Strawberries can be grown in your home garden.
The location that you choose should be prepared in advance. If you prepare the strawberry bed in the fall, it will be ready for the plants by the following spring. Fertilizer can be applied to the area at this time. Any animal manure can be used or you can purchase fertilizer from the garden center. Work the fertilizer into the soil thoroughly.
Strawberry plants can be purchased from a nursery or garden center in the springtime. They will be dormant, or asleep when you purchase them. You may wonder if the plants are dead but don’t let their appearance fool you. They are very much alive and just waiting to be planted.
Choosing healthy plants is very important as healthy plants will always do better than sickly ones. Even in their dormant state, there is a difference between healthy plants and sick ones. Choose plants that have some nice green leaves, or crowns as they are called.
The location that you choose to plant your strawberries in is also very important. The area should be a spot that receives the full sun for most of the day as strawberries love the sun. The area should be free from tall weeds or other things that will shade the plants.
Strawberry plants are very particular about the moisture content of the bed that they are planted in. They will do best in a spot that is well-drained but is still slightly moist. They do not do well in a swampy area nor do they do well in a spot that is too dry. To accomplish this you should choose a spot that is well-drained and after the plants have been planted and have started to grow, you can put about four inches of straw all around the base of the plants. This will keep the strawberry bed moist.
You can plant strawberry plants in your garden in the spring just as soon as the ground has thawed out and the soil can be turned.
Plant the strawberry plants in rows that are eight feet long and three feet apart.
Set the strawberry plants in the soil and push the soil up around the base of the plant. Only the leaves should be above the soil. Water the plants thoroughly. When the plants take root you can put a layer of straw around all the plants. Several inches of straw is recommended to assure that the strawberry bed will hold in the moisture during dry periods.
During the first year, break off the flowers as they appear. You do not want the plants to produce this year. This year the plants need to put all their energy into developing a strong root system.
As winter approaches, you will need to prepare your strawberry plants for the cold weather. After a hard freeze has occurred in your area, put about six inches of straw on top of the strawberry bed. Make sure that the entire strawberry bed is covered well.
When winter is over, remove the straw from the plants. The plants will start to grow quickly once the straw has been removed and the plants begin getting the sun again. It is very important at this point to control weeds in your strawberry bed. The weeds will rob your strawberry plants of water and in most cases, the weeds will grow tall enough to keep the strawberry plants from getting the full sun.