How To Plant & Care For Strawberries

Whoever put the first cherry on top of their ice cream sundae obviously never ate a strawberry. Strawberries are always a delicious, juicy treat, but there are certain times of year when they’re just about the most delicious treat you can get. And luckily for us, that time is approaching!

If you think strawberries are a fickle, difficult plant to grow, think again. They’re not as tricky to cultivate as you might expect, and thanks to Minigarden, anyone can grow them.

Check out our post on different strawberry varieties, and keep reading to learn how to plant and maintain your strawberry plants so you can enjoy them all summer long!

How To Plant Strawberries

Strawberries are a sprawling plant, but you don’t need a plot or a yard to grow your own delicious berries. All you need is a Minigarden and a bright, sunny area!

Mounted Strawberry Minigarden

Follow these steps:

  1. Decide where to put your Minigarden module. Avoid areas that stay wet later into the spring – these areas can cause frost injury.
  1. Plant your strawberries on a cloudy day or late in the afternoon. This helps ensure that your plants won’t wilt before you get a chance to water them.
  1. Remove dried leaves and ripe fruit before planting. If you don’t, they could rot and spread to the rest of your plant.
  1. Dig planting holes deep enough to accommodate your plant’s entire root system. Plant with the roots pointing straight down – they should not be bent in any way.Strawberry Crown
  1. Fill in your planting hole, making sure that at least half the crown of your strawberry plant is above the soil. Completely burying the crown will cause it to rot, which means no tasty strawberries for you.
  1. Water your freshly planted strawberries, sit back, and relax!

How to Care for Your Strawberry Plants

Strawberries are generally easy to care for, especially in a Minigarden! Check out yesterday’s post to find out why.

Watering

Strawberry plants have shallow roots, so water them regularly to keep the soil moist. Usually, this will amount to about 1-2 inches per week (including rainfall if you keep your Minigarden outside). For the first week after planting, water your strawberries daily at the end of the day.

Watering Strawberries

The more you water, the larger your berries will be – just remember that larger berries contain more water, which means diluted flavor. Overfeeding can also cause softer berries, which rot easier. To minimize berry spoilage, use an irrigation drip system.

Fertilizing

Try to fertilize your strawberries once every two weeks – strawberries prefer smaller, more frequent feedings. You could use a tea compost, or try the Minigarden Grow Up Orange nutritional supplement for fruit-bearing and flowering plants.

Pruning

Strawberries are a naturally sprawling plant, so your plants may start producing runners after about 4-5 weeks. Pinch any runners and discard them, or use them to propagate new strawberry plants. Everbearing strawberries produce fewer runners, while June-bearing berries will produce more.

Strawberry Runners

During the first growing season, you should remove the flowers of June-bearing varieties as soon as they appear. This will promote root development so you can have a larger crop next year. For everbearing or day-neutral varieties, remove any flowers that grow before June, but allow any flowers that grow after the beginning of July to remain and produce fruit for a summer or autumn harvest.

You should also keep your eyes peeled for ripe berries and pick them as soon as you see them. In addition to being a tasty treat, this will prevent the rest of your plant from rotting.

Now What?

So you’ve got all these beautiful strawberries tantalizingly hanging from your thriving plants – now what? Stay tuned for our tips on when and how to harvest your strawberries!


Read More

Part 1 – Strawberry 101: Introduction to Strawberries
Part 2 – Can You Grow Strawberries?
Part 4 – Managing Pests in Your Strawberry Garden
Part 5 – How To Harvest Strawberries, And What To Do With All Those Berries


Sources

Frost, Shelley. “How to Raise Everbearing Strawberries”. SFGate.
Growing Strawberries”. Bonnie Plants.
Palomo, Eulalia. “The Difference Between Everbearing and Day-Neutral Strawberries”. SFGate.
Planting and Growing Strawberries”. Sakuma Bros. Farms and Market.
Splan, Claire. “Varieties of Everbearing Strawberries”. SFGate.
Strawberries”. The Old Farmer’s Almanac.


Susan Austin is Sales Director for Minigarden North America. She can be reached at susan@minigardening.com.