Growing Your Own Strawberry Patch: 3 Easy Steps
All you need are some strawberry plants or shoots, an area in your garden that receives full sun, fertile soil, and plenty of water. Easiest to grow and most bounteous are the “everbearing” variety, which fruits from late May until September. Growing anything is a great activity for children to get involved in. They love watching things grow!
Step 1: Water Your Strawberries
Strawberries planted in the field need moderate to high amounts of water. Strawberries are relatively shallow rooted, with almost all their roots in the top 8″ of soil, so deep irrigation is not necessary; instead, give them moderate amounts of water on a regular basis–and do not overwater.
Step 2: Mulch (or use straw) and Fertilize your Strawberry Patch
You should mulch/straw your strawberry bed to conserve moisture, to help prevent the spread of disease, to help suppress weeds and to keep berries clean and soil-free. You can use black plastic mulch or organic mulch such pine straw or regular straw.
If your bed was prepared properly and well fertilized before the strawberries were planted, no additional fertilizer is necessary during the growing season. Fertilize regularly, with either liquid fertilizers every few weeks during the first half of the growing season can be beneficial too.
Step 3: Deal with Runners and Flowers
As strawberries grow, they send out runners. If you’re treating strawberries as annuals, you typically pinch off the runners so that the plants can concentrate their energy on fruit development. If you’re treating strawberries as perennials, however, you can let the runners grow and develop into daughter plants. About every 12″ along the length of the runner a baby, or daughter, plant will develop.
Strawberry plants will flower as soon as they get established in the landscape. For strawberries being treated as annuals, pick off the flowers for the first month so the plant has time to grow strong and sturdy. After that let the flowers develop into berries. For strawberries being treated as perennials, growers pick the flowers off for the first year, which delays the first harvest until the second year.
Below is a picture of my runners…
Strawberries are highly sprayed with pesticides and herbicides and buying organic can help you avoid these toxic ingredients. But it can leave a dent in your wallet if you consume them at the rate my family does! I have gathered around 60 strawberries already this year and even though they are slightly smaller than store bought, it is money in my pocket and fun to watch them grow right in my backyard. This is my third year growing strawberries and they keep getting bigger, so patience is key! If you do not have the room to grow them in your yard, hanging baskets are a good option too, but watch out for the birds
Grow, grow, grow!