Growing Strawberries

Introduction to the Growing Strawberries Page

Do you want to begin growing strawberries? Or, have you been growing strawberries for a long time and simply want to get fresh ideas or helpful suggestions? You’ve landed in the right spot! This site will teach you how to grow strawberries and get you growing strawberry plants in places you would have never dreamed possible.

We are passionate about everything related to strawberries here. We hope that passion shines through. Since the little and beautiful red berries are nutritious and delicious, we want to see more people develop a love for growing strawberry plants and eating the delicious and sweet strawberries they produce! In each garden strawberries have a place, and we want to help more gardeners find successful ways to incorporate them.

To help you navigate to the information that is most helpful for your present situation, use this handy-dandy table of contents to go directly to the information you need.  If you want to start at the very beginning and work your way through, just scroll down!

1. Why Grow Strawberries?6. Garden Preparation11. Renovating Strawberries
2. Choosing How to Grow:
a. From Seed (new page)
b. From Plants
7. How to Plant Strawberry Plants
a. What to Plant with Strawberries (new page)
12. Protecting Strawberry Plants
a. Mulching (new page)
b. Overwintering Strawberries (new page)
3. Picking the Best Strawberry Variety8. Caring for Your Strawberries
a. Watering Strawberries
b. Fertilizing Strawberries
13. Dealing with Common Problems...
a. Plants Not Producing Strawberries (new page)
b. Strawberry Plants Wilting (new page)
c. Late Frosts/Cold Weather (new page)
d. Upside-down Hanging Planters (new page)
e. Pests & Pathogens (new page)
4. Site Selection9. Multiplying Your Strawberry Plants...
a. Propagating Strawberry Plants (new page)
b. Transplanting Strawberry Plants (new page)
14. More Articles & Information on Growing Strawberries
5. Choosing Your Growing Method10. When to Harvest15. Frequently Asked Questions (new page)

How the Growing Strawberries Page Works

This main Growing Strawberries page serves as a hub for everything related to growing strawberry plants. The basics will be covered here. The information on this page should be sufficient to give any beginner the basics needed to be a successful strawberry gardener. However, when it comes to understanding how to grow strawberries, there is a never-ending wealth of information that can be assimilated for maximum production, aesthetics, and capacity in any garden.

So, while the basics of growing strawberries will be contained on this page, there will be regularly updated links to more pages on this site at the bottom that go into more detail about different methods and aspects of growing strawberry plants and how to grow strawberries using different methods. Be sure to take advantage of the links and resources as you grow strawberries in your own garden, whether it is for the home or for business.

Why Should You Consider Growing Strawberries?

Strawberries are the most popular small fruit grown in home gardens for good reason. Few things bring back summer memories like sinking teeth into a fresh and juicy strawberry. Why not have these sweet berries growing in your own garden? They are able to be grown in all the temperate regions of the world!

Strawberries are relatively easy to grow, and they can fit within small space constraints or fill huge garden plots. Growing strawberries doesn’t require any specialized equipment. And, they can even be grown in a container or pot on a deck, porch, patio, or balcony.

One of the biggest benefits of growing strawberries is their perennial nature. You can reap the rewards of your labor for several years after initially planting strawberries with minimal effort after the initial planting year. With proper care, it is not uncommon for each strawberry plant to produce a full quart of strawberries. Approximately twenty-five strawberry plants should adequately supply a normal family with delicious strawberries.

Perhaps an even more important reason you should consider growing strawberries in your own garden is what you often buy along with the strawberries in stores. You buy pesticides. Commercial strawberries repeatedly rank very poorly on list of most-contaminated produce items (the Environmental Working Group’s data). This rank gains them membership in the infamous “Dirty Dozen” club. Even after washing, store-bought strawberries often have residual pesticides on or in them. Growing strawberries in your own garden allows you to know exactly what you are eating!  In fact, here are 10 reasons you should consider growing your own strawberries.

How to Grow Strawberries

Once you have decided to begin growing strawberries, you need to pick your starting point. You can grow strawberries from seeds, or you can opt to transplant or purchase strawberry plants for your garden.  (If this reference page seems daunting, you can start here first: How to Grow Strawberries in 10 Easy Steps.)

It is more difficult if you start with strawberry seeds instead of existing strawberry plants. The Strawberry Seeds page will guide you through the delicate process of sprouting strawberry seeds and give you all the information you could possibly desire about strawberry seeds and where to find them. The Strawberry Plants for Sale page will point you in the right direction if you want to begin growing strawberries by purchasing existing plants.

Growing Strawberries from a Strawberry Plant

Whether you start with seed or plant, successful fruit production comes from successfully growing strawberry plants. All the factors and considerations needed for growing strawberries are: choosing your strawberry variety, selecting your planting site, deciding on a planting system, preparing your chosen planting site, planting the strawberry plants, creating a favorable environment, caring for the growing strawberries, harvesting the berries, renovating the berry beds, and preserving the strawberry plants throughout the dormant months.

The information below will cover everything you need to know to grow your own strawberries. Although the information is general, you should be able to apply it to any specific situation and find success.

Picking a Strawberry Plant Variety to Grow

Before you begin growing strawberries in your garden, you need to determine which variety of strawberry plant you want to grow. To gain understanding of the types of strawberries and varieties of strawberries available to choose from, see our Strawberry Varieties page.

If you are completely at a loss for where to start, you can always call your local Cooperative Extension and ask them for recommendations. They are usually quite helpful. They can give you more specific information on which strawberries grow well in your area. As new and improved strawberry cultivars are also introduced each year, your Cooperative Extension can also clue you in to any new developments or local suppliers where you can find a good cultivar for your area.  Or, if you don’t want to call your state extension, you can review state by state recommendations here: Recommended Strawberry Varieties by State.

Another factor to consider when picking a strawberry plant variety is susceptibility to Verticillium fungus. This fungus causes the most common strawberry disease, Verticillium wilt (or Verticillium rot), which will end fruit production by killing growing strawberries. Since there is no practical way to kill the fungus once infection sets in, this prevalent disease is best prevented by obtaining and planting strawberry plant varieties that are certified to be resistant to Verticillium wilt.

Once you settle on growing a strawberry plant variety, you need to get your plants. There are numerous catalogs and nurseries from which you can buy certified, healthy plants. With the proliferation of online suppliers, getting specific strawberry plants to grow has never been easier!

Choosing Where to Grow Strawberries

Choosing an area conducive to growing strawberries is a critical step in learning how to grow strawberries. There are several factors that need to be considered when selecting a site for your strawberry garden.

First, strawberries love sunlight and need full sun to produce the largest yields. While harvestable berries will be produced with as little as six hours of direct sun a day, it is best to select a site that is clear of other tall or shadow-casting trees or plants. Planting strawberries away from large trees is important so that the tree root system doesn’t compete with and siphon away needed moisture from the growing strawberry plants.

Second, there are several soil issues that should be addressed. While they are able to be grown in most soil conditions, strawberries prefer a sandy loam that is deep and contains very high amounts of organic matter. Extra compost, peat moss, and some sand or grit can be added to your selected site to create the best environment for growing strawberries. Potting soils usually have sufficient compositions if you are planning on planting strawberries in a container. In that case, add an extra inch or two of fresh compost to the surface of the potting mix.

The history of the dirt patch is also important to your success in growing strawberries. If other Verticillium-susceptible crops have been grown in the same area during the last three years, it is best to choose a different site. The most common of these plants are tomatoes, potatoes, eggplant, peppers, and strawberries. If these plants (or melons, okra, mint, bush or bramble fruits, stone fruits, chrysanthemums, and roses) have been grown in the same spot recently (within 5 years), it is best to grow your strawberry plants elsewhere.

Third, it is important to pick a site that has good soil drainage and surface drainage. Although strawberry plants need constant moisture to thrive, the plants will rot if left in standing water due to poor site drainage. If you only have access to a site that has poor drainage or heavy soils, constructing a raised bed for the strawberry plants should facilitate better drainage. The strawberry bed should be elevated, at minimum, six to eight inches. Also, make sure there are drainage holes in the bottom if you are using container gardening methods.

Strawberries do not perform well in drought conditions either. Therefore, be sure to select a site that will allow easy access so that it can be watered if rainfall is not adequate.

Planting Systems for Growing Strawberries

When growing strawberries, it is important to keep in mind that they are traditionally grown as perennials. So, even though some varieties can be grown as annuals in the hotter parts of the south, better results are usually obtained when the strawberry plants are planted in one year and nurtured for bigger yields in subsequent years. Various planting systems are used for growing strawberries depending on which type you plant.

As discussed in the Strawberry Varieties page, the three types of strawberries are June-bearing strawberries, ever-bearing strawberries, and day-neutral strawberries.

June bearing strawberry plants are most often planted using the matted row system while day neutral strawberry plants and ever-bearing strawberry plants are usually planted in a hill system (also called the mound or mounding system). These two systems usually yield the best crops. However, spaced row systems, single hedgerow systems, and double hedgerow systems are also used.

The Matted Row System:

The matted row system for growing strawberries is most commonly used for June bearing varieties, and it works well for any cultivar that sends out a lot of runners. To grow strawberries with this system, set plants about 24 inches apart (18 to 30 inches is acceptable) in rows about 4 feet apart. Allow runners to spread freely and root at will within the row to form a crisscrossed, matted row about 24 inches wide.

The matted row system of growing strawberries will produce the largest number of strawberries, but the quality of individual berries is rarely equal to the quality of berries grown with the hill system. Here is a diagram of how to use the matted row system to grow strawberries:

growing strawberries matted row

The Hill System (also known as the Mound System):

The hill system for growing strawberries is most commonly used for day neutral strawberries and everbearing strawberries. To grow strawberries with this system, you start with a mounded “hill” of soil about 8 inches high and 24 inches across. Extend this mound into a row as long as you like. Set two rows of plants per hill in a staggered pattern with each plant being 12 inches from the other plants. Multiple rows are spaced 4 feet apart.

All runners are removed from every strawberry plant in the hill system as soon as they are identified. Removing the runners causes all the productive capacity of the mother plants to remain with the mother plants. This energy will result in additional lateral crowns adjacent to the original crown and more flower stalks for fruiting. The hill system is often preferred by the home gardener because it results in a higher quantity of higher quality berries (fancier, larger, better for selling at farmers’ markets), while the matted row system usually produces a higher total number of strawberries.

There are two modified versions of the hill system: the single hedgerow and the double hedgerow (also called the spaced-row system). These systems are the same as the hill system except that some runners are permitted. In the single hedgerow system, each strawberry plant is allowed to root two additional runner plants. The double hedgerow permits several runners to root. All runner plants in this system should be spaced at least 4 inches away from other plants (5 to 7 inches is better).

growing strawberries hill

Preparing Your Garden for Planting Strawberries

Once you have decided where you will be growing strawberries, you need to prepare your garden for planting strawberries. If your site is sod-covered, it is best to cultivate and till the area the year before you want to plant your strawberries to eliminate competing grasses. When possible, it is best to grow a green manure crop the year before you want to begin growing strawberries to improve soil quality (oats, sudan grass, and rye are all excellent for this).

When you are ready to plant your berry plants, you should, to the best of your ability, ensure that the site is free of weeds, grubs, and any soil-bourne diseases. Once any sod or grass is gone, work two to three inches of compost into the top layer of soil. Add more organic material before planting, especially if the soil doesn’t retain moisture very well. Peat, compost, or aged straw and manure are good options. Additionally, organic or inorganic fertilizer can further improve soil quality by being worked in down to six inches.

The pH of your site’s soil is also important for growing strawberries. In order to grow strawberries most effectively, the soil needs to be slightly acidic. Strawberry plants will grow in dirt that has a pH between 5.0 and 7.0, but 5.8 to 6.2 is ideal for maximum growth and production. Soil test kits are available online and through garden supply stores. However, the best results are obtained through the professional soil testing services provided by your county’s agricultural extension agent. Before planting strawberries, you should test your soil and amend it as indicated to create the best possible environment for growing strawberries.

Common amendments are lime and manure. If test results show that lime is needed, it should be applied prior to planting the strawberry plants and tilled in thoroughly with the soil. Compost or aged manure from cows or horses is also added, usually at a rate of 2 to 5 bushels per 100 square feet.

Planting Strawberry Plants

Learning how and when to properly plant strawberries is an important step in learning how to grow strawberries. Fortunately, it is fairly easy!  This guide is tailored to the typical home gardener who plants an entire garden, including strawberry plants, in the spring.  For gardeners who don’t mind planning a bit, planting fall strawberry plants can be a better option if harvesting during the first growing season is important!

For spring planting, as soon as the soil is dry and able to be worked (usually March or April), you should plant your strawberries. The plants need to be well-established before the temperatures rise in the summer months. When you are ready, loosen and pulverize the dirt down six to eight inches, and keep it loose to allow runners to take hold and roots to establish.

You should have disease-free, healthy plants ready to plant. If picking them yourself, choose plants that have large crowns with healthy, light-colored roots. If you ordered them, open the package immediately and inspect them. If moldy, send the strawberry plants directly back. If you can’t plant them immediately, wrap the strawberry plants in wet paper towels, put them in a bag, and store them in your refrigerator until you can plant strawberry plants outside. Planting strawberry plants should be done on a cloudy or overcast day or during the late afternoon.

How to plant strawberries: dig out a hole big enough to spread out the roots of each strawberry plant. In the bottom of the hole, create a mound or hill of soil that is flush with the surrounding soil level. Put the strawberry plant on top of the hill inside the hole so that the crown is at soil level and spread the roots out down the sides of the hill. Fill in the hole and ensure that the soil level is even with the middle of the crown. Planting too shallow may cause the roots to dry out before they establish, and planting too deep can also damage growing strawberries. See the figure below for proper crown placement. Once the plants are planted, press to firm the soil around the roots and then water thoroughly.

growing strawberries depth

There are two main scenarios gardeners typically encounter when deciding to order plants.  They either obtain plants that are actively growing (either in pots or as plug plants), or they buy dormant bare root strawberries.  The potted plants usually have a head start on the dormant plants and will grow more quickly, but they are typically significantly more expensive.  For the same price as two or three potted plants, one can often obtain 20-25 bare root plants.  Plug plants are in the middle of the cost spectrum, but they are still usually more expensive than the bare root strawberries.  Planting each is slightly different.

Here is a good video demonstration of how to plant potted plants.  The video is specific to the Bonnie Plants brand, but the information would apply to any potted strawberry plant.

Secondly, here is a video demonstration of how to plant bare root strawberry plants.  Again, the video was produced by the Gardener’s Supply brand, but it is also representative of how to plant any bare root strawberry plant from any reputable source.

Creating a Good Environment for Growing Strawberries

Once the plants are in the ground, it is important to create an environment that is most conducive to growing strawberries. Mulching is a time-honored method for making the growing strawberries happy.

After you’ve planted your strawberry plants, mulch the strawberry bed with shredded leaves, pine needles, compost, or straw. Pine needles are a good choice as they slightly raise the acidity of soil as they decompose. Mulching also keeps the soil temperature down, mitigates the weed problem, and keeps the fruit cleaner by keeping the strawberries off of the dirt. Most varieties of strawberries produce better when their roots are in cooler soil.

Different Strawberry Types Need Specific Care Regimens

If you have decided to grow strawberry plants, you probably don’t want to wait to reap the fruits of your labor. I don’t blame you. However, delaying gratification now can result higher quantities of strawberries later. Additionally, it is important to treat June-bearing strawberries differently than everbearing strawberries and day-neutral strawberries.

All types of strawberry plants will produce better in subsequent years if all their energies are devoted to establishing themselves and producing healthy runner plants in the first year. To accomplish this requires a feat of delayed gratification. To have the strongest plants in subsequent years, you have to remove all the flower buds in year one. Without flower buds, you won’t be able to enjoy harvesting strawberries. But, you’ll get more and better berries beginning in year two. Few people do this, but most should.

For June bearing varieties, you can train the runners to follow a specific pattern, or you can allow them relative freedom in a matted row system. In general, all strawberry plants will produce best when limited to a density of approximately five plants per square foot. Too many strawberry plants will have the same effect as weeds would: reduced yields of smaller strawberries. Of course, any and all weeds should be removed.

For day neutral and everbearing strawberry plants, the removal of buds and runners should occur until July 1st of year one. They naturally don’t put out as many runners as June-bearers. Instead, they focus their energy on producing multiple strawberry harvests. You may end up getting a small harvest with everbearing or day-neutral varieties, depending on your climate.

The main harvest will come in the second year when all mother plants and all the runners which were well-rooted before August will produce strawberries!

Water Requirements for Growing Strawberries

Growing strawberry plants require a constantly moist environment, so regular watering is needed. To have the most success growing strawberries, at least an inch of water should be provided to the plants either through rainfall or direct supplemental. Up to two inches of water can be given while the fruit is forming, from early bloom until the end of harvest. Watering should continue during dry periods in August and September. This later water helps reduce stress on the strawberry plants which helps fruit bud formation in the following year.

Remember, while water is critically important when growing strawberries, they do not like to sit in standing water. This is why your site needs good drainage. Strawberry plants are relatively shallow-rooted, so soggy ground can cause them to rot while dry ground can kill them or stop fruit production. Mulching helps keep the moisture level of your soil more consistent.

Fertilizing Strawberry Plants

Fertilizing helps growing strawberry plants reach their maximum potential. It can be beneficial to fertilize multiple different times in the life of a strawberry bed.

First, a balanced (10-10-10) fertilizer should be added just before planting your strawberry plants. Add one to two pounds of fertilizer per 100 square feet. This helps increase the nitrogen levels in the soil.

Second, during the first year of the strawberry garden, another round can be applied after the strawberries have been planted for around four to six weeks, and again in August, depending on plant growth.

Third, day-neutral and everbearing strawberries can be fertilized after the first harvest. June-bearing strawberries should be fertilized during renovation. This is done to keep the plants vigorous. Be sure to water the fertilizer well to get it to soak in down to the roots of the growing strawberries.

You should not fertilize your strawberry plants in the spring of a fruiting year. Too much nitrogen will result in soft, easily-damaged strawberries. You can still fertilize after the initial crop for day-neutral and everbearing strawberries, and you should also fertilize immediately after renovation once the plants are completely dry. Applying fertilizer to wet strawberry plants can result in phytotoxicity, and no fertilizer particles should remain lodged in the plants. After application, sweep your plants with a broom or other suitable tool to dislodge any stuck fertilizer.

You do have to be careful when fertilizing growing strawberries. If you apply too much fertilizer, you will get excessive leaf growth and poor production of flower stalks. If you plant strawberries in colder climates, late-season fertilizing can cause new growth that will be damaged by cold-weather frosts. Indeed, I have grown strawberries without any fertilizers in less-than-optimum soil and still gotten a reasonable harvest, so it is better to fertilize too little than too much until you become experienced.

If you prefer growing organic strawberries, blood meal can be used to increase nitrogen while bone meal can be used to increase phosphates. Growing organic strawberries with these organic fertilizers requires application about once per month from June through September.

Protecting Your Growing Strawberries

Humans aren’t the only creatures that like the tasty, sweet strawberries you will be growing. Birds and slugs (and other critters) love them too. Birds will inevitably get some of your strawberries. However, you can protect the vast majority of them by covering your rows with bird netting. Additionally, copper ribbon will keep the slugs away. You can read more about this and similar topics on the Strawberry Plant page.

You Grow Strawberries for the Harvest!

After a couple of years planting and caring for growing strawberries, you are ready for harvest! Strawberries should be completely ripened on the plant before harvesting. Most varieties should be left on the plant for one or two days after the strawberries have gained full color. Ultimately, however, you have to eat one to know if it is ready!

Strawberries are somewhat fragile and are easily damaged and bruised. Gentle hands and tender care should be used when picking them from the strawberry plants. To pick a ripe strawberry, release it using the fingernails of your thumb and forefinger to sever the stem directly above the berry instead of pulling on the strawberry itself. Cradle the berry in your palm as you pick it so that it doesn’t fall and bruise or get dirty. The cap and part of the stem should still be attached to the berry. You can harvest your strawberries as often as every other day if you want to maintain ripe, high-quality fruits.

Strawberries should be dry when they are picked. Wet berries do not do well and will mold quickly, and, unlike tomatoes, will not ripen after being picked. As soon as they are harvested, it is best to place unwashed strawberries in cool, dry, shady place (a refrigerator is best).  For more information and a ripeness chart, see the Strawberry Picking page.

Strawberry Garden Renovation

Renovation is an important part of growing strawberries of the June-bearing variety in the matted row system. Since strawberry plants don’t live forever, renovating right after harvest can keep them vigorous for up to five years as new runner plants are given the chance to replace old or weakened plants.

To renovate, thin the plants in the rows to about 6 inches apart (5 to 6 plants per square foot is the maximum acceptable). Then, mow the tops of the plants to one inch above the crowns. Take special care not to damage the crowns. If the foliage is disease-free, rake the leaves and compost them or incorporate them into the soil. Fertilize with a balanced (10-10-10) fertilizer. Narrow the rows to between 12 and 18 inches by hoeing or tilling.

A good, aggressive renovation effort will see about half of the strawberry plants removed. After plant removal, work the mulch medium into the soil with a tiller.  Since strawberries have a shallow root system, spreading a thin layer of soil (about a half inch) around the crowns can help facilitate new root development.  Continue to water the plants at least 1 inch per week through September and maintain the planting as weed-free until it the first frosts.  Allow early runner plants to root where they will until your desired row width is re-established.  However, runners produced after September 1st will not have time to establish themselves and survive the winter, so they can be removed.

Whenever you begin to notice the growing strawberries losing vigor or struggling to maintain their vitality, or if your yields begin to decrease, you may have reached the end of your strawberry bed’s lifetime. When this occurs, start over with new plants in a new area.  Click this link for a detailed explanation: Strawberry Renovation.

How to Grow Strawberries in the Second Year? Keep Them Alive!

If you want to continue growing strawberries from year to year, you have to preserve the bed and the strawberry plants in it. In areas with relatively warmer winters, your strawberries will likely not need much additional care to survive the winter. In colder climates additional mulching is required when the temperature drops into the twenties, but before it falls to 20 degrees Fahrenheit. Strawberry blossoms, however, are easily damaged by frost and will have to be protected in the spring if frosts are predicted.

For cold winters, wait until the strawberry plants go dormant. This usually happens in December when temperatures drop into the teens or low twenties and the top half inch of soil is frozen. Then, apply a mulch of straw or pine needles 2 to 3 inches thick over the bed. Other mulches that do not contain weed seeds can be substituted in a pinch, but do not use sawdust, leaves, or cut grass as they will pack too tightly and can smother the plants.

Watering the mulch lightly can help prevent wind loss. Additionally, don’t apply mulch after several consecutive warm days. The mulch may spur the strawberry plants to begin growing again which will result in extensive temperature damage and even plant loss.

In the spring, rake the mulch off to the side so that the plants can begin growing again. However, keep it handy so that the plants can be re-covered when frosts are predicted. Old blankets or cloths or commercial materials like Reemay can be use to mitigate the threat of frosts as well. Leave the mulch around the base of the plants to keep the berries off the ground also.

Growing Strawberries: Conclusion

Strawberries are one of the most rewarding food crops to grow in a small home garden. Homegrown berries taste far better than the store-bought ones and you can save some serious money by not having to pay supermarket prices.

Be sure to check back often for updated articles on the various aspects of successfully growing strawberries in different environments and with different methods!

More:

How to Grow Certified Organic Strawberries
This guide will help you learn how to grow certified organic strawberries. The regulations can be cumbersome when you decide you want to grow organic strawberry plants. Help is here!

4 Secrets to Growing Loads of Organic Strawberries
If you want to find success growing organic strawberries, these 4 secrets will help you grow organic strawberry plants with maximum efficiency and highest yield!

Planting Strawberries in the Fall
Fall is the best time to plant strawberries for several reasons.  The most important, however, is so that you do not have to pinch or snip the flowers off of your spring-planted strawberries.  Yay for 1st-year harvests!

Wilting Strawberry Plants
Do you have wilting strawberry plants? Why do strawberry plants wilt? If you want to know what causes strawberries to wilt and what causes wilting strawberries, be sure to review the information in this post.

Mulching Strawberry Plants with Straw for Winter
This step-by-step guide is about mulching strawberry plants with straw for winter. Take these steps to mulching your strawberry bed and see your strawberry plants safely through the cold.

Overwintering Strawberries
Want to know how to overwinter strawberries in containers?  Overwintering strawberry plants doesn’t need to be hard or confusing.  Learn everything you need to know about overwintering strawberries here.

Strawberry Seedlings
Learn about newborn strawberry plants here: planting strawberry seedlings, handling strawberry seedlings, hardening strawberry seedlings, and everything about the strawberry seedling!

Topsy Turvy Strawberry Planter
Want to grow strawberries from those upside-down hanging planter thingies?  Read this first to see if you should utilize these strawberry planters.

How Many Strawberries Do Strawberry Plants Produce?
Find out all you need to know about the quantities of strawberries you can expect to harvest: by plant, by row foot, or by acre.  Use this info to plan ahead for your needs!

Strawberry Planting Guide
Use this strawberry planting guide when planting strawberries to know exactly when to plant strawberry plants in your area.  Date ranges for zones 3 through 10 provided here.

Companion Planting Strawberries
Learn about companion planting strawberries and which companion plants work well for strawberry plants.  Lots of information on strawberry companion plants and companion planting is here.

Matted Row System
The matted row system has been used successfully for decades. The matted row strawberry system makes growing matted row strawberries easy for the home gardener and hobby gardener alike.

Southeastern Plasticulture Strawberries
Southeastern plasticulture strawberries are grown using a modified version of the California & Florida way of growing plasticulture strawberries on a commercial scale. An introduction is here.

Strawberry Renovation
A guide to traditional strawberry renovation.  Get help here with renovating strawberries & renovating strawberry plants.  While growing organic strawberries is the wave of the future, this information is still useful.

Strawberry Plants per Acre
Wondering how many strawberry plants per acre need to be planted for commercial strawberry farms? Look no further. Get the approximate number of strawberry plants per acre of land with this table.

Growing Strawberry Plants Commercially
Growing strawberry plants commercially can be profitable. But, commercial strawberry growing isn’t easy. Read this before trying to grow strawberries commercially.

Strawberry Plants and Cold Injury
With strawberry plants and cold injury threat events, checking strawberry plants for cold damage is needed. Dormant strawberry plants revive with warmer weather and can get damaged when temperatures drop. Here’s how to do it.

Strawberry Plants Producing Runners but no Strawberries?
Few things are as frustrating as seeing strawberry plants grow well and then be stingy with the strawberries. No strawberries on strawberry plants is a very sad sight. Here is how to fix strawberry plants producing runners but no strawberries.

Strawberry Plants & Borage
Companion planting strawberries with borage is a good idea. Borage and strawberry plants help each other be the best strawberries and borage they can be! This article gives the details.

Grow Your Own Strawberry Plants: 10 Reasons Why
Grow your own strawberry plants? Absolutely! Growing your own strawberries is a great idea. Here are 10 reason why you should be growing your own strawberries.

Strawberry Flowers
Each strawberry flower turns into a strawberry. Here we discuss where strawberry flowers come from, strawberry flower care, & other info on strawberry flowers.

Monthly Growing Strawberries Guide
This growing strawberries guide is a great monthly strawberry growing overview. It covers the main tasks that need to be attended to each month and season.

Mowing Strawberry Plants
Everything about mowing strawberries is here. Mowing strawberry plants helps them thrive. Learn how to mow strawberry plants; it sure beats pruning strawberries!

Transplanting Strawberries
Ever wonder when to transplant strawberry plants? Transplanting strawberries is not too hard. Here is how you should go about transplanting strawberry plants.

Strawberry Plant Propagation
Strawberry plant propagation doesn’t have to be hard. There are three main ways to propagate strawberry plants. One is the easy way to propagate strawberries.

How a New Variety of Strawberry Plants Is Developed
Ever wonder how a new variety of strawberry plants is developed? Find out here. Learn how to develop a new variety of strawberry plant. New strawberries, yummy!

Strawberry Plant Runners
What are strawberry runners? The details of strawberry plant runners are here. Find out the benefits, drawbacks, & usefulness of runners on a strawberry plant.

Hop on the Strawberry Bandwagon
There is a trend toward consuming more strawberries. Hop on the strawberry bandwagon! In fact, you can buy strawberry plants & start growing strawberries today!

186 comments to Growing Strawberries

  • Mr. Strawberry

    Tony,
    You can plant different strawberry varieties beside each other without any problems. However, as for the different colored ones for which you purchased the seeds, you might want to review this. Good luck!

  • Tony

    Hello, can you plant different types of strawberries beside each other? Will they cross polinate?
    I want to plant some berries in rain gutters along the side of the house. 4 rows about 40 foot long. Would like different types in each gutter. I got some blue and purple and black strawberry seeds to plant. And would like early glow and honeye plants. What are your thoughts about different ones near each other.
    Thank you.

  • Mr. Strawberry

    Gippy,
    Unfortunately, strawberry plants are unlikely to survive the heat there. Very sorry!

  • Gippy

    Hi Mr. Strawberry
    I am from Punjab(India) at here temp reaches upto 40-45C in summer which is from may to September and in months December to Feb it drops to some times upto 10 degrees. can strawberries survive these temp conditions and the raining season is July to sept. and January to march.I am thinking of Farming berries on large scale if it is possible than which variety of strawberries should i chose.
    Please guide me.
    with regards.
    Gippy Sandhu

  • Mr. Strawberry

    Bob,
    You should go ahead and remove the dead vegetative matter. It can harbor fungi and other things that can menace your plants as the weather warms. Good luck!

  • Bob

    I grew 3 varieties of strawberry in a very large pot on my patio last year. It was my first year growing them. The plants grew like crazy and were very healthy. I live in a townhome, so I was not able to bring the plant indoors, and I don’t have a shed or garage, so the plants have been sitting in this large pot on my patio all winter long. We had alot of snow this year, and several times the plants were buried under snow. I have been worried the winter weather would kill them, but I have had alot of people tell me not to worry, that the plants will be back this year. Spring is rolling in now, and there are alot of dead, dried up looking leaves/stems in the pot, but there are also alot of green leaves among them. My question for you is, should I clip out all of the dead leaves and branches that are covering the soil? Or should I wait til the last frost to do this, to protect the plants? Or should I just leave the plant alone and let it do it’s thing???

  • Mr. Strawberry

    Mohsen,
    I’m glad it helped! Good luck!

  • Mohsen

    The information of this page should help me to i have get a good garden in the Babolsar of Iran.
    thanks

  • Mr. Strawberry

    Ariane,
    The information on this page should help you sufficiently. Especially, pay attention to the links at the top. Good luck!

  • Ariane

    Hello! I’m from the Philippines, and it’s been two months now that I planted my strawberry seeds that I bought from the super market, and they are growing.. any suggestion on how to keep them healthy and keep them away from any pesticide? do I have to spray anything?

    Thanks

  • Mr. Strawberry

    Deb,
    Fall is a great time to transplant. See if this page helps. If the runners are just running over the edge, and you have no intentions of planting or saving them, just snip them off. Also, it is ok to thin them if they are too dense. Good luck!

  • Mr. Strawberry

    Melody,
    The plants will likely do the best with no more than 3 per square foot of soil space. But, other than that, they should do fine in containers as long as they are watered and cared for appropriately. I wouldn’t mow them just after planting, however. Good luck!

  • Mr. Strawberry

    Gary,
    Too much water can indeed pose a problem. Most of the strawberry roots are actually in the top 3 or so inches of soil, so you may be fine without going to the trouble of erecting a shelter for your plants. Just make sure that they are mulched well so that dirt from the ground doesn’t splash up onto the leaves/plants. That is a primary way that fungal diseases are spread to strawberries. Good luck!

  • Deb

    I started 4 raised beds 8 x 4 each with 25 June bearing plants. I live in WI. I kept the runners in the beds all summer and now the plants have completely filled the beds and runners are hanging over the edge again. I’ve read the sites about transplanting,etc. and it sounds like I shouldn’t thin the beds until after they bear fruit next year???? They started as crowns this Spring. I don’t know if I should cut off the runners and if berries will produce with the beds this full. Please help!

  • Gary

    First off, Thank You for what you do here. I admit I am only a beginner at raising strawberries, however, this forum sure makes it a much easier task due to your patience and vast knowledge.

    Just to set the scenario…..
    I planted some everbearers that I purchased from a nursery,in the late spring(mid-june)in a raised bed that I put together consisting of a combination of peat moss, steer manure, potting soil, gardeners top soil, and some of the natural existing clayish soil. The combination amounted to about 5″ altogether and this was all on top of the already existing clayish soil. Drainage is good due to a point, but then at about 3″ to 4″ depth, the soil stays fairly damp causing me to be concerned about root damage. Most likely the compactness of the clay soil which this patch was built upon is restricting drainage so I have been watering daily but allowing only about 1″ of the soil to be wet. Now to my question. Here in Montana we are having a 3 to 4 day raining event which is supposed to dump 2″ to 3″ of moisture on us(at time of this writing we have received a half inch),so what do I do? Build a plastic tent to repel this water or just sit back and hope for the best?
    Thank You in advance for your advice on this.
    Gary

  • Mr. Strawberry

    ngal,
    Unfortunately, strawberries are temperate by nature and do not do well in tropical environments! Sorry!

  • ngal

    hi , im ngal from the philippines .. i have bought strawberries from a store and decided to plant the seeds. i’ve already done it but i’m quite doubtful if it’ll live in such tropical country.. we have an average temperature of 36C high ..

  • Mr. Strawberry

    Aaron,
    Oh no! It can take some time to get the hang of helping healthy strawberry plants reach their full potential! Good luck!

  • Aaron

    Thank you Mr. Strawberry,

    The wilt did stop and I let the plants dry a bit. It looks like they are now getting a fungal infection! I am learning how to take care of that as well.

    Blessings,
    Aaron

  • Mr. Strawberry

    siv ayouvoitanak,
    Cambodia is not a good place to try and grow strawberries due to the climate. Strawberries are temperate and would need a controlled environment to do well there. Very sorry!

  • siv ayouvoitanak

    i am a cambodia people,I leave in phnom penh city.I want to ask you about strawberry,can i plant in cambodia or not and why?

  • Mr. Strawberry

    Lee Hyde,
    Many varieties of strawberries will expand at the crown. This is fine. As the crowns expand, the central roots become more dense. As that happens, some peripheral roots will be exposed and die off. That should not significantly decrease plant production or growth unless the exposed roots are due to significant erosion. So, you should be able to leave the plants alone. Hope that helps! Good luck!

  • Lee Hyde

    I’ve been growing strawberries in containers for a couple of years now and I’ve noticed that the crowns and roots of the plants are raising themselves out of the soil, causing the exposed portions of the roots to dry out. The plants seem happy enough for now, but I was wondering it would be preferable if I repotted the plants every year so as to ‘earth up’ the strawberry plants and their roots.

    I suspect that earthing up is par for the course for in-ground perenial strawberry patches, but it’s rather impractical in container culture short of either repotted or leaving a substantial void in the top of the container for mulching/earthingup over the 3-4 year life of the plants. My concern with repotted is that risturbing the established root system might be far more detrimental than simply leaving the plants in situ.

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated. :-)

  • Mr. Strawberry

    New strawberry grower,
    If you like the berries and want more plants, keep the runners. If you don’t, don’t keep them!

  • New strawberry grower

    Thank you for your comprehensive site. I don’t know what type of strawberry plants I have so I’m not sure whether to keep the runners or not. Any advice?

  • Mr. Strawberry

    Aaron,
    They might have too much water. Often, water can pool on top of clay-heavy soils and promote fungal growth or other pathogens to proliferate. It is better to mulch with straw than to mulch with dead plant matter, as such a mulch often harbors pests or fungi. This might be of use: wilting strawberries. Good luck!

  • Aaron

    I have Ohio clay soil with some organic soil as well as the dirt the plants came in added. I watered 2 days ago about 1- 1 1/2 inches of water per plant. I also took dead grass and weeds and made a “bird nest” around them for mulch. The soil is still pretty moist. Not wet, but definitely moist. How long should I wait before I water them again? Also some of the leaves are wilting or burning a little bit. Some yellow and red tinged. There are new leaves coming but they have brown marks on their edges. What is this about and what can I do for them? I haven’t fertilized them as of yet. This is my 1st year and I am trying to be cost effective and such and getting the time to go to the store etc. Thank you in advance for your help. Blessed be :)

  • Mr. Strawberry

    elizabeth,
    An old tractor tire should work fabulously well for growing strawberries, so go right ahead. You can use plastic under the tire to prevent/minimize weeds, but be sure water can still easily drain out. Strawberries do need well-drained soil because water-saturated or puddled soil will harbor fungus which can kill, contribute to rot (which also induces the plants’ demise), and can cause wilting in less-severe circumstances. So, go for it and good luck!

  • elizabeth

    I would like to use an old tractor tire so please tell me how deep to I have to have the dirt and can you use plastic under the tire to help keep the weeds from grown up through the strawberries .
    thank you elizabeth

  • Straw Berry

    Henry,
    They start them several different ways. See here: strawberry propagation. Also, watch the last video here to see how they are planted commercially: Growing Commercial Strawberries. Hope that helps!

  • Henry

    The farms that sell thousands of plants, how do they start them? Seeds…propagation?

  • Straw Berry

    Hal Muns,
    If there are some plants still putting out runners, you can. Just follow the instructions here: Transplanting Strawberry Plants. Good luck!

  • Hal Muns

    6 year kld strawberry patch has fizzled out. Can I use the remainder of plants to re-plant a new garden?

  • Mr. Strawberry

    Wilhelmina Epps,
    You can do either. If you are planning on growing strawberries on a large strawberry farm, most strawberry farms treat them as annuals and replant yearly. If you are going to grow them at home, most home gardeners treat them as perennials. In a home garden, with appropriate care, strawberries will produce for 3-4 years. Good luck!

  • Wilhelmina Epps

    I am very interested in growing the June-bearing strawberries. I am not sure if they are planted for just 1 bearing season or are the plants kept to grow and bear fruits for some more years? Looking forward to your reply.
    Thanks in advance.
    Wilhelmina E.

  • Mr. Strawberry

    Tom T,
    Thanks for the update! Unfortunately, I am not sure what you can do differently with your hydroponic setup.

  • Tom T

    Thanks, I can report that it is 11 days and they are still in the nursery flat which has a minimal amount of soil in egg-carton like spots. I’ve acclimatized them and it has been down to the low-mid 80’s luckily drizzle all week – just right – now and they look good, but any moment could be struck by something with all this humidity. I have been removing all unhealthy leaves proptly. As long as they stay perky your wish for luck is rubbing off since they have completely recovered from the trip and this two-step process is probably less stressful than immediately washing off the roots where lots of care with the fine hairs is needed. As this is a hydroponic set up, my first attempt, the system they were going into just wasn’t ready. It was to be two steps. (1) “NFT” where the rinsed plug root balls were transplanted into net pots on a shallow channel resting on the bottom with clay balls for support and wicking then to (2) “NFT” much deeper channels where the roots need to grow 3 inches below the pot. The nursery channel was unsatisfactory. So I’ve made DWC’s to start up tomorrow and if all goes well will brush the fertilizer solution level against the bottom of the pots and lower it to get the roots to grow chasing it. Only then can I simply slip the pot into the big channels since eventually strawberry roots get monsterous in these and small channels don’t work. I wish I had a better way than DWC to train the roots, any suggestion’d be much appreciated. DWC is supposed to be a workable but generally unhealthy root environment and these were premium plugs. What can I do different ;-(

  • Mr. Strawberry

    Tom T,
    The most critical thing is to keep the roots moist. It is best if they aren’t extensively exposed to air as well. If you have to keep them out of the ground, wrapping the roots in damp paper towels is the easiest way to accomplish that. The leaves aren’t as essential as the crown and root system are. If you are growing them in a hydroponic system, just try to get them planted and situated as soon as possible. Good luck!

  • Tom T

    Help, I just got my flat of plugs and I can’t find here an ‘unpacking for dummies’. only that I should wrap them in damp paper towels if not planting right away. I’m not going to be ready to plant for about 3-4 days, the plugs got banged up a little by ups, burt look decent. Were not shipped in plastic, just in a box from a high quality nursery using healthy stock.

    I sprayed the leaves with rainwater they are a bit dry, but the soil in the plugs didn’t dry out, I would like to rwmove some leaves but don’t want to stress the plants. It’s 85 F for the highs and Florida humidity, so I put them in the garage tonight open to the 70’s evening and night air as they arrived in the nursery plugs flat. What is the best way to procede to hold these for 3-4 days and if that turns into a week will it be a problem? The roots will have to be soaked for transplanting into an inert medium, not to be grown in soil.

    Help ;-)!

  • Mr. Strawberry

    zainab rayed,
    Fall is the best time to plant strawberries. Planting in September allows you to harvest a full crop the following spring. Good luck!

  • zainab rayed

    hi my name is zainab. in which season i hhave to plant a stawberrie plant.thank you.

  • Mr. Strawberry

    william mcmillian,
    I’d recommend reviewing these top 10 reasons strawberries don’t produce fruit. Good luck!

  • william mcmillian

    I am growing several strawberry plants in a big planter.I have used potting soil with miracle grow.The pot is left out on the banister in direct sunlight and gets plenty of water each day.I have healthy looking leaves and vines but no strawberries.I have never had a strawberry come from these plants.What am I doing wrong?

  • Mr. Strawberry

    Louise Barr,
    Follow the guidelines on this page! Good luck!

  • Louise Barr

    I only watered our strawberry plants three times since the rain stopped I june. I thought strawberries were maintainable without constant watering. Silly me!
    The plants are still alive. The berries are tiny. What can I do at this point?
    Thanks

  • Mr. Strawberry

    Andrew Fignar,
    Technically, strawberry renovation is reserved for June-bearing varieties because they produce one major crop and then are finished for the season. You can, however, still thin the plants and provide them with needed nutrients. Additionally, when cold weather hits, the vegetative parts of the strawberry plants will wilt. So, prior to mulching for the winter, it is a good idea to remove the dead vegetative parts of the dormant plants to prevent fungus and other infection/infestation. As they will be flat when you are ready to cover them, clean pine straw should work just fine. Good luck!

  • Andrew Fignar

    I was wondering if pineberries and musk strawberries should be renovated? I also was wondering if it is OK to trim any type down for the winter? I was thinking about covering them, and some everbearing and alpines are so big, the material I would think will blow off. I was going to use pine hay, as I have an endless supply of it. I use it as a mulch too for strawberries, raspberries, and potted plants.

  • Mr. Strawberry

    shelly ryll,
    If you aren’t in any rush, it is better to wait until the heat of summer is waning. Wait until the end of August or beginning of September. Good luck!

  • Mr. Strawberry

    Keith,
    Absolutely. If strawberry plants become too crowded, each plant will be starved for nutrients and will have difficulty setting fruit. Try thinning them out so that there are only 3-4 plants per square foot of space (maximum), and see if that doesn’t fix the problem. Good luck!

  • shelly ryll

    Mr Strawberry,
    I am wanting to enlarge my patch. Since by berries are done for the year should I replant the runners now or wait until the fall? I live in Michigan

  • Keith

    I planted Sparkle strawberry plants in the spring of 2012 and let most of the runners set plants. This spring to date I only got a few strawberries and very few blossoms. Could it be that the plants are too crowded?

  • Mr. Strawberry

    Brandy,
    You can get some diatomaceous earth and dust your plants with it. It won’t hurt you, but insects can’t tolerate it. Good luck!

  • Brandy

    Hi,
    My mom gave me several strawberry plants last year that grow really well in our climate (Alaska). Last year they didn’t do much but this year they are huge beautiful plants with dozens of strawberries on each plant. (I did not cut down the plants before winter because I did not know I was supposed to do this) A few weeks ago, I noticed that about 4 plants had aphids. I dug them out and discarded them and the soil around them. Unfortunately, I did not get rid of the aphids and now new plants are having infestations. If I keep digging them up and discarding them, not only will I not have any plants left but I am loosing a lot of soil as well. Do you have any recommendations as to how I can deal with the aphids?
    Thanks!

  • Mr. Strawberry

    Therese,
    Yes, you only have to prevent the first year production with a new bed. The runner plants that root before September will do just fine the following year. Good luck!

  • Therese

    Dear Mr. Strawberry,
    In the hill system a new Junebearing plant from a runner should produce for three years, then be allowed a runner or two. These daughters will bear the next year and the mothers should be “retired”. You only need to prevent first year production with a new bed. Do I have this all right? Thank you so much for your website.

  • Mr. Strawberry

    martyn,
    Sometimes that can happen with irregular watering. I’d recommend switching to a drip tape irrigation system and see if that resolves your problem. Good luck!

  • martyn

    I have a dozen strawberry plants in a strawberry planter each plant has an individual pot – they are planted in good compost and watered regularly but The berries are splitting before they get very big. What am I doing wrong?

  • Mr. Strawberry

    saging,
    Unfortunately, there aren’t really any strawberries that do well in tropical climates. They are temperate by nature.

  • saging

    Whats the best type of strawberry to plant on a tropical environment?

  • Mr. Strawberry

    Terri,
    Glad to hear it! That is a great thing to do with strawberry runners!

  • Terri

    I bought some reduced strawberry plants and planted them in a pot months ago. They are now so green and producing so many berries. The runners are all hanging off the planter so I put them in a pot and now I have more plants.

  • Mr. Strawberry

    John,
    Some roots may get through, but it is better to cut small holes for the roots to have easy access to the soil through. Good luck!

  • John

    Hi,

    Can you tell me, will the runner plants root down through landscape fabric or do I need to cut holes for the runner plants?

    Thank you!
    John

  • Mr. Strawberry

    Scott Sandquist,
    This should help: Transplanting Strawberries. Good luck!

  • Scott Sandquist

    Several years ago I bought 25+/- “strazzberry” plants on line. These plants are a type of strawberry cultivar, but the only detectable difference from any other strawberry is the amazing flavor. And no matter how greast any other strawberry tastes, the strazzberry is simply unbelievably tastier! Everyone who tries one is amazed, and agress with my assessment.

    I can no longer find them available on line, so I intend to transplant my bed after this year’s crop is picked – or do I need to wait until autumn? The new bed will receive adequate sun but is partially shaded, can be well watered, and is located in Lincoln, NE: zone 5)

  • Mr. Strawberry

    Judy,
    It could be either. You may want to investigate here and here for help identifying and treating the problem. Good luck!

  • Judy

    I planted 25 each of Sparkle and Ozark strawberry plant this spring. Most are doing great but a few have turned brown. They are still alive because they will put out new shoots when watered or it rains. I pulled a couple of the browning ones and it looks like they have little to no roots. Is this more likely a bug eating the roots or a disease killing them?

  • Mr. Strawberry

    Shirley Oesau,
    It might be. You can check the Strawberry Plant page for some of the more common pests. Or, for a more comprehensive list, see these references in the strawberry plants library: Pest Management , Diagnosis of Diseases. Good luck!

  • Shirley Oesau

    We’ve had a small bed planted for three years,bearing a fair amount. But this year we were detained in getting the netting and leaves off soon ienough. Would this be the cause of holes in the leaves? There’s something like a Larvi ( soft light brown spots on the back of the leaves. Is there a spray for this? What should I do now.

  • Mr. Strawberry

    RHONDA,
    Yes, you can transplant the runners elsewhere, but don’t do it too soon. The stolon (runner) is what keeps the cloned daughter plant alive until its roots are fully established in soil of its own. If you cut the runner before the roots are fully supporting the daughter plant, it will die a rapid death.

  • RHONDA

    Can you cut the runners off and replant them somewhere else? where would you cut them?

  • Mr. Strawberry

    Jeff,
    Commercial strawberry farmers typically use the plasticulture system and grow strawberries as an annual. Home gardeners, however, can and do take advantage of the perennial nature of strawberry plants. See the links under the “More” section on this page for help on doing so yourself. Good luck!

  • Mr. Strawberry

    Lynn,
    You might have a nutrient imbalance causing your plants to have the poor-tasting strawberries. If there is an overabundance of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium (the N-P-K numbers you often see on fertilizers like 10-10-10), your plants will often quickly over-produce vegetative matter without adequately diverting productive energy to strawberry development. It sounds like that might be your problem. Alpines usually have extremely aromatic and flavorful berries, so something is definitely out of whack. Of course, the berries will be as described if you simply pick them too soon before they are fully ripe (I’m always tempted to do this!). If this is the first year, I would wait to split them. For transplanting help, see here: Transplanting Strawberries. Good luck!

  • Jeff

    I was wondering if you need to re-plow the land after harvest, and replant the seed every year, or do strawberry farmer usually keep the plants alive after harvest?

  • Lynn

    I have 18 assorted year-old, ever-bearing alpine strawberry plants in a raised bed with a mixture of peat, compost, vermiculite and Holly-tone. They’ve more than quadrupled in size since last year (no exaggeration) but I’ve done nothing to them since planting. Three questions: 1. The plants are loaded with plump berries and glowing with health but the berries are flavorless or slightly bitter. Why? 2. I’ve read that I should split them when they are 3 years old, but, given their size now, should I do it sooner? They’re over 18″ in diameter. 3. I want to double the height of the bed. I assume I can’t transplant them now, but when is the best time? Thanks so much!

  • Mr. Strawberry

    Susan,
    It might be nitrogen deficiency.

  • Mr. Strawberry

    Nikki,
    You can still plant them! See the recommended varieties for Delaware before you order. Good luck!

  • Susan

    I just planted my new June-bearing plants three weeks ago and I’m noticing the edges of the leaves turning yellow and then brown. Can you tell me what’s going on and how I can stop it?

  • Nikki

    I live in DE. Is it too late to start plants at this point? I don’t even have them yet; I still have to order and have them shipped.

  • Mr. Strawberry

    Robin,
    At this stage, you’ll need to weigh the benefits. Snipping the berries will probably still help a little bit, but the plants have already expended a lot of energy getting them to this point. If some are already turning pink, what I would do personally is this: let those finish ripening (not much further to go) and enjoy them. However, I would also be watchful for any new flowers and go ahead and snip them off to help the plant better establish itself. Obviously, this is a compromise of sorts, but it should still help the plants a little bit. Also, Quinaults are everbearing, so only continue to snip the flowers for the first part of the year. It is ok to let everbearers produce their second main crop toward the end of the season. Good luck!

  • Robin

    We planted Quinalts a couple months ago and are just now learning about removing the flowers to help them get established and produce well for next year. Well, almost all the plants have berries on them, mostly small and green, some pink. Should we pick them all ASAP to help them next year, or will this be a loss?

  • Mr. Strawberry

    Leah,
    Both Ozark Beauty and Quinault are everbearing variety strawberries. The ones you buy in the store are almost always June-bearing. Everbearers are usually smaller to begin with, but growing them in baskets will often cause them to be even slightly smaller than that. To get the biggest berries, planting in the ground is the best. Although, planters can do okay as well if they are large enough. This might be of use to you: Reasons for No Strawberries. Good luck!

  • Leah

    I have Ozark Beauty and Quinalt, why are my strawberries ripping way before they get thier right size? I have them in one of those hanging baskets with that fuzzy stuff don’t know what they call it. Should I fertlize or feed them once a week or once a month? I don’t get why the rippen up so fast before they are finished growing then they are very small stawberries not worth using for anything but eating and even then they are too small.

  • Mr. Strawberry

    Rita Shultz,
    Yes, but it isn’t recommended while they are producing fruit. Best to pull them by hand. Good luck!

  • Rita Schultz

    Is there anything i can put on the plants that will kill the weeds?

  • Mr. Strawberry

    Debbie,
    Yes, you can. That is essentially what commercial growers usually do. However, they use equipment and irrigation techniques to make it successful. See more here: Plasticulture. The matted row works best for most home gardeners. Good luck!

  • Debbie

    I am just going to plant strawberries for the first time, can you cover the bed with black plastic and make slits to plant the plants

  • Mr. Strawberry

    Lynn,
    If you bought potted plants that have already been established, you can go ahead and let them produce berries. If you bought bare-root plants, snip the blooms. Good luck!

  • lynn

    do I want to let the blooms go to berries the first year? not harvest the berries, I planted them as suggested and they had really healthy roots.Or do I cut off the blooms this spring?

  • Mr. Strawberry

    Mark,
    They will usually produce well for 3-4 years. After that, they tend to weaken and not produce as many berries. Usually, at somewhere between 4 and 6 years the plants will die. You might want to let a runner or two grow and then replant the runner to keep your strawberry pot producing for you. More details are here: Transplanting Strawberries. Good luck!

  • Mark

    How long can I expect an individual plant to last if I keep clipping off the runners? I don’t have room for the extra plants that the runners create as my plants are in a pot with limited space. They are in their first season and producing a few berries and lots of runners.

  • Mr. Strawberry

    Bedajeet,
    Heavy rainfall and soggy conditions can pose problems for successful strawberry cultivation. If you are planning on planting in a very wet area, you will likely need to raise the strawberry beds to ensure adequate drainage. Otherwise, you plants will likely die. Good luck!

  • Bedajeet

    Hi. can Strawberries be grown in a field where rice has been grown earlier? Also, can it be grown in a place where there is heavy rainfall? What precautions should I take for this type of place?

  • Mr. Strawberry

    Delores,
    When the night-time temperatures no longer drop below freezing, you can remove the mulch. You might still need to cover them if a hard frost is forecast, but you can probably expect green leaflets emerging from the crowns shortly. Good luck!

  • Delores

    When is a good time to remove mulch from strawberries planted in a raised bed? I live in zone 3. thanks.

  • Mr. Strawberry

    Mike,
    No, you don’t need to trim them. Strawberry plants can easily have a spread of 12 inches, and your 6-inch leaflets are likely just a healthy expression of a happy strawberry plant! I’d let them grow as they wish. You can, however, cut off the runners when they begin to be produced. Doing so will help your plants exert more energy into strawberry production. Good luck!

  • Mike

    My Albions (planted in Dec) are growing like crazy but are very rangy. Many of the stems from base of plant to the leaf are up to 6 inches long. Should I cut back these long stems to encourage a more compact plant growth? Thanks a lot for your terrific help.

  • Ken

    Finally got lucky and identified the reason my strawberry plant roots were gone. I am writing this in hopes that others that have similiar issues will be helped. I had some Sevin dust left in a container and I sprinkles a small amount of the dust around some of the the holes in the soil. Just a lark in hoping I would snare a culprit. The next morning I had 12 dead Grub Worms on top on the soil. They were the pests eating my strawberry roots and killing half my plants. It was just a stroke of luck to find what my problem was. If others see little holes in the soil and are losing plant roots, sprinkle a little Sevin dust on the ground – you will be glad you did!

  • Mr. Strawberry

    Mike,
    If you planted them and they had time to establish their roots and then go into their dormant quiescent state, you don’t need to cut the flowers. If you planted them in a warmer climate, and they are producing flowers, you just need to give them time to establish their roots. Since Albion is an everbearing variety, once the plants have had plenty of time to establish their roots, you can then go ahead and let the flowers develop. Good luck!

  • Mr. Strawberry

    Ken,
    You might have Garden Symphylan infestation or some other root-desecrating pest. I’d recommend you start here: Pest Management. Good luck!

  • Mike

    My Albions (planted in Dec) are flowering like crazy. How long should I continue to cut off the flowers?

  • Ken

    Planted 50 strawberry plants last Oct and were doing well up until Feb when half of them begin to die. Today I pulled up the plastic covering on my bed and noticed a lot of holes in the soil, 1/4″ to 1/2″ in diameter. Makes me believe that I have a pest eating the roots and not a bad soil mixture. When I pull up a dead plant the roots are gone. I think I have a weevil or borer of some type killing the plant root structure. The section that has fewer small holes in the soil are in better shape but are starting to show signs of dying. Very frustrated with my 1st try at strawberries! Any thoughts on my issue and if it is a weevil or bored what do I kill them with? TIA, Ken

  • Mr. Strawberry

    Dave,
    That does sound like a good plan! Year two should produce a bountiful harvest! Good luck!

  • Dave

    I plan on putting in 50 strawberry plants using the double hedge row system. From what I read here it sounds like I should plan on the second year for my first harvest and trim runners on a regular basis…every few weeks or so. Does this sound like a reasonable plan?

    Love the site!

  • Mr. Strawberry

    Jessika Blackport,
    They may be. If they came with storage instructions, they should stay alive by following them. Just be sure to not let them dry out, and too much moisture will allow them to get moldy. As a rule of thumb, it is best to get them in the ground as soon as possible. Most of the mailing instructions I have seen say that. Even if you need to protect against colder weather, you can put down straw mulch on them or another type of protective covering. Either way, good luck!

  • Jessika Blackport

    I live in Michigan, zone 5. And I received my strawberry starts already. Will they really be okay in the fridge, wrapped up as reccommended, until I can plant them in May?

  • Mr. Strawberry

    Jessica,
    With the temperature being warm there, it is imperative that you re-plant them as soon as possible according the specifications listed above. Get their roots in the ground and their crowns even with the soil pronto! If you do it quickly, there is a good chance many will survive. Good luck!

  • Jessica

    I planted strawberries for the frist time last year, and really only the second year I have ever attempeted a garden. My wonderful husband decided to go till the garden and unearthed my plants. :( I don’t know what variety I have but wanting to save as many plants as possible. I live in Eastern Washington State. Surprisingly many of my plants are still intact and burried under the loose soil. I am wanting to do a raised bed this year for better air circulation, easier for weeding and maintaining. My question is: Is it ok to put my plants in pots and store them in the garage until its time for planting or should I wait and hope they survive and transplant when it is warmer? Also, it has been unusually warm this time of year, around 45 to 50 degrees and there are several green leaves already on the plants. Please help me save my plants. :)

  • Jason

    I utilize some dog proof wire, suspended on the edges of my raised garden bed, supported by a couple of planks of wood, and feed the strawberry leaves and fruit through the wire. This works a trick not allowing any part of the plant or fruit to touch the ground. I also use a timed drip watering system adding power feed once every few weeks.

    Just some ideas. What do you think anybody? Any improvements required?

  • Mr. Strawberry

    mlmrun,
    Strawberry plants are susceptible to several pathogens depending on the variety planted. Since they also like well-drained soil, using the mounds makes sense. And, the plasticulture method allows for maximum production.

  • mlmrun

    Local commercial growers in Gilroy, CA have mound rows 3 feet wide by 1 foot high with 3 rows of strawberries on top (plants 12″ apart) & black plastic sheet covering. The trench in between mound rows is 2 feet wide. Their irrigation system seems to be buried drip. My question is: why the mound? Why not just plant on flat ground?

  • Ken

    Thank you for the reply and I will proceed as you suggest. Your site is excellent and I have it on my favorites list. Thanks again.

  • Mr. Strawberry

    Ken,
    Yes, keep on snipping the blooms. The cold weather coming should cause your plants to go dormant, and the more buds you snip now, the more of your plant’s energy will be directed toward developing roots and the buds within the crown that will be next spring’s harvest. Good luck!

  • Ken

    Hello, I planted my fall strawberry plants mid October(50+) and they are blooming like crazy in December. I am in central Texas and we still have some cold weather coming in Jan and Feb. Because of this, I have been told to snip off the flowers blooming as they will just freeze and turn brown etc. So far I have snipped over 100 blooms – will this hurt my chances of getting any strawberries in the spring and should I keep on snipping the blooms?? This is my first attempt at growing strawberries. TIA

  • Mr. Strawberry

    mlmrun,
    It sounds like you received bare-root plants. Plugs are usually shipped in soil with active growth emerging from the strawberry crown. Bare-root plants are also commonly called dormant cold storage plants. If they were shipped to you in plastic bags without the roots covered and surrounded by soil on arrival, they are bare-roots. Good luck!

  • mlmrun

    I just received 20 Albion plants from Sakuma Bros. Sakuma calls them “dormant cold storage plants”. How do I know if these are bare root plants or strawberry plugs with intact roots? The root ball is approx 6″ in diameter & the plant 2″ high.
    Thank you very much, Mike, San Jose,CA

  • Mr. Strawberry

    mlmrun,
    The plants will do better with each row having its own drip irrigation. You may want to bury the lines a little less deep, though. The majority of the root system of strawberry plants is in the top three inches. Good luck!

  • Mr. Strawberry

    khan,
    Yes, you should cover them once they have gone dormant. See here for the basics of mulching with straw. Good luck!

  • mlmrun

    Irrigation question. I have built my 6″ high by 24″ wide planting mound. Do you think that a dripper line in the middle buried 3″ down (1/2 gph drippers spaced 6″ apart) will do? Maybe 2 lines, one for each row of plants with 12″ spacing of 1/2 gph drippers would be better?

  • khan

    Should we cover these plants if planted in fall

  • Mr. Strawberry

    cheese,
    Strawberry plants will grow to various sizes depending on the variety. Generally, they will end up between 8 and 14 inches tall.

  • cheese

    how tall do strawberry plants grow

  • Mr. Strawberry

    Keith,
    Plants in planters do tend to dry out more rapidly than in-ground plants, so it is good that you are watering more in your hot weather. If you are watering excessively, the plants can develop rots or fungal infections. My guess, based on your description, is that you might have pests feeding on your strawberries. Damage to the strawberries in hot weather will often cause excessive water transpiration from the fruit, and, as that happens, the berries can shrivel. Also, if they are exposed to the sun in very hot conditions, excessive solar radiation can damage them and cause shrivel as well. If you have some insects feeding, you may want to try some diatomaceous earth and see if the quality of the strawberries improves. Good luck!

  • Mr. Strawberry

    Paula,
    It is possible that you need more soil, but my guess would be that wood chips that are mixed in are causing Nitrogen Deficiency in your strawberry plants as they decompose. Also, you are correct about the water. If the roots dry out, that’s a sure way to get dead plants! You might want to replant without wood chips mixed in (a wood chip mulch on top is ok if done correctly). Or, to manage your current setup, you could supplement with a nitrogen fertilizer if you indeed do have deficiency. Good luck!

  • Keith Ulisse

    I have my plants in planters and enjoy their production. Our recent heat spell has me watering them a lot. I’ve noticed that they are flowering, the berry forms well and in the white stage looks very promising, then the berry begins to shrivel and goes a too-dark color and finishes looking more like a chilli pepper. I’m wondering about overwatering or have you another idea?
    Thankyou!
    Berry Confused…

  • Paula

    I have a new raised bed that I filled with mostly very old manure, a little peat moss & wood chips. I planted my strawberries this spring & one by one they are dying. The plants that are surviving look great, but then will suddenly develop brown curled leaves, it dries up & dies. I mulched between the plants with straw & I think this helped. I suspect either too much manure has made the soil inappropriate for the plants, or it’s simply too porous to hold water. I did notice it dries out pretty quickly. Normally these plants are really vigorous. They are Tristar from a friend’s garden (she has no problems with disease) Do I just need more “plain soil”?

  • Mr. Strawberry

    angel,
    I’d recommend starting here: Why Strawberry Plants don’t Produce. Hopefully, one of the reasons will be the cause and help you remedy your problem. Good luck!

  • angel

    i have a strawberry plant that has been growing for 2 years and is a healthy green with no dead plant neary bye and it still wont grow any berrys. what am i doing wrong.

  • Mr. Strawberry

    ellen,
    Yes, you can transplant in the fall. See here for more information: Transplanting Strawberries

  • ellen

    Can i transplant strawberries that have been growing in container in the fall? Is there any specific time to transplat here in michigan?

  • Mr. Strawberry

    Stephanie,
    Many things affect the size of your strawberries. If you have already done all of the things described on this page, you should be maximizing your harvest. If you already have done all the things mentioned here, you might want to try a different variety. It could be that the one you have is ill-suited to your particular environment.

  • Stephanie

    I have 2nd year strawberry plants with lots of blooms but they produce small berries. What should I be doing to ensure larger berries?

    Thank you

  • Mr. Strawberry

    Lisa,
    You should clear the dead undergrowth. Fungi like to set up shop in such dead plant matter, and many types of fungi can also infest the living plants (and kill or weaken them). So, best clear them out. Good luck!

  • Lisa

    Do I get rid of the dead undergrowth under the strawberry plants? Or is it beneficial to leave it there so the ground can get nutrients from it? Thanks

  • Mr. Strawberry

    janetmatheson,
    Pick them when the tip of the berry is red.

  • Mr. Strawberry

    Debbie Vanderlinden,
    You should be able to dig the runner plants up and give them to your friends without any difficulties. As for what to do with the matted mass of plants, see the Strawberry Renovation page.

  • janetmatheson

    My strawberries are ripening. The hull is shriveled on them when I pick them? What is causing the hulls to dry up too soon?

  • Debbie Vanderlinden

    Hi,My question is our patch is very over grown with beautiful plants,this fall we need to do something,should we just use a tiller to make rows or remove the plants by hand? I would love to sshare these plants with friends,do you think the would make it?Thank you for youre help.Debbie Vanderlinden

  • Mr. Strawberry

    Stacey,
    It is a good idea to remove any dead or dying plant material from your strawberry plants. The mostly-green leaves with crisp edges could either be due to disease or deficiency or damage. It could also be the result of climactic maladjustment by a variety not normally well-suited for your location.

  • Mr. Strawberry

    Erin,
    It depends on what was used to dye the mulch, but it is probably ok. Good luck!

  • Mr. Strawberry

    Toni,
    I would recommend a heavy application of diatomaceous earth. It does a relatively good job against insect pests and won’t harm you one whit. Good luck!

  • Mr. Strawberry

    mindy,
    The blackened flowers are likely destroyed. I would remove them. Good luck!

  • Mr. Strawberry

    Megan,
    Let the flowers develop on your second year plants. This is the first year for your big harvest! Enjoy your strawberry haul this year. Good luck!

  • Mr. Strawberry

    Stanley,
    The best time to plant strawberries is either in the spring or fall. In the spring, follow the directions on this page. See Fall Strawberry Plants for more details about the benefits of planting in the fall. In either case, it is best to plant them in the evening to avoid immediate environmental stresses from the heat or sun. Good luck!

  • Stacey

    Hello!

    Great site! Very informative! I was wondering what to do about leaves on my ozark beauties that are dry and crisp. Do I cut them off at the base of te stem? What about leaves that are just dry on the very edges? I’m sure they shouldn’t be dry like that. My sequoia strawberry leaves don’t have this problem. I’m in Colorado.

    Thanks so much. :-)

  • Erin

    is it ok to mulch newly planted strawberry plants with colored bark mulch? Its all I had handy and I just put it on after planting today.

  • Toni

    I am having a problem with ants and worms eating all of my strawberries. Can you tell me what would be best to get rid of this problem?

  • mindy

    Hi,
    Will a blackened blossom(frost) still have a strawberry of some sort or should I pick them off so the other blossoms will grow stronger? I am just sickened that I was away during this wierd weather and did not cover the berries as I usually would have.

  • Megan

    Hello! I am loving your website. I am a bit confused on the flower removal for the June bearing varieties in the 2nd year. I live in Indiana and we are having a warmer spring than usual. I already have some blossoms on my 2nd year plants, but it still seems too early for them, since the danger of frost is still not passed. Should I pluck off these blossoms or let the plant go to fruit? Thank you for your input.

  • Mr. Strawberry

    addisson, podrían estar muriendo para un número de razones. Sus plantas de fresa puede tener una infección o infestación, o simplemente podría ser al final de su ciclo de vida. Si no tienen una patología o infestación, trate de trasplante de algunas de las plantas corredor sanos a una nueva ubicación. ¡Buena suerte!

  • addisson

    hola, mi nombre es addisson. Mis plantas parecer se están muriendo. Es el comienzo del verano y es mi tercer año. el año pasado fue muy bueno. este año se están convirtiendo un poco de café. ¿Podría ser debido a la cambiante en este momento están teniendo? gracias!

  • Stanley Jones

    I have two large garden tubs – and want to plant strawberries – obviously this would be small scale to start. They would be in a sunny position. Tips would be useful – particularly the best time to plant.

  • Mr. Strawberry

    Randy,
    Sure! Strawberries can grow just about anywhere if they are given appropriate care. If you plant yours in concrete blocks, feel free to take a photo diary of the process and send it to me. If it is decent, I’ll post your story on the website!

  • Randy

    Can concrete blocks be used as a strawberry planter?

  • Mr. Strawberry

    Dale,
    The chances are good that they will come back on their own. In fact, you probably did exactly what you should have done, just by accident! Mowing your strawberries is an appropriate part of caring for them each year. See the Mowing Strawberries page for more on that. And, to keep them vibrant year after year, you might want to think about transplanting some of them this next year. Good luck!

  • Dale

    Hi, I cut my strawberry plants down last year with my weed-eater.(Not planned) we are having a very mild winter and it looks like they are coming back on there own. Is this going to happen or am I going to have to replant again?

  • Mr. Strawberry

    Sarrah,
    Growing strawberries from seed can be rewarding, but it is much easier just to buy strawberry plants and stick them in the ground. It is unlikely that your tomato plants themselves killed the strawberry plants. They can carry pathogens that affect strawberries, however, and the Louisiana temperatures and climate may have done your plants in also. A Zone 9 variety would likely do well for you compared to many of the others, and you can see which varieties are recommended specifically for Louisiana on the Recommended Strawberry Varieties by State page. And, if you want to eat and bake with your strawberry harvest, don’t forget to check out all our delightful Strawberry Recipes!

  • Sarrah

    Hello! I want to plant strawberrys in strawberry pots. I’m not sure if I want to buy plants or grow them from seeds. I might try both. I tryed growing some in 2010 but I only got a few from one plant and the plant died soon after. Could it have been my tomato plants that killed them? They were in pots too.

    What season should I grow strawberry seeds. I live in louisiana and I’m not sure when I should plant seeds or plants. I want to plant or start growing some as soon as I can. I dont really know what breed of strawberry I should get. I love strawberrys and like to bake with them so I’d like to have a breed that tends to produce alot. Any Ideas?

    Can I keep potted strawberry plants next to potted tomato plants? I have a big yard but I’ve got dogs that like to eat my plants so I keep them in pots on tables/stands outside.
    Sorry about all the questions I just really want to grow strawberrys to eat and bake with!

  • Mr. Strawberry

    illiah,
    It sounds like your crowns are probably dead. If you watered them appropriately, planted them appropriately, and the living shoots that were on them have wilted and disappeared, you’ll probably need to start over with some new crowns. You could have damaged the plants, planted them in soil that had deadly pathogens, or just gotten unlucky. Read the Growing Strawberries page to get a better idea if you did something wrong or if something else did your plants wrong.

  • Mr. Strawberry

    PAGardener,
    You can try newspaper.

  • illiah

    Hi I’m a very new gardener so please excuse my ignorance…
    I bought a packet of 4 strawberry crows about 1.5-2 months ago and have planted them in pots. 2 of the plants had some green growth but the other two didn’t. since then the green growth has wilted and disappeared and none of the plants have started growing at all. Can anyone tell me what I’m doing wrong (I live in the southern hemisphere btw. so it’s spring here).
    Any information or tips that anyone could provide would be greatly appreciated. I’m pretty sure i’ve planted them at the right depth. perhaps not enough water?
    If it is a water problem and I give them more water now will they sprout or are they dead?
    sorry for all the questions.

    I hope someone can help – thank you in advance to anyone who reads this question and triple thanks to anyone who can offer advice.

    Illiah

  • PAGardener

    How do I protect my strawberry plants for winter if I do not have access to pine needles or straw? I am planting them this fall.

  • Mr. Strawberry

    Gordon T. Foote,
    Unfortunately, I do not. But, are you sure you want to settle for raspberries and blueberries when you could have strawberries instead! :)

  • Gordon T. Foote

    Do you know of a good site like this for raspberries and blueberries?

  • Mr. Strawberry

    Monty,
    Congratulations on your good fortune! You can most certainly transplant some of them to a new bed. Here is how I recommend doing it: Transplanting Strawberries

  • Mr. Strawberry

    Robie,
    Unfortunately, if you haven’t gotten fruit by this point, you are likely going to have to wait until next year. Take care of them over the cold months, and they should produce next year. Don’t forget to water them well this fall when their flower buds (which will produce fruit next year) are forming.

  • Robie

    Hi, I bought just a couple of strawberry plants along with petunias and pansies this spring. Planted each plant in a planter, 12″, with potting soil about two months ago. I live in the northeast. Each plant seems to be doing pretty well, although one seems to be bigger and hartier than the other. They both are developing runners now and had a few blossoms when I first purchased them. I have them sitting among the flowers in separate planters. What should I expect now? The little tag says I should get fruit in about 70 days, but I’m beginning to doubt it. Thanks, Robie

  • Monty

    Hello!
    Now, where to start…early this spring I ordered a pack of 25 Earliglow plants from a supplier (who shall remain nameless). The plants arrived in excellent condition, however, instead of receiving 1 pack of 25 plants, I received 25 packs of 25 plants, so 625 plants in all!. I called the supplier to inform them of their mistake and was to to just keep them, throw them away or give them away. Being an avid gardner, I couldn’t throw them away. Since I own a couple of acres, I decided to put in a dedicated bed and planted 100 of them (the rest I gave away to friends and family).
    Here’s the problem: I ammended the soil for the bed, planted, and pinched every bloom this year. Now the plants are going crazy. I have runners everywhere. The rows are 3 feet apart, but the plants are only about 12-18″ apart. At the rate they are growing, I won’t be able to walk in the patch by the end of summer.
    So, my question is, this fall, can I remove some of the runner plants and transplant them to another larger bed that I will prepare during the summer? Should I do it now, in the fall or wait until spring? We preserve many different things from the garden such as tomatoes, beans, beets, grape jelly, etc, etc so adding strawberry jam would be a welcome addition. Thanks for any advice.

  • Mr. Strawberry

    Amy,
    Most likely, the new vegetation is growing from the crown and is simply more leaves. The small yellow pods are probably going to turn into strawberry flowers shortly!

  • Amy

    Hi – This is my second year growing strawberries. Last year my plants set runners and we got few berries. This year we have had a quite successful this season. My plants have gotten quite large and now it is as if my strawberry plants have “bolted”. I now have new growth that is growing up out of the main mother plant and there are small yellow pods where I would expect blossoms to be. What is this and what should I do? Many thanks! Amy

  • Mr. Strawberry

    Diane,
    No problem. Every productive effort a plant makes takes from its total productive capacity. So, it usually is a good idea to snip or pinch the flowers from new plants that you are going to transplant. Doing so helps the plant’s productive energy go to establishing its root system, which in turn makes the entire plant more productive down the line. Rich compost-y soil with a bit of sand is great for strawberries (and peat moss can be a good additive as well), but you can add too much of just about anything. The best approach is to contact your local agricultural extension and have them run a soil test to tell you exactly what is needed for your particular situation.

  • Diane Peifer

    Thank you. So, there is no need to remove the blossoms from the runner plants? I don’t know if we’ve ever fertilized or spent time watering them. So, I think we’ll start by thinning the plants, fertilizing them and watering them. We are also planning to sterilize one of the beds, as it is infested with weeds that we have been unsuccessful at erradicating. Then we plan to transplant some plants. When we do this what would you suggest that we mix with the soil to make it more suitable for strawberries. I read somewhere, maybe on your site, that strawberries like sandy, loamy soil. Should we actually mix sand in? Or peat moss? How much? Thanks again.

  • Mr. Strawberry

    Diane,
    It is difficult to tell which plants are oldest after the first year (until the old ones start dying off). You can, however, often gauge which plants are oldest by the size of the crown. Older strawberry plants will often have larger or multiple crowns at the base, while new runner plants will have a single, smaller crown. What you are experiencing is a classic case of strawberry plants losing their vigor and vitality. To keep this from happening in the future, you might want to adopt the system described here: Transplanting Strawberries.

  • Diane Peifer

    We have strawberries in raised beds. We are getting smaller and smaller berries every year. I think I need to thin the plants. Is there a way to tell by looking at them which plants are oldest? We also need to fertilize and water them. We were really just letting nature take it’s course. With a fair amount of success until now. The berries are just mostly really small this year. Thanks for this page. It was very helpful. I’m also wondering if when you create new plants from runners are you supposed to pinch off the blossoms on those or just on new bare root plants? If you are supposed to pinch them off the new runner plants, how can you tell which plants are new in the Spring? They all look the same to me in the bed. Thanks.

  • Mr. Strawberry

    Marion,
    Click this link for information on how to get a job picking strawberries.

  • Mr. Strawberry

    Beth,
    Usually, the matted row system will work best on hills. To minimize erosion, however, it would be advisable to allow additional runner plants to root. This dense matted row will do a better job at securing the soil, but berry size and quantity may be slightly compromised. Other factors to consider are potential difficulties in watering, mowing, and the renovation process.

  • Beth

    I’d like to replace a grassy slope (~ 6 ft x 20 ft) into a strawberry patch. Are there special considerations for hillside planting?

  • marion martyn

    Hi,

    My name is Marion Martyn and I live in Galway in Ireland. I would like to grow strawberries commercially. I would like to work on a stawberry farm in the USA and learn everything. Do you know anyone who would take me on for a month or two.

    Regards,
    Marion

  • Ron

    This year I am planning my first garden. My reserch that I have came across shows some vegatables do not do well planted by each other. Planning to plant strawberrys in the garden. Can not find information. What not to plant by strawberrys. Please help.

  • Mr. Strawberry

    Robin,
    Strawberry plants propagate in 3 main ways (see here: Propagating Strawberries). If your plants grow additional crowns at their bases, you can split these off and re-plant them. But, don’t cut a crown in half and plant each half. Some nurseries do ship these rhizomal divisions, and there is nothing wrong with that as long as the plants are healthy. Each rhizomal division will grow into a healthy, individual plant, assuming good conditions.

  • Robin

    Do I lift and divide and replant my strawberry plants each year ??? I have bought plants in the past that are divided older plants with a big mature root system . Are these just divded plants from last season ?? Thanks

  • Mr. Strawberry

    mark,
    If you take any single strawberry plant, it will begin losing its vigor at about 3 years of age, in most cases. Age 3 for a strawberry plant is like age 50 for a human, so to speak. Few individual plants will make it to 6, just like few people make it to 100. And, productivity tends to drop off for most strawberry plants and people after that half-way mark as well. But, just like people who can keep their “line” going indefinitely through children, so can strawberries through their runner plants. If you start with even a few plants, you can keep growing strawberries forever if they don’t get diseased and are well cared for. To see how to do it, see this post: Transplanting Strawberries.

  • mark

    Thanks for the information here. I would like to know how many years I can sustain the plants please. I ask this because it would be great to continue on and keep the same plants growing for as long as possible. I have heard that three years is maximum but surely if you move plants/cutting around to different beds you will be able to keep grwoing for MANY years.
    Thanks,
    Mark.

  • Mr. Strawberry

    Agnes,
    Renovation should begin right after harvest. The crowns, like you mention, shouldn’t be buried completely. Since the majority of a strawberry plant’s roots are relatively close to the surface, spreading a little extra dirt around your strawberry plants can help the roots remain healthy and expansive. Once the temperature of the soil is 40 degrees Fahrenheit in the winter (this usually happens after multiple frosts), the plants should be mulched. This can be accomplished with straw, row covers, or other suitable materials. The mulch will protect the plants from cold injury during the winter.

  • Agnes Ma

    Hi, in you renovation section for June berry type, you specified that 0.5″ soil needed to cover the crown in order to encourage the root development. I thought the top half of the crown has to be above the soil line in order to avoid the root rot or crown rot.
    Is this the only time that the crown needs to be covered? Do I remove these added soil at spring time.Tks

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