Strawberries are delicious. They are packed with nutrition. And it is not just humans that love to eat them.
Whether your strawberry fields are large or small, birds, insects, and other pests will compete for your crop. In this article we will give you some simple suggestions for letting our animal friends find other sources of sustenance and keeping your strawberries for yourself.
Strawberries are a crop for which there is an annual hole in production. Grocers and restaurants often can’t get enough high-quality strawberries in November, December, and January (or June, July, and August if you live Down Under). There aren’t a lot of cultivars of strawberries that set fruit in the waning days of summer because of their daylight requirements. Local field-grown fruit suffer unpredictable and deteriorating weather, and an early frost cancels out a late crop. Consumers pay a premium for strawberries flown in from the other side of the world. Greenhouse-grown strawberries offer superior sugar levels, color, and flavor in cold-weather months, particularly if they can be produced locally — that is, at least on the same continent on which they are consumed.
Strawberry connoisseurs know the special pleasure of finding that one berry with sweet succulence, intense aroma, and overall "strawberrieness" that is often missing from mass-produced fruit. The quality of strawberries from both outdoor and greenhouse production can be quite variable. Sometimes strawberries turn out almost chewy. Sometimes strawberries are unevenly ripe, reek of odd odors and flavors, or have no flavor at all.
The good news is that defective strawberries are now preventable. Hydroponics gives growers the tools to control the inputs that make strawberry flavor sublime.
Everyone loves the first bite of a sweet, ripe strawberry. If your strawberries haven’t been producing the sweetness level that you were expecting, there could be an explanation. In most cases, it’s the strawberry’s inability to fully develop that leads to a sour taste. If the weather was cold, cloudy or rainy during the growing season in May and June, or if temperatures soared to extreme levels, then your berries could be sour or bitter in response. Poor soil conditions, low sun levels and planting at the wrong time can all lead to sour or bitter harvests. Overcrowding and unpruned plants can also produce poor crop yields. So, what can you do to produce high-quality, sweet strawberries? First, choose the right kind of plant.
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.
Most strawberry plants will produce many runners over the course of its life. For the home gardener, this is great! You get to buy (or otherwise obtain) a few strawberry plants and watch them multiply themselves exponentially. However, the little fellas don’t know when to stop producing runners when the maximum productive capacity of a confined strawberry bed is reached.
So, a gardener who desires lots of high quality strawberries will have to remedy this overcrowding. It can be done either by thinning the plants or transplanting the plants to a new area. Also, if the soil isn’t particularly well-suited for growing strawberries, transplanting strawberry plants to a rich, sandy loam with good drainage can make all the difference in the world.
Companion planting has a long, storied history. Individuals have noted benefits (and drawbacks) when certain plant species are grown in close proximity to one another for hundreds of years, and many books have been written on the topic. Interestingly, the scientific causes of many of these relationships are not fully understood. But, the principles work and the beneficial symbiotic relationships can be measured among many types of plants.
The increased biodiversity is usually beneficial, but the planting of various plants in close proximity often yields multifaceted benefits. Two of the primary benefits are pest control and increased yield. There are many resources available to help develop a garden (or even a permaculture) that thrives based on mutual assistance and inter-connectivity of well-planned companion planting layouts. The purpose of this post, however, is to deal specifically with companion plants for strawberry plants and what benefits can be achieved by companion planting strawberries in your garden.
Spring brings forth visions of harvest in the minds of home gardeners everywhere as they look at freshly planted gardens. As most gardeners know, everything does best when planted at its optimal time. Planting strawberries is no different. This strawberry planting guide will show you when you should put your strawberry plants in the ground. If you haven’t yet purchased any, you can follow this link to buy strawberry plants.
The following table tells you when to plant strawberry plants according to the U.S. agricultural zones:
Strawberry plants can be a little finicky when it comes to their real estate. It is extremely important for any new strawberry grower to identify the best location for strawberry plants among the potential sites. If the location is poorly suited for growing strawberries, you won’t reap a big harvest of plump, juicy fruit. But, fear not! This guide will help you locate and identify the best location for strawberry plants among the sites you are considering.
Pollinating strawberry plants is not all that complicated. However, if you want to have a heaping helping of delicious strawberries, it must be done. The good news is that your friendly neighborhood bugs and bees are usually pretty good at pollinating strawberry plants for you. If your strawberry plants are grown indoors or away from insect access areas, there are a few basics you should know.
The male pollinating structure of a flower is called the “stamen.” Stamens usually consist of a filament and the pollen-containing anther. There are typically between twenty and thirty-five stamens of varying lengths in a strawberry flower. These stamens (collectively called the androecium) are arranged in a circle and are usually surrounded by five (or more) petals. Initially, the anthers are a yellow color while they hold the pollen, but they quickly pale after the pollen is released. The flower stem (pedicel) extends up into the flower and forms the cone-shaped area in the middle of the stamens. This stem extension is called the “receptacle” and will eventually turn into the strawberry after the pollinating strawberry plants has been completed. The receptacle is covered with the female part of the flower called “pistils.” Up to 500 pistils cover the receptacle in a spiral pattern. Each pistil has an ovary at its base, and an ovule is present within.
If you want to grow strawberries successfully, it is imperative that you keep strawberries clean throughout the growing process. Soil, while full of beneficial nutrients, is also full of pathogenic fungi and other creepy-crawlies. Soil-borne microorganisms can wreak havoc on a strawberry planting. So, it is vital to protect the vegetative parts of the strawberry plant (leaves, stems) and the fruit from coming into contact with soil as much as possible.
How to Keep Strawberries Clean
Historically, strawberries were kept clean with a healthy layer of straw to serve as mulch and to keep the vulnerable parts of the plant from getting coated with contaminants. The layers of clean straw provided a barrier between the dirt and fruit, and also served to dissipate rain droplets from above. As rain falls, the drops form puddles in gardens without mulch. when enough water collects, the droplets hurtling toward the ground hit the puddles and cause dirt-permeated water to fly every which way. This contaminated water is spread up and out from the impact. Consequently, fruit and leaves that need to stay clean are often coated with the pathogenic fungi that will end up infecting and damaging both fruit and plants.
I have seen pictures of strawberries grown in gutters. I think people are growing strawberries in gutters so they are off the ground so the rain and soil don’t rot them. They are cleaner and look beautiful. Do you have any information on this method? I want to transplant my strawberries into this system. They don’t do as good when they are on the ground. My old raised beds, the wood has rotted and I need to move them soon. Plus, I have the strawberries with the runners. If I do it in an “A” structure I would cut the runners off. Put one gutter on the top of the “A” and two gutters down the sides of the “A” and so forth. Have you seen this done? I would really like to try it for this summer. How would I deal with the plants through the winter. Take the structure apart and store the plants in my basement? I would want to save them some how for the next year.
What is the key to a heaping harvest of mouth-watering, juicy, delightful strawberries? Simply put: the strawberry roots. Healthy strawberry roots are the key to a healthy strawberry plant. Roots are just roots, right? Well, the fine filaments that absorb the needed nutrients from the soil that help each plant set a heavy crop of strawberries are a bit more sophisticated than you might imagine. This article will help you understand the nature and importance of strawberry root systems.
Winterizing strawberry plants is necessary for gardeners in many areas. As the temperatures drop each year, people write in asking when and how to winterize strawberry plants. This post will cover the basics and help you determine how and when to protect your strawberry plants as the weather cools.
Why Winterize Strawberries?
Strawberry plants are perennial. They produce for many years after the initial planting, and they can thrive for very long periods if a rotation is used to keep plants fresh. But, there is a problem with perennial plants. How do they survive the freezing temperatures of the winter months? Well, strawberries are classified as forbs. Consequently, they don’t have the thick bark that protects many other perennials like most trees. If they don’t get extra protection (at least in the colder Zones), they will either die or suffer cold injury. Both death and injury can significantly hamper your plants’ ability to grow strawberries for you!
For any home gardener, birds can be a problem. Berries of all sorts disappear down the beaks of our feathered foes. Unfortunately, strawberries are not exception. Frustrated people ask fairly frequently how to keep birds away from strawberries. Well, fret not, my friends. I have full faith that you can out-smart the flying fiends. Most folks know that birds aren’t brilliant. In fact, they are quite mentally diminutive. However, they do learn quickly where the fast food may be found. If you have already surrendered a crop of strawberries to the neighborhood aviators, this method might be more difficult to pull off. If you haven’t, you might take a subtle satisfaction at tricking the fluff-brains into leaving your harvest alone…
Over the course of the years, I have had several people ask me this question, or a version of it: “If you plant a strawberry top, will it grow a strawberry?” This year, however, I have received a noticeable increase in the number of curious questioners hoping to make good on the part of the strawberry most commonly used as a grip while the rest of the fruit is gnawed in happy contentment. After all, the little bit of white flesh left under the calyx and stem isn’t good for much other than, perhaps, making a bit of strawberry water. I don’t know why the curiosity has spiked, but it is a valid question. Since curious minds want to know…
When do strawberry plants die? My strawberry plants are doing badly. They used to flourish for the first 3 years, but now are thinning out and getting scraggly. It is mid-September, I read about renovation – to be done around June after harvest. Can these plants be dug up and dried out through the winter, and replanted in the spring? When I bought them they were just dried out looking bare clean roots. What should I do to keep them happy and healthy?
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? I need to know how old are my strawberry plants. 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 site. 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.
I have a few raised beds with strawberry plants planted in them. I got them as potted plants and had a decent crop and got several gallons of strawberries from all my plants combined. I planted them this spring, instead of last fall like you recommended (I hadn’t found this site yet). I followed all the instructions for renovation and mowed them and limited the runners so they didn’t overgrow everything. It may have been mentioned somewhere else, but when exactly do I mulch the plants for winter? I seem to get different information on a quick google of mulching strawberries. Exactly when should strawberry plants be mulched for the winter months? I don’t want to smother them or cause any harm if the plants aren’t ready. I still have some green living-looking leaves on my plants, although most of the big leaves have turned mostly brown and look dead. Can you give me some advice as to how to go about mulching? Any help would be much appreciated!
I have a large container on my patio with strawberry plants in it. This was the 2nd summer for these strawberries. Unfortunately, the plants only put out a handful of strawberries back in early June. I was very disappointed to say the least. I had stopped by a local nursery to pick their brains about the lack of yield I had this summer. The lady there told me that strawberries grown in containers don’t typically produce a lot of fruit compared to those growing in the ground. She also asked me if I had fertilized my strawberry plants last fall before winter set in. I had never heard of doing this. Why would you fertilize a plant that is about to die from the coming cold months? If this is true, when do I fertilize? Now, that the plant is still green and alive, or do I wait for it to curl up and die after winter hits? It should be noted that I leave this container outside on my patio uncovered and exposed to the snow and elements all winter long. It survived fine this way last winter and grew back really nice this past spring, so I really didn’t have to baby it at all to keep it alive. It survived! Also, what fertilizer, if any, do I use for this fall fertilization?
Hi, I was hoping you could help me with a problem I have. I need to know what causes small strawberries. I planted my strawberries last year during September, and they put out some greenery before dying back for the winter months. This spring they came up and looked to be doing pretty well. They put out flowers on stalks that started to grow, but the size of the fruits that are produced are all tiny. They are only about half an inch big, give or take a little.
I’ve done my best to water them, and follow the instructions for what should give a good crop, but I’m still stuck wondering what causes small strawberries after doing everything I can to make them big. Can you tell me why are my strawberries small instead of big and plump like they are in the store? Any help would be appreciated! Thank you.
Strawberries are relatively simple little plants. Their genomes have been completely mapped, and their life cycles are fully understood. But, as simple as strawberry plants may seem, they are still complex enough to warrant study; and, the study that goes into them continues to reveal much fascinating information. This post is dedicated to that topic of plant fertilization that sometimes can induce somnambulism in all but the most ardent botanists: strawberry pollination. But, once you’ve reviewed this information, you’ll be ready to tackle hand pollination of strawberries or be better able to situate your strawberry bed in the most ideal location for growing gargantuan berries!
For a limited time, we're running a special promotion. Normal price for this eBook is $37 but now you can get it for just $11.97.
This offer expires in:
Did you know that you you can easily grow your own Delicious strawberries at home in as little as one half of a cubic foot of dirt!
Did you know that Strawberry plants are one of the most productive garden plants based on size-to-harvest ratio? You can save a lot of money by growing your own strawberries!
Did you know that it’s super enjoyable to see little plants produce heaps of strawberries that you can immediately eat! There is no need to fight the crowds at the supermarket or grocery store to enjoy ultra-fresh berries.
Did you know that strawberries have numerous health benefits! They are rich in minerals and vitamins. They have 18 different amino acids + they are loaded with flavonoids.
Hello – I live in North Central Florida. My growing season is different than the northern climates. My strawberry season is ended by June. This past year I planted 40 Sweet Charlie bare root plants in November and they are doing great. I have been pinching the berries this year giving the plant a chance to establish. Should I use straw mulch to protect my strawberry plants from the summer heat? If not, what do you suggest? Thank You.
It is finally that time of year again! The winter freeze is in the process of giving way to the spring thaw, and that means it is time to start planning your garden. The sooner you start planning, the sooner you will be ready to plant, and the sooner you will be ready to harvest delicious earth-grown produce. Novelty strawberries could be an option for the adventurous gardener this year.
Since strawberry plants often find their way into many gardeners’ plots each year, I thought it might be beneficial to review some of the lesser-known options. If you have a square foot garden or a few extra rows (or even a partial row) of space to use, you may want to consider branching out into some of these novelty strawberry varieties.