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:
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.
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.)
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.