Strawberries are a great addition to any garden! No matter the amount of space or the expertise of the gardener, strawberries can be successfully grown and enjoyed by using some basic plant care knowledge and a few helpful growing tips.
What To Put Under Strawberry Plants
Whether strawberry plants are being planted in the ground or in containers, it’s important to put down a barrier of some sort to protect the fruit. This can be in the form of weed fabric, plastic mulch, organic mulch, straw or pine needles, or strawberry growing racks.
If the fruit is left to rest on the ground, it can rot from moisture, be more susceptible to disease or be eaten by pests. Placing a barrier under the strawberry plants will also help keep the soil from drying out and will help keep the weeds under control.
Why Are My Strawberries So Small?
Ever-bearing and day-neutral varieites of strawberries generally produce smaller strawberries than June-bearing. Check what a normal size berry is for the strawberry variety you’re growing.
Also check out “How To Grow Bigger & Sweeter Strawberries” for a detailed look at what you can do to test the sweetness levels of strawberries and grow bigger and sweeter strawberries.
Are Strawberries Hard To Grow?
Strawberries can be a bit temperamental but are not hard to grow and are a great option for beginning gardeners. Strawberries grow best in soil that’s a little acidic, with a pH of 5.5 – 7.0, and prefer it to be a little sandy, ideally sandy loam soil.
For optimal strawberry production the plants need to be watered regularly but not enough to make the soil soggy or water-logged. Check out “Watering Strawberry Plants” for the inside detes.
Strawberry plants should be protected from strong winds to help the insects pollinate flowers, and most of all, strawberries need plenty of sunlight. Strawberries need 6-10 hours of direct sunlight a day to grow and produce full-flavored fruit.
Do Strawberry Plants Produce More Than Once?
June-bearing strawberry varieties will produce once in the spring for a 3 week period. Ever-bearing strawberry varieties will produce twice once in late spring/early summer and again in late summer/early fall. They may produce a third time in mid-summer if the summer temperatures are not too hot.
Day-neutral strawberry varieties will produce steadily in small amounts from spring to fall. There may be a lull in production in mid-summer if temperatures are too hot.
Do Strawberry Flowers Turn Into Strawberries?
Strawberry flowers do turn into strawberries. Each strawberry flower if successfully pollinated will become a strawberry. Strawberry flower blooms will turn into strawberry fruits about 30 days after they bloom.
Check out “Strawberry Flower Blossoms & Pollination” Add more above!
How To Grow Strawberries on a Trellis
Growing strawberries on a trellis can be a great option if you don’t have a lot of square footage to plant the strawberries in the ground or to create a cool focal point in the garden.
Ever-bearing varieties that are climbing strawberries will produce longer runners that can be grown vertically. The trellis should be placed about 6 inches behind the strawberry plants and will need to be about 4-5 feet tall.
The main strawberry plant will produce runners after about 4-5 weeks of growth and garden ties can be used to secure them to the trellis.
How To Grow Strawberries in a Planter
Strawberry plants can grow just as well, some might even say more easily, in a tower or tiered planter or container. Growing strawberries up off the ground helps protect the fruit from pests, disease and weeds, as well as reducing the risk of over-watering the plants.
Here are a few things to keep in mind when growing strawberries in planters.
Choose the style of planter that will work best in the space that is available, a three tiered planter will take up much less space than a long rectangular raised-bed. If the space doesn’t have an area with full sun exposure, growing in a container that can be moved with the sunlight might be a better option.
The correct soil and fertilizer is still important when growing strawberries in a planter as well. Check out “Best Fertilizers & Soils for Strawberries” for more on about fertilizing strawberries.
When growing strawberries in towers day-neutral varieties are a good choice because they will continue to produce fruit from mid-spring through early fall and they won’t send out too many runners like other varieties of strawberries.
June-bearing strawberry plants are typically more bushy and look good in planters. They also grow more runners than other types of strawberries so some pruning will need to be done.
Strawberries grown in planters need to be monitored more closely for watering as the small amount of soil in a planter can dry out quickly.
Water preferably in the morning, paying particular attention to try and avoid watering the foliage and instead focusing the water around the base of the plant.
Do You Get Strawberries in their First Year?
Ever-bearing and day-neutral strawberries planted in the spring will produce strawberries in the mid/late-summer and early fall. June-bearing strawberries will also produce some strawberries 4-6 weeks after being planted but it’s common practice to pinch off flowers on June-bearing type strawberries in their first year of growth, encouraging the growth of the mother plant, runners and daughter plants, so that the next spring will be a bigger harvest.
Should I Train/Prune Strawberry Runners?
You should train and prune strawberry runners. Keep strawberry plants in the area you want them in and keep their spacing reasonable with plants at least 6″ apart. Runners that create rooted daughter plants can be separated from mother plants.
Do Strawberries Ripen After Being Picked?
No, strawberries do not ripen after being picked. Strawberries are at their best when they are left on the plant until they are bright red, plump and firm to the touch.
They should not be picked if the tip of the fruit is still white, yellow or green because it will stay that way and the fruit will taste sour. If the strawberry is dark red and/or soft to the touch, it has not been picked soon enough and is starting to rot.
Check out “When Are Strawberries In Season?” for a cool article that explains when strawberries are the freshest.
How Do You Pick Strawberries So They Grow Back?
There are three main types of strawberry plants and the type of plant will determine when the strawberries grow back. Strawberry plants are perennials and will come back each spring and produce fruit for 2 – 4 years in most cases.
The June-bearing strawberry plants produce one harvest per year, which happens as the name suggests, early in the season for a 3 week period. After that, the strawberries won’t grow back until the following spring.
The ever-bearing strawberry plant has a name that is a bit misleading and it actually only produces two crops of strawberries each year. The first crop will be ready to pick in the early summer and then the strawberries will grow back and the second crop will be ready towards the end of the summer or the early fall. If the summer is not too hot they might produce a third crop in mid-summer.
The third type of strawberry plant is the day-neutral variety which produces new fruit throughout the growing season, so these strawberries will grow back many times from June through September in most regions of the U.S. and Canada.
Are Strawberry Plants Frost Tolerant?
While strawberry plants are cold tolerant, frost can damage the plant during both the late fall and the early spring. There are many, many varieties of strawberry plants and some are better adapted to different hardiness zones.
Strawberries are especially sensitive to frost damage in the early spring when the flowers are getting ready to bloom or have just opened. If a frost is forecasted and the strawberry plants are already growing, a frost cloth or row cover should be used to keep the plants protected.
Please comment below with your own tips and knowledge on growing strawberries!