Depending on the region you live in, growing strawberries occurs in the fall or spring season. Whether you're growing strawberries now or later, I thought it important to share some tips to help you grow healthier strawberries. This deliciously juicy fruit goes well in mixed drinks, sangrias, appetizers, and desserts so it's no wonder more people are looking to grow their own strawberries for use all year round.
Below you'll find my best tips to not only grow strawberries but to grow the best-flavored strawberries possible in your backyard garden.
Tips to Grow Healthier Strawberries
Select the Right Location
Since strawberries are a perennial plant, you'll need to be selective about where you plant them. Select an area that won't be used for anything else for years to come and is away from the natural flow of foot traffic in your yard. Once you've selected the right location you'll need to remove all weeds and lay down a thick layer of compost or fertilizer. This will work to prep the area for healthy strawberries.
Don't Plant Where Other Plants Were
There are a few garden vegetables that shouldn't have ever grown in the location that you plan to grow strawberries. The location should be free of having grown tomatoes, potatoes, peppers, or eggplants in the past. This would cause the strawberries to be more susceptible to disease and wilting.
Select the Right Variety
There are many varieties of strawberries to choose from. The June bearing variety will give you more fruit and more harvests whereas the overbearing strawberries will result in more harvests but smaller amounts. Ask your local garden nursery about which variety may be best for your region and garden.
Plant Ample Strawberry Plants
Take into consideration that each strawberry plant will yield approximately 1 cup to 1 pint per season. If you plan to store your strawberries via canning, dehydration, or freezing for year-round use, consider how many strawberries you'll need to get through the non-gardening season so that you can plant enough strawberry plants based on your family's predicted usage.
Check the Crown
The crown of your strawberry plant must always remain slightly above the soil level. This can be done by digging a hole about 2-3 inches deep, placing your strawberry plant into the hole and building a mound above the crown. Then you'll water the crown and keep an eye to always maintain a position of slightly above soil level for healthy strawberry growth.
Protect Against Bugs and Birds
Consider protecting your strawberries with bird netting and straw mulch to deter snails, birds, and bugs from getting into your strawberry plants. The bird netting may seem like overkill, but you'll be thankful when you're able to harvest healthy strawberries from your garden this year.
These are just some of my best tips to grow healthier strawberries, in time you'll develop some of your own tricks that encourage maximum healthy strawberry growth year after year.