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EDIBLES: Strawberry Fields Forever – Plant Now for Years of Enjoyment

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Difficulty: Beginner

 Garden tips by region planting-strawberry

Juicy, sweet strawberries right off the plant — who wouldn’t want them in the garden?

Supermarket berries tend to be tart with grainy texture because the natural sugar in berries begins turning to starch as soon as it’s picked.

Why not plant your own and taste the difference? With these tips, it’s as easy as one, two, strawberry.

Choosing your Strawberry Plant:

Strawberry plants come in three types. Think about where you’ll plant your berries to get the best results.

  • June-bearing: These are the traditionally grown strawberries that generally produce one large harvest in late spring or early summer depending on temperature. June-bearing strawberries are classified into early, mid-season and late varieties. Ask your Garden Center associate which is best for you.
  • Ever-bearing: These strawberries produce 2-3 harvests of fruit intermittently during the spring, summer and fall. Ever-bearing plants do not send out many runners and are great for small spaces or containers.
  • Day-neutral: These strawberries produce fruit throughout the growing season. Because they produce few runners, they are great when space is limited, but the fruits are usually somewhat smaller than June-bearers. They produce continuously if temperature remains between 35-85 degrees.

Planting Strawberry Plants:

Select a spot in full sun with loose, fertile soil with a pH of 5.5 to 7. Test the soil in advance and add aluminum sulfate if the pH is too high.

  1. Plant as soon as the ground can be worked in the spring.
  2. Space plants at least 20” apart in rows that are 4’ apart.
  3. Dig holes deep and wide enough to accommodate the entire root system without bending it.
  4. Plant the crown (the plant’s above-ground parts) at soil level; firm soil around it.
  5. Mulch bed with a 1” layer of compost.

Container Planting:

If you don’t have the space for beds, strawberries grow well in containers. Any container will work, but the most classic solution is to use a strawberry pot with side pockets.

  1. Add a few inches of moistened soil or soil mix up to the bottom of the first pocket.
  2. Tuck a strawberry plant in the pocket, setting it at a bit of an angle.
  3. Continue to add more soil to the height of each pocket, putting 1 strawberry plant in each pocket.
  4. When you reach the top of the jar, plant 1 or 2 strawberries on top and add a layer of compost.
  5. Water the pot well from the top and water each of the pockets.
  6. Make sure the pot has plenty of sun.

Tip:

Ever-bearing plants typically do better in containers than June-bearing plants.

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