Growing Strawberries in Containers

growing strawberries in containersQ: Problems Growing Strawberries in Containers?

On September 23, 2015, Bob asked:

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?

Read moreGrowing Strawberries in Containers

What Causes Small Strawberries?

small strawberriesQ: Why Are My Strawberries Small?

On July 18, 2015, Michael Johnson asked:

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.

Answer to: What Causes Small Strawberries?

Michael Johnson,
It is difficult to pinpoint exactly what causes small strawberries without being able to visualize your setup and without knowing all that has gone into their care up until this point.  There are a number of things that can cause your strawberries to smaller than the ones you may be used to buying at the store or from farmers markets.  So, let me point out some of the most common causes of small strawberries:

Read moreWhat Causes Small Strawberries?

Growing Strawberries in Bangladesh

growing strawberries in bangladeshStrawberries are a small fruit native to the Americas and also found in several other regions of the world.  Bangladesh is not one of them.  However, the Fragaria x ananassa hybrid cross that makes up most of the strawberry cultivation around the world is not breaking through in Khagrachhari just yet.  Two pioneering farmers, Bimal Chandra Chakma and Munmun Chakma, have successfully grown strawberries there for years now.  They used a species called Rabi-3, and have watched as their efforts have quadrupled the size of their plantation.

The pair of farmers initially started with 50 decimals of land, but were able to expand their growing strawberries in Bangladesh to 200 decimals in just three years.  What is also ground-breaking is that the couple has paved the way for other farmers to begin growing strawberries in Bangladesh since their operation has proven to be commercially viable.

Read moreGrowing Strawberries in Bangladesh

Strawberry Pollination

strawberry pollinationStrawberries 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!

Read moreStrawberry Pollination

The Strawberry Growing Master Manual

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:

 

The Strawberry Growing Master Manual

Buy Now

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.

Read moreThe Strawberry Growing Master Manual

Mulching Strawberry Plants in the Summer

mulching strawberry plants in the summerQ: Should I Mulch Strawberry Plants?

On April 9, 2015, Kim Ruby asked:

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.

Read moreMulching Strawberry Plants in the Summer

Novelty Strawberries

novelty strawberriesNovelty Strawberries for the Home Garden

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.

Everyone knows the traditional red and juicy strawberry. Many don't know that there are other, less-common options available as well. This post will familiarize you with you options. If you are a bit adventurous and willing to branch out, try planting one or more of these novelty strawberries. You'll find them unique and well-suited as attraction-getters, whether you use them in salads, enter them in contests, or find other amazing uses for them!

Read moreNovelty Strawberries

Recommended Strawberry Varieties for Canada

Recommended Strawberry Varieties for CanadaStrawberry plants are, in my humble opinion, a truly fascinating marvel of nature.  They are amazingly adaptable; they propagate themselves in a plurality of ways; and they produce a fleshy red, white, yellow, or purple fruit that is universally prized by the intelligent and instinctive creatures that live all around us (including us human folk!).  They have developed and adapted means of surviving sub-zero temperatures, and, consequently, can be grown from the warmer temperate regions of our great planet all the way north or south to the frigid regions.

But, their adaptability and genetic flexibility have allowed for selective breeding.  Researchers have been able to breed for desired characteristics.  And, while such breeding programs have allowed for improved disease resistance, bigger strawberries, different colors, and more commercially-viable cultivars, the breeding has also culled some of the hardiness from some of the varieties as specificity has narrowed by region.  Today, not just any strawberry variety will do well in just any ol' location.  The more extreme the weather, the more specific one should be when selecting a specialized variety for planting in order to obtain the best harvest from your efforts.

That, my strawberry-loving friends, is where this post can help!  If you live in the frigid environs of Canada (at least in winter), you need to know how to pick an appropriately hardy strain of strawberry plants so that you end up happy with your final yield of fruit.  If you are from the United States, go here for your state-by-state recommended varieties.  This page is a compilation of each of the recommend strawberry variety lists for each of the Canadian provinces and territories.

Read moreRecommended Strawberry Varieties for Canada

How to Grow Certified Organic Strawberries

How to Grow Certified Organic StrawberriesAlthough strawberries have been at the pinnacle of the produce pyramid for decades, their popularity continues to grow.  Unless a strawberry allergy forces a saddened consumer away from these bright red edibles, they are usually the first to vanish from fruit trays across the globe.  Strawberries are delicious, there’s no doubt about that, but they have gotten a bad reputation of late.  Conventional growing methods use fumigants, chemicals, and other methods to maximize production and profits.  But, more and more people are becoming disillusioned and distrustful of conventional methods and are increasingly concerned over potential deleterious consequences of consuming the trace amounts of those chemicals when the fruits are consumed.  This trend toward natural and organic produce has opened a door for new growers to eschew chemical-based practices for potentially safer methods of growing strawberries.  The market for organic strawberries is growing, and the interest in growing them is increasing among potential strawberry farmers as well due to the premium price that organic strawberries bring over their conventionally-grown counterparts.

If you are interested in learning how to grow certified organic strawberries, this guide will help you get started.

This post will focus on the requirements a potential grower must meet in order to legally use such terms as “organic,” “100% organic,” or “made with organic ingredients.”  If you desire to sell your organic produce at a farmer’s market or any other public or private venue, you need to know the requirements so that you don’t run into trouble with the law.

Read moreHow to Grow Certified Organic Strawberries

4 Secrets to Growing Loads of Organic Strawberries

4 secrets to growing loads of organic strawberriesI have been growing and helping others grow organic strawberries for many years.  While the segment of the population that is concerned about how their food is grown is still a minority, more and more people are discovering the benefits of sustainable agriculture.  And, as more and more gardeners test out their green thumbs, gardens all around the world are finding strawberry plants inhabiting space next to herbs and other garden plants.  Going green and growing healthy food go well together; and since virtually everyone loves strawberries, this post will help those who want to eschew the conventional methods (which are somewhat notorious for producing dirty strawberries) for potentially safer ones.  Plus, since no one wants to trade a basket full of bright, plump strawberries for just a hand full, the four secrets I'll fill you in on momentarily will help you get started on your journey of successfully growing organic strawberries!

First Things First!

Before getting to the secrets, a few preliminaries are in order.  There are some key decisions that have to be made prior to planting strawberry plants.  You need to know which of the main types of strawberries you want to plant…

Read more4 Secrets to Growing Loads of Organic Strawberries

Growing Organic Strawberry Plants

growing organic strawberry plants0031 : Strawberry Plants Library

This is an entry in the Strawberry Plants Library here at Strawberry Plants .org. Continue reading for summarized information. The entire resource may be accessed or downloaded by clicking the link at the bottom of this post.

Growing Organic Strawberry Plants: Summary

This excellent document was produced by a very skilled and knowledgeable team from Cornell University. The coordinating editors were Juliet Carroll, Marvin Pritts, and Catherine Heindenreich.  Multiple contributors included: Kerik Cox, Greg Loeb, Michael Helms, Andrew Landers, Paul Curtis, Courtney Weber, and Laura McDermott.  The staff writers were Elizabeth Graeper Thomas and Theodora Bucien, while Mary Kirkwyland and Michelle Marks further edited the 2013 version of this guide.  This production was funded in part by the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets.  For each of the departments and specialties represented by the contributing team, download the resource via the link at the end of this page.

The following is covered in the publication:

Introduction to Growing Organic Strawberries

1.  There are three main obstacles to successfully cultivating strawberries organically.

Read moreGrowing Organic Strawberry Plants

Growing Winter Strawberries?

This is a question submitted to Strawberry Plants .org by a reader. The information provided in response to the question may benefit others with the same or similar inquiries. Therefore, it has been added to the archive page of submitted questions. See the Strawberry FAQ for more questions, or use the search box at the top right of this page to search this site for information.

Q: Growing Winter Strawberries?

On December 29, 2010, Gerard Caron asked:

Read moreGrowing Winter Strawberries?

Do Strawberry Plants Need Acidic Soil?

do strawberry plants need acidic soilThis is a question submitted to Strawberry Plants .org by a reader. The information provided in response to the question may benefit others with the same or similar inquiries. Therefore, it has been added to the archive page of submitted questions. See the Strawberry FAQ for more questions, or use the search box at the top right of this page to search this site for information.

Q: Do Strawberry Plants Need Acidic Soil?

On February 20, 2013, Becky asked:

Read moreDo Strawberry Plants Need Acidic Soil?

Strawberry Plants Per Person?

strawberry plants per personThis is a question submitted to Strawberry Plants .org by a reader. The information provided in response to the question may benefit others with the same or similar inquiries. Therefore, it has been added to the archive page of submitted questions. See the Strawberry FAQ for more questions, or use the search box at the top right of this page to search this site for information.

Q: How Many Strawberry Plants Per Person?

On May 14, 2011, mr. mixitup asked:

Read moreStrawberry Plants Per Person?