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?2. Choosing How to Grow:
a. From Seed (new page)
b. From Plants
3. Picking the Best Strawberry Variety4. Site Selection
5. Choosing Your Growing Method6. Garden Preparation
7. How to Plant Strawberry Plants
a. What to Plant with Strawberries (new page)
8. Caring for Your Strawberries
a. Watering Strawberries
b. Fertilizing Strawberries
9. Multiplying Your Strawberry Plants...
a. Propagating Strawberry Plants (new page)
b. Transplanting Strawberry Plants (new page)
10. When to Harvest
11. Renovating Strawberries12. Protecting Strawberry Plants
a. Mulching (new page)
b. Overwintering Strawberries (new page)
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)
14. More Articles & Information on Growing Strawberries
15. 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!


Growing Strawberries in Containers
Have you tried growing strawberries in containers or pots before and found only failure? Growing strawberries in containers can be frustrating, but it doesn't have to be. Follow these 6 tips and your container strawberries will produce like champs!

What Causes Small Strawberries?
What causes small strawberries? The most common causes of small strawberries are discussed here. The first step to fix a problem is knowing what the root causes are.

Strawberry Pollination
Strawberry pollination is not very difficult. However, pollinating strawberries has some surprising benefits. Learn why and how to pollinate strawberries.  The benefits are multitudinous!

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!

248 thoughts on “Growing Strawberries

  1. 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

    • 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.

  2. 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.

    • 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.

  3. 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

    • 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.


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

    • 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.

  7. 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.

    • 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.

  8. 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.

    • 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.

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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

    • 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.

    • 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! 🙂

  12. 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.

  13. 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,
      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.

  14. 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!

    • 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!

  15. 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?

    • 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!

    • 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!

  16. 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.

    • 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!

  17. 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!

    • 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!

  18. 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.

    • 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!

  19. 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.

  20. 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?

  21. 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.

  22. 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. 🙂

    • 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.

  23. 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

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

  25. 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

    • 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!

  26. 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

    • 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.

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

  28. 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.

  29. 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”?

    • 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!

  30. 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?
    Berry Confused…

    • 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!

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

  31. 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?

    • 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!

  32. 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

    • 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!

  33. 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

    • 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!

  34. 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?

    • 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.

  35. 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?

  36. 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. 🙂

    • 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!

  37. 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?

    • 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!

  38. 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!

  39. 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

    • 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!

  40. 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!

  41. 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.

    • 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!

    • 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!

  42. 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?

    • 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!

  43. 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.

    • 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!

  44. 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?

    • 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!

  45. 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

    • 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!

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

  46. 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.

    • 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!

  47. 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?

    • 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!

  48. 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.

  49. 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?

  50. 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!

    • 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!

  51. 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?

    • 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!

    • 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.

  52. 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.

  53. 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?

  54. 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)

  55. 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,
      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!

  56. 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.

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

  57. 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?

    • 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!

  58. 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.

    • 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!

  59. 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?

  60. 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?

    • 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!

  61. 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

    • 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!

  62. 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.

    • 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!

  63. 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?

  64. 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?

    • 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!

  65. 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 ;-)!

    • 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!

  66. 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 ;-(

  67. 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.

    • 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!

  68. 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

    • 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!

  69. 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 🙂

    • 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!

  70. 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?

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

  71. 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. 🙂

    • 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!

  72. 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?

    • 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!

  73. 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.


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

  74. 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 ..

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

  75. 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,
      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!

  76. 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!

    • 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!

  77. 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!

  78. 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?


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

  79. 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???

    • 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!

  80. 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

  81. 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.

    • 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!

  82. Hi,
    I have a single bare-root strawberry plant and was wondering if it will produce fruit without another plant to cross-pollinate with. Thank you for any advice!

    • Amy,
      It may produce some, but it will definitely be more likely to produce larger and more berries with adequate pollination. Good luck!

  83. My container strawberries are on their second year now. My ever-bearing plants died over the winter, but the June-bearing have bounced back very well. They are starting to get fruit on them now, but I have noticed the strawberries look somewhat malformed, not perfect like the ones you see in grocery stores. They are growing to full size though, but they just look a bit deformed. What would cause this? Also, I don’t seem to be getting as many blossoms as expected. How can I ensure I get more blossoms (strawberries)?

  84. I planted a strawberry tree in a pot for more than four years. In the first year, the tree had lots of leaves but during the second year it started to lose its leaves. Since last year, the tree does not have any leaves so I replaced the pot with a bigger one and added more soil. It’s been two weeks now and the tree did not produce any leaves.
    Is there any way to help the tree to produce leaves or does this mean that the tree is dead?

    • Sonson,
      Although strawberry trees are completely different than the traditional strawberry plant (and, therefore, I don’t know how to best answer your question), it sounds like the plant you reference may have given up the ghost. Sorry!

  85. I planted several strawberry plants and mulched the bed to suppress weeds and conserve moisture. But I am confused as to what to do with my runners? How will they root when they run on top of the straw? Should I make a hole for the runners in the straw so they can reach the soil?

    • Rachel Beth Hanson,
      They will have difficulty rooting if the straw is thick. It is best to make a small hole so that the adventitious root at the bottom of each node along the runner can come in contact with the soil. Once the root touches soil, it will grow down into it and establish itself independently of the mother plant. Good luck!

  86. I live in switzerland and started growing strawberries last year. Last year we had nice big strawberries. this year we are getting very tiny strawberries on most of the plants. What could be the reason and how can this be addressed?

  87. Dear Mr. Strawberry,

    I think you have mentioned this before but I would like to learn a little more details how to prepare a dormant bare root strawberry like those that some vendors sell. Or let me know where to obtain the info.

    Thank you once again for your answer.


  88. Dear Mr. Strawberry,
    I think I didn’t make myself clear when I asked you the previous question. I meant to ask how to make dormant bare roots from my living plants.

    Thanks as always.

    • Winsor,
      The easiest way is to wait until December or whenever your temperatures drop into the low 20s for a few nights. The vegetative foliage will wilt and/or drop off. When that occurs, the plant is usually dormant. Snip the stems from the top of the plant and carefully dig out the plant and its roots. Gently shake off the dirt from the plant. You can then store or ship them in that fashion as long as the roots don’t dry out completely. You can also induce dormancy by using refrigeration, but fungus is often a problem and a lot of plants are likely to die unless it is done just right. Hope that helps! Good luck!

  89. Hello. My wife has been building a box for some strawberry planters. We will be planting them in plastic planters surrounded by wood that has been painted/sealed. The finish on the wood is not suitable for vegetation, but it won’t be interacting with the soil. Our question is this: will it still be safe if the leaves and strawberries touch the wood box as long as the soil doesn’t interact with the wood? Thanks!

    • Jay,
      Yes, that should be save. Very little, if any, passive transmission of chemicals from the painted/sealed wood will occur through the leaves. Good luck!

  90. I have a strawberry bed, but it’s too late this year to renovate. I want to harvest plants and plant them next spring. How is the best way to do this? when do I harvest the plants? Is storing them in plastic bags in the refrigerator the way to store them?

    • Rodger,
      It is best to go ahead and re-plant any plants now. Storing them in the refrigerator will almost certainly allow mold/fungus to grow an kill the plants. Good luck!

  91. How can you tell the difference between runners and shoots that produce the flowers? I’ve been picking the runners early and I don’t want to pick off any flowering shoots by accident.

    • Stephen,
      The solons (runners) will have a leaflet at the end. The flower stalks will have a bud. Also, the runners are thicker than the flower shoots. Good luck!

  92. Greetings. I am a college student majoring in Industrial Design (think of it as product design). Currently, I am working on a studio project that is about food production and supply. We are to research a problem and then work on designing a product solution to address it. I have chosen to do my project on harvesting strawberries or other crops low to the ground. My main goal is to reduce back and joint pain for the workers picking the strawberries. I am trying to make it so they do not have to bend down as often.

    I have a few questions that I would like to ask for my advancing my research. I’m wondering if you would possibly be able to help or could you direct me to someone that could?

    What is the typical distance between the rows of strawberries (this is referring to the width of the dirt path)? And then what is the distance from one end of the strawberry row to the other(this refers to the width of the row of strawberry plants)?

    What’s the average height that those rows with the fruit grow up to (how tall do the plants tend to grow)?

    Is there any way to differentiate the fruit from the leaves so that they are easier to spot? Like maybe an aroma, chemical marker, temperature, or other technology?

    Any information you could provide would be greatly appreciated. Thank you for your time.

    • Melvin Melchor,
      You can find the different growing methods that are commonly used on this page, along with spacing (also see the links toward the bottom that take you to the information about the plasticulture method). Row length is usually determined by the available acreage. Plants usually grow to around 1 foot tall, and, obviously, the easiest way to distinguish fruit from foliage is by color and size/shape. Aroma is also differnt, but it would be hard to detect such differences. Good luck!

  93. Howdy Mr. Strawberry!
    I’m LOVING your site! So informative! I’m hoping you can help me with my very happy strawberry hanging basket. They are about 2 years old and I’ve honestly never done much with them other then letting them do their own thing. I’m much more prepared after reading your information! My question is, the plants are producing runners that have grown over the sides of the hanging planter and seem to be searching for ground. I have no idea what I should do to support these lil’guys and hope you can help me. Thanks so much!

  94. Hi Mr. Strawberry, I have some wild strawberries that I grew from seed (from a kit that was distributed at work). I’ve been growing them for about 3 years. I’m just growing them for something to have in my office. But a question: the plants’ “dead zone”, which is startling to resemble the trunk of a palm tree, keeps on getting taller and lower leaves dies off and new growth continues from the top. Can I cut this down close to the soil and still have them live? My mission is not to bear fruit, it is just to have some greenery (although the plants do still flower and bear tiny fruit.) Thanks.

    • Tom,
      Any brown or dead vegetative matter should be snipped and removed. The crown of the strawberry plant, which will spread out just at soil level, should not be damaged or the plant can die. Good luck!

  95. i want to grow strawberries in elevated troughs using coir growbags —-i will buy plugs and insert them staggered one foot spacings —-questions–how often to fertilize and how to winter these plants thirty miles north of toronto

    • david douglas,
      You’d need to supply nutrients and care according to the general information contained here. As far as wintering them goes, however, you’ll need to give them extra care. If you use troughs that can be detached/moved, you can simply dig a furrow in the ground when winter comes and place the trough in the ground before mulching heavily with clean straw on top of the troughs. Or, you can bring them into a garage and keep them against a heated wall of the interior. If you do the second, however, you’ll need to make sure you water periodically to prevent the soil from drying out completely. Good luck!

  96. hi, i have a 2 year old garden , i havent allowed it to produce fruit , im ready to renovate it please help tnx?

  97. Hi, I’m just asking out of curiosity but is there a reason why strawberries must be picked with it’s stalk still attached? What happens if I pick it without it’s stalk? Thank you. 🙂

    • Venessa Lim,
      Pulling off the stalk and calyx often causes at least some damage to the strawberry itself. Additionally, pulling directly on the berry instead of severing the stem can also cause damage. Damaged berries rot and grow mold much more quickly than intact ones do. So, if you are picking and eating directly, it doesn’t matter. If you are going to be saving, transporting, using them to cook, etc., it is best to sever the stem/stalk and deal gently with the berry itself. Good luck!

  98. I went to pick straw berries at the strawberry farm, got home, and most of the berries had a manure taste. How can I clean them, or should they be thrown out?

    • Sue smith,
      If you rinse them thoroughly with water, that will usually remove any residue. If you want to be extra sure it is clean, you can use a fruit cleaner. Good luck!

  99. I have been growing strawberries for 3 years.
    At the end of the 2nd year about 90 of the 100
    plants in clay pots died. Or at least I thought
    they did. I did not water them and left them in the
    hot sun for 3 or 4 months. The weather has been cooler
    and now some of them have started to grow again.
    I live in Thailand. I get cool weather but it never freezes.
    Do strawberries need to go dormant?

    • Barry Rice,
      Strawberries are, by nature, temperate and much prefer a period of dormancy. However, they can be kept alive (as long as the temperatures don’t get too hot) without one. They will usually die more quickly without a dormant period, unfortunately. Good luck!

  100. Thank you for this site. I bought Quinault ever bearing strawberries in August and transplanted them into containers. We got a few berries and then nothing for over a month. I thought they had gone dormant so I reduced watering and contemplated cutting the foliage but the leaves were so pretty that I decided against cutting. I didn’t know that my husband fed them with something that he makes for his plants that makes them flower and that’s why the foliage exploded I assume. Now it is November and the plants have many new buds and berries that I didn’t notice until now because the leaves had grown over them. Should I still be getting berries and should I snip the new buds or harvest them? I have never grown berries before so I appreciate the advice. Also I am in Las Vegas, NV. Thanks in advance.

    • MomTom,
      Everbearing varieties typically produce two harvests, one in the spring and one in early fall (with a few berries in between). If you live far enough south to allow the berries to ripen prior to the plants entering dormancy, I’d see if the fruit will beat the freeze. If the forecast for Las Vegas is calling for cold weather soon, I’d go ahead and snip the flowers as they are not likely to ripen quickly enough to harvest prior to entering dormancy. Good luck!

  101. I grow strawberry(bought from grocery) from seeds and now I have 9 saplings from runners of the mother plant. Will it bear fruit even if it’s planted on warmer topography, I’m in the Philippines. I’m growing it on our roof deck, the plants seems to be growing vigorously.

    • Angelito,
      Strawberry plants typically don’t produce as well in warmer climates. However, if you have the plants growing, go ahead and let them and see what happens. Good luck!

      • My strawberry is flowering! Recently I pruned some leaves and runners, hoping it will induce blooming. Today, I notice one of my healtiest plant’s leaves are scorched(maybe b’cause of heat). I lift its foliage to see if there were further damage but then I saw…whoa! FLOWER BUDS! Although only a single plant is blooming, I am happy because I realized that it is really possible to grow strawberry on tropics. Just give it with proper care.

  102. Mr. Strawberry:
    I made an incredible raised bed garden just for strawberry plants. The plants have bloomed and now the berrys are turning brown. What is the likely cause and is there a remendy for this situation? I have planted strawberry plants in a raised bed planter using organic soil … I am in central Florida and the plants are doing splendid, however, the berry turns brown and it appears as if the seeds on the berry fall off. I have found no reference to this situation in any websites I have perused. I’m hoping you can clue me in to whats happening, or at least give me the proper words for the obituary.

    • Jim,
      It sounds like you might have a fungal infection caused by the organism Phytophthora cactorum. The fungus can cause both the fruit to turn brown and the seeds to fall off. Fungicides can be used to control it, but the fruits will likely uptake some of the fungicide (so you’ll end up consuming small quantities). The best way to prevent it is to make sure that your plants have plenty of air circulation, the soil is well-covered with clean straw so that rain doesn’t splatter soil/spores onto the plants/fruit, and make sure that the berries never rest directly on the soil. Good luck!

  103. Thanks for the information. I live in Uganda East Africa. I’m interested in growing strawberries commercially in greenhouses. What advice would you give me as regards the variety, risks and weather.

    • Karungi,
      If you can keep the temperature cool enough in the greenhouses, it might work. Your best bet is to find a source for plants somewhere on the African continent. It is notoriously difficult to get living plants shipped in from out of the country, and the varieties that grow true from seed have lower yields. Good luck!

  104. My strawberry plants have done really well, they have thrown out lots of runners that have bedded in over the winter. Should I cut them off and plant in rows or leave them to do there thing?

    • Tanya,
      If you are going for matted rows, I’d just leave them be. You’ll likely need to thin them after this season, or snip runners to keep them from becoming so dense that they compete for resources. That will make the strawberries be fewer and smaller. Good luck!

  105. Sir Strawberry … I see these little black spots on the very end of my berries … if I consume them, will I perish?

    • Jim Cook,
      Thou shalt surely perish not. However, thine taste buds may perhaps disagree with the delectability of such parts. Thou shalt do best by excising said defects prior to inducing gustatory functions. Good luck!

  106. Mr. Strawberry …
    I have a wonderful crop of strawberry plants in a raised bed planter … the plants are productive … I have the plants in mounds protected with black polyethylene so no berries touch the soil. If you follow the attached link you will see that most berries have small black spots at the tip of them. I tried to embed a .jpg of the spots in a reply I sent to you yesterday. I don’t think it worked, that’s why I’m attaching the link to my personal web-page so you can see exactly what I’m asking. Do the spots mean the fruit is likely inedible?

  107. Hi, my question is if you’re growing for a once/week farmer’s market, and have to constantly harvest, how do you keep them fresh for market? Not to mention, I guess you’d have to haul coolers/refrigeration to market? :/

    • David,
      As long as you don’t get them wet, they should do reasonably well at room temperature for a few days before the farmer’s market. Picking every few days and then taking to market usually doesn’t allow time for mold or rot to set in as long as the fruits aren’t damaged in the picking process. Good luck!

  108. Hi. Love this site! I do have a question though. I being a dumbass bought the Blue Strawberry seeds for 10 bucks.
    I germinated about a 100 of them and so far in 3 weeks have 46 thriving little ones going. My plan is to grow them in pots indoors year round. Any great advice on this would be very much apreciated.
    Thanks to everyone out there who leaves their knowledge as well.

    • James,
      Please share this with your friends and family! Then, follow the instructions on this page as closely as possible with your plants being indoors! Good luck!

Leave a Comment