Strawberries are fruits that are enjoyed by most individuals. If you want to experience the best, sweet tasting strawberries, you will need to grow them yourself. Fortunately, you can do this in your very own garden, as long as all the requirements are met. Here are some guidelines you can follow:
Choosing the Plants
There are three types of strawberry plants. These can be divided by the time of year that the buds form. The Junebearer is the best option for home gardens with them producing buds in the fall and then the fruits in the following spring. The Everbearer type can form buds either in the fall or the summer. The autumn buds bear fruit in the spring while the summer buds bear fruit in the autumn. The day-neutral will produce buds and fruits consistently as long as the temperature remains between 35°F and 85°F.
Planting Strawberry Plants
Strawberry plants tend to work well with different soil types although you can expect the best results from loam. Prior to planting, you will need to ensure that the soil pH level is between 5.5 and 7. Strawberry plants flourish in soil that will drain easily. It is for this reason that they can grow well in container beds. The plants require at least six to ten hours of sunlight each day so you will need to plant in a spot that gets adequate amounts of light.
Since the plants send out runners, there should be an adequate amount of space between each of the plants. Make sure that there is about 4 feet between each of the rows and at least 20 inches between each plant.
When planting the strawberry plant, the hole will need to be deep enough to avoid bending any of the roots. However, the crown of the roots should be at the surface of the soil.
Growing the Strawberry Plants
You should aim to water the plants about one inch per week. The plants need the greatest amount of water when the runners and flowers are growing and when they are maturing. Adding mulch to the soil will prevent you from having to water the soil quite so much.
Typically, the first and second generation runners are the best so you can eliminate most of the others. You should discourage the plant from bearing fruit in the first year by picking off the blossoms. This will result in healthier roots and better fruit later on.
Harvesting the Strawberries
Strawberry fruits can usually be harvested about four weeks after you see blossoms. Nonetheless, you should only pick the fruit that are bright red in color. When removing the berry, cut the stem rather than tugging on the fruit. You should be able to pick fruit every three days. You can expect the harvest to last about three weeks.
This is what you need to know about choosing, planting, growing, and caring for your strawberries. As long as you take proper care of the plants, you should be able to enjoy the delicious fruits of your labor.
To learn more about vegetable gardening of various kinds, you should absolutely check out The MiniFarming Guide to Vegetable Gardening.