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Growing Strawberries Part 1


Growing Strawberries – The Complete How To Guide

If you love the flavor of fresh berries, growing strawberries at home can be an incredibly rewarding experience. can be a tasty experience. Nothing gets more local than harvesting your own berries at home. Here are a few simple steps that will show you how to grow strawberries in a pot:

Tools

Steps

Step 1: Pour coco fiber into a 5-gallon bucket until it is about 2/3 full and add just enough water until fiber is damp and cool to the touch. It should not be dripping or have water standing in the bottom. Break apart any clumps with your fingers and work the fiber with your hands until it is light and airy.

 

Step 2: Use your hands to scoop up your coco fiber mixture into your container until the soil is about one inch from the top.

Step 4: Use your fingers to pull back just enough of your planting medium in the pot to bury the plug even with the existing roots. Do not cover up the stems or pedals with the coco fiber. If planting more than one strawberry plant in a pot, be sure to space them apart to allow them room to spread. (The length of an average hand is a good measuring stick for the amount of space needed between plants.)

Step 5: Water each plant with liquid fertilizer as written on the package directions.

Step 6: Place your planter in direct sunlight where it will be exposed for the majority of the waking day.

Step 7: Rotate your planter once or twice a day to facilitate even growth. Spritz all your plants lightly with water each time you rotate the planter. (This will increase the humidity.)

Step 8: Water as needed. Your plants should never be soggy or bone dry. A good indicator that it may be time to water is when the coco fiber on the top begins to turn a lighter shade of brown. If you are a heavy spritzer with water, you may find that you may need to pour water on your plants less often.

For More Information on How To Grow Strawberries and 10 Best Strawberry Recipes click on the following 

Strawberries: How to Grow and Care. 

You may be contemplating the fruits you would wish to enjoy eating as you stroll out in your home garden. Strawberries are a great option to consider. If you wish to grow these adorable and delicious fruits, this is the best place to learn the tips.  We equip you with a suitable guide and make you ready to own your own garden full of berries to enjoy throughout the fruiting season. This description will encompass knowledge on suitable environmental conditions, when and where to plant your strawberry plants, and tips on how to plant and care for the plants.  Count on us for better skills and know-how going about growing healthy and ever red and adorable strawberries.   

Best tips on How to Grow Healthy Strawberries  

1. Suitable Conditions - This fruit plant grows best in well-drained loamy soil that is rich in organic matter and mildly acidic with pH of 5.7 to 6.5. Ensure the environment where you want to grow strawberries has those features and is less salty. Strawberry plant is highly sensitive to salt and may result in to ‘Leaf burn’.  
2. Suitable time - There are two common types of strawberries termed as cultivars  
a. Ever-bearing cultivars - This type fruits twice per season upon maturing. It can be a suitable one to have as it assures you of continuous supply with the fruits. There are several varieties under this cultivar including Quinault, Ozark beauty and Fort Laramie. Most of the varieties here are known to be the stable and disease resistant choice. They are also low temperature tolerant though they need ong days’ to bud, flower, and fruit well.   
b. June-bearers cultivars-In this type, fruits are produced once per season and predominantly during the summer time. Varieties in this category include Earliglow, Hood and chandler among others. These varieties are highly productive compared to the ever-bearer cultivars. They are only stable with temperate climatic conditions.  To decide on the appropriate time to start growing strawberries, the above choices are to be considered. Also, whether you are starting from the seeds to mature strawberry or from supplied seedlings can be a guide on when to start growing the fruits.  Ideally, two months to summertime can be a good gauge as the plants require no excess water in the soil. Six or more hours of sunshine and lighting are necessary for this fruit plant to do well especially when fruiting ensues. The ever-bearing variety is the exception to offer surplus production even in low temperatures of 32 Degree Celsius or less. Otherwise, target the spring and summer times to start growing your strawberries for better harvests.  

3. How to Plant Strawberry plants?

Strawberries can be grown in either special pots or on the ground that has been prepared and made into beds.  If you want to start with seeds, it is advisable you freeze the seeds over two weeks to one month to optimize the chances of quality yields. During this period, you can be doing your soil preparation ensuring that organic matter is in plenty.  Ensure all the weeds are removed and soil is turned over adequately. Farmyard manure is to be added few days before planting of the seedling. You can create a soil bed to enhance sufficient drainage. Seeds take about one month to sprout from where you can expect first flowering and fruiting. Upon soil preparation and enrichment, planting can be considered. Dig a considerable hole; separate the strawberry plant from the container while preserving the soil.  Put the plant in the hole and cover it with surrounding soil ensuring the base or crown is relatively above the soil level. Press the soil to stabilize the plant and you can much it.  Spacing is important between the plants. There are two systems applied in large-scale cultivation of strawberries.  a. Hill System-Plants in this system is being placed in raised soil bed following transplantation. The spacing is about 30cm between each plant and there are no runners to maximize production. About 22, 000 plants can cover a one-acre piece of land.  b. Matted system-Runners are incorporated in this system with narrow rows between plants compared to the Hill system. Plants can be up to 50cm apart but this space is reduced by the runners to about 30cm as is in the hill system.  Lower yields are realized when using this system as compared to the above system.  

4. Caring for your Strawberry Plants  

Planting is one step to serving yourself with delicious fruits such as strawberry. Caring for the plant throughout its prime life is another and very critical step.  You may have started caring for the plant before planting in the garden through proper soil preparation. As mentioned above, strawberry takes up to three months to start fruition. Weeding and adding farm manures is a continuous process to achieve greater yields.  Caution should be taken during weeding as strawberry plants have very shallow root systems. Getting rid of the weeds will also reduce nutritional competition since the plants rely on the topsoil nutrients with the shallow roots. Use of herbicides can be best weeding option.  Regular watering is paramount to the good growth of these plants. For the first 2 weeks, at least twice a week watering using less-pressure pumps is advisable. This is in places which are wet and dry though. If need be, use minimum watering during the fruiting period as sunshine is highly needed. Also, minimize keeping the leaves wet as this invites fungal infestation and may be risky to the well-being of the plants and products.  Soil enrichment is also critical in caring for the plant as it grows and produces. Organic matter is the most preferable source of soil enrichment as well as farmyard manure. However, inorganic components of Ammonium, Phosphorus, and Nitrogen have shown great impact if used well.  Monitor your soil acidity and alkalinity regularly. Strawberries are acid friendly; doing great in soil pH of 5.7 to 6.5. Sunshine helps in swelling and ripening of the fruits. This means for pot-grown berries, exposure to sunshine is a duty.  Ensure the safety of your strawberry plants for healthy fruits. This will include watching out for pests and diseases, creating windbreakers as the plants may be swept away. Birds can be your great competitors in growing strawberries as they eat every part of the plant. Other pests include mites, nematodes, and caterpillars.  Diseases such as leathery rot and powdery mildew can be disastrous. Always be ready to spend to maintain these plants as you enjoy the berries.  

 

Unlike the common June-bearing strawberries, the day-neutral strawberries flower and produce fruit anytime temperatures are between 35° F. and 85° F. These strawberries will not produce a single “bumper crop” of berries in June, but will instead produce berries throughout the summer and as late as October in some seasons. Unlike June-bearing strawberries the day-neutral types will yield well during their first year when they are planted. Day-neutral strawberries do not send out runners profusely like the June-bearing types and therefore you will be managing the planting differently.

Site Selection: Day-neutral strawberries grow best in a sunny location on deep, well-drained, sandy loam soil with a pH of approximately 6.2. The day-neutral strawberries are also ideal for planting as “annuals” in containers. Strawberries do not tolerate extremes in pH (less than 5.5 or greater than 7.0). Limestone and other soil amendments that are used to adjust soil pH require at least two months of warm weather to work, so plan ahead to leave enough time to amend the soil if necessary. Plants can be productive over a broad range of soil types, but extremes should be avoided; clay soils retain moisture but are often poorly drained, and sandy soils require irrigation. The addition of organic matter such as high quality finished compost can help improve sandy or clay soils.Adequate soil drainage is essential for healthy strawberries. Home gardeners should plant on a ridge or in raised beds if soil drains poorly or consider selecting amore suitable site. Strawberries are shallow-rooted plants and benefit from irrigation. Raised bed plantings may dry out sooner that conventional planting.Irrigation provides frost protection as well.When plants arrive, keep them in the refrigerator until you are ready to plant. Just before planting you will want to soak the roots in water for a few hours.

Early Care 

Planting: Place plants in the soil as soon as possible in the spring. Avoid exposing plants to sun and wind. Cool, cloudy weather is ideal for planting. When plants are set, the roots should extend vertically into the soil and be completely covered just to the crown level; do not bury the crowns. It may be necessary to cut the roots back to 4 inches before setting. During the first few weeks after planting, be sure plants have adequate water. Fall planting is not recommended.

Cultural Systems and Runner Removal: Day-neutral cultivars do not produce runners profusely, so attempting to establish a matted row is not practical. Plant them 5–9 inches apart in single rows that are spaced 42 apart. With this system remove the runners for the entire first season, which will increase yields significantly. Another option, which will reduce competition and increase yields, is a staggered double row planting system. With this system plants are spaced 10–18 inches apart, alternating them in two narrow rows that are just 8 inches apart. Space each staggered double row in yourgarden 42 inches apart.

Flower and Fruiting: Day-neutral plants produce flowers from the time of planting through frost in autumn. Fruits will form in about 30 days after flowers open. Cover the plants with 2 inches of mulch in the late fall when temperatures approach 20° F. Remove the mulch in early spring around theend of March to mid-April after the threat of severely cold weather has passed.

Maintainance

Mulching: Day-neutral strawberries perform best when mulched with straw immediately after planting. Mulched plants have cleaner fruit and suffer less drought stress.

Harvesting: For maximum sweetness and flavor pick fruit a day or two after they are ripe. Berries picked before they are completely red will ripen, but they will not sweeten off the vine. Slightly unripe berries can be used for making jam. Under favorable conditions, expect a total yield of about one quart of fruit per foot of matted row. Immediately remove berries that do not ripen because they harbor diseases and attract insects.

For long-term storage of fresh berries, select firm berries that are not yet fully ripe, cool them immediately after harvest, and wrap in plastic after cooling. Store as close to 33 degrees F. as possible, but be sure the berries do not freeze. Before using, allow the berries to warm inside the plastic wrap to prevent condensation from forming directly on the berries. When these steps are followed, strawberries will be of acceptable quality for several days.

Resource: Cornell Guide to Growing Fruit at Home. Cornell University. Horticulture diagnostic laboratory.

Types and Recommended Varieties of Strawberries

When it comes to choosing the best strawberries to add to your garden, it can seem a bewildering state of affairs.

SourceJapanese Info

You have a vast range of different varieties at your disposal but first it pays to double down on the 3 main types of strawberry.

  • Day Neutral Plants
  • Everbearing Plants
  • June Bearing Plants

We will look at these cultivars or types and draw your attention to the best varieties in each category.

After that, we’ll explore some other notable varieties and some key points to consider when choosing the best strawberries for your needs.