make it out of the garden.  The kids sit outside and eat them all.  I tell the kids that eating strawberries will make them even sweeter. (Is that wishful thinking?)

Now is the time to plant strawberries if you haven’t already.  They are a great ground cover for a sunny corner of your yard.  Choose a spot where the strawberries will get at least 6 hours of sun a day.

I planted strawberry plants last week and here is how:

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I bought a small bundle of plants at the nursery.  They come as you see above, with the roots bare.  I planted June bearers… all the fruit comes on at once in June and they have the largest fruit.  You can also choose everbearing varieties that have ripe fruit intermittently all season.

1.  Prepare the soil by adding compost.  I added well-rotted manure.  Your plants should last about three years, so this a your chance to amend the soil well.  Remove all the weeds, spread the compost out evenly and mix it in the soil with a shovel.  Rake the the bed smooth.

2.  Soak the strawberry roots in water for an hour before planting.

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This plant is a little low in the hole, but I raise it up as I back fill...

3.  Dig a hole for each plant large enough to spread the roots out.

4.  Place the plants in the holes and back fill.  Plant them high, with the soil at the bottom of the bud union, just above the roots.  (The bud union is the darker brown part in the middle of the plant.)

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It's a little hard to see in the picture, but the bud union is a little above the ground. It blends in with the soil!

5.  Water them well.

6.  Fertilize at the time of planting, then right after they bear fruit in June.  If you buy everbearing plants, check with your nursery to find out when to fertilize.

6.  Spread mulch around the plants to keep them moist and cool.

7.  Make sure your strawberries get about 1 inch of water a week.

8.  Remember the birds like to eat the strawberries… if they are a problem you can cover your plants with netting.  I usually don’t cover mine, and they do get a few strawberries… but my kids are usually faster than the birds.

Happy eating!

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10 Responses to “Strawberries for Sweetness”

  • Hope your berries do well. Our berry season is over. They were so delicious and plentiful this year.

    • You must live somewhere nice and warm. We just had a little more snow this weekend and I wish I could come visit you! It melts as soon as it falls these days… but brrrrr it’s cold for late April. Do you plant strawberries in late Winter or in the Fall?

  • Barbara:

    My strawberries are not sweet is there anything i can do

    • Hi Barbara, It could be your variety of strawberry. Some varieties have been bred for size of the strawberry (large) at the expense of flavor. You may want to consider planting new plants, choosing a variety for their flavor, and see if you have better results. If that is not the problem I would recommend contacting your local state extension service. There could be a variety of problems such as soil quality (which can be helped by adding compost, amount of sunlight, and fertilizing. I call my local state extension service with gardening questions sometimes and they are always very helpful. All the best, Calli

  • Beerzy:

    Great article thx to the author – I would like to add 2 things
    1. Soak runners in water and seaweed and or fish fertilisers.

    2 Use organic fertilisers as well as a liquid one every week or 2

  • Beerzy:

    Hi Barbara,
    Some new strawberries are bred for size, flavour and firmness for packaging.
    As you are in US, Try to get some of the Cal Giant series (I think it goes to 5)
    In Australia we have lots of new ones to choose from.
    Lowanna, Juliette and Camerosa are great – I have all of these varieties and also Californian Giant #3 (I haven’t tasted this one yet but the grower said they are great)!

    • Daniel:

      Hi Beerzy,
      I am just wondering where you got y our camerosa strawberries from? I have been searching for where to buy some plants of this variety but the only place i can find to buy them is in america and that obviously isn’t ideal…

      Thanks for any help
      Daniel

  • Beerzy:

    oh forgot to add all the above strawberries have red flesh

  • I love starberries somemuch……

  • Nice article. I just happened to run across it. I am growing strawberries for the first time in raised tire beds. I’m in zone 6-7 (depending on which side of the hill you stand on) and they have been producing a few berries at a time for a week now. SOOOOO delicious! Thanks for the planting tips, I plan on putting in a few more this fall or next spring.

    Spidr
    moonmooring.wordpress.com

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