Strawberries are the quintessential summer fruit. Juicy, flavorful, and packed with vitamin C, they are a must-have for any summer garden. Organic berries can often be on the expensive side at the grocery store, so grow your own, cut down on packaging waste, and keep that extra cash in your pocket!
Strawberries love the sun, they need at least 8-10 hours of direct sunlight each day, so keep that in mind when placing your containers, or tilling up your bed. Be sure the bed has good drainage, your berries won't flourish in low lying, muddy conditions. Plant in early spring for a mid-summer harvest.
What You Need
- Strawberry plants
- Straw, mulch, or landscape fabric
- Watering can
- Gardening tools
Water your strawberry plants before placing them in the ground. Be sure to expose the roots if you are planting seedlings in a biodegradable container.
Prepare holes the same depth of the container the seedlings come in, spacing each plant 14"- 18" apart with rows at least 28" apart. Seedlings will send off runners, so you'll need to allow plenty of space! Berries planted in a container garden can be spaced much closer together, 4" apart is adequate spacing.
Place the pre-watered plant in the ground (be sure not to bend the root system!) and fill in the area around the plant. Be careful not to cover the crown of the strawberry.
Lay mulch or straw 1"-2" deep around the base of the plants to keep weeds at bay and berries from lying in dirt or mud when it rains. Landscape fabric also works well if you don't have access to mulch or straw. If you find you're having issues with bunnies and birds taking nibbles here and there off the berries, consider covering your strawberry patch with a garden netting.
Water regularly, feed every two weeks or so with organic plant food.
Once the plants flower, keep an eye on them as they begin to grow to full size. The berries will grow anywhere from 1"-3" in size. Harvest the berries as soon as they are ripe (bright red, no green) by gently plucking the berry from the plant, being careful not to bruise the berry. If the berry feels hard it isn't quite ready to be picked.