Growing strawberries can be a great way to get fresh fruit into your family’s diet. Even children that just won’t eat fruit will grab the berries they have grown with their own hands and gobble them down, learning that fruits is tasty along the way.
Start growing strawberries by purchasing plants at the local nursery or garden center. You might choose to order them online, but whatever method you use, obtain them in the very early spring. If you live in a very warm climate, you can plant them in fall, but most of the world must plants strawberries just after the last frost has passed.
Because strawberry plants can carry viruses which can kill the plant and spread throughout the garden, select plants which are certified to be free of disease.
If you plant your strawberries outdoors, you should select a site with good drainage, full sun and which will warm up well in early spring. Generally, a south-facing slope is perfect, but any location with soil which drains well and the sun shines directly on the plot can work. You can also grow strawberries in containers or raised beds; here we will focus on plants placed in the ground.
Be sure your strawberry bed is well cultivated to at least one-foot in depth. Remove weeds, debris, large sticks and stones. Amend the soil with compost and cured manure to provide the rich nutrients required for lush, plump strawberries.
Dig a hole for your plant which is about seven inches in width and depth. Place the plant into the hole, making sure the roots are buried but the crown is at the same level as in its previous container. Set plants in rows about 1-1/2 feet apart to allow plenty of growing space. Because strawberries multiply using runners, you’ll need space for these new baby plants to thrive.
As you go about growing strawberries, you’ll need to check on your plants periodically and be sure no pests have made a feast of your fruits. Keep the space between the rows open by taking away the outer most runners and placing them elsewhere. Just snip the runner and dig up the roots, replanting the baby plant in another location. It may well fruit before the season ends.
As your original plants are harvested, remove them from the plot and allow their newly rooted runners to have the space occupied by the “mother” plant. Be sure to harvest all fruits before the first frost, but ideally, grab each berry just as it ripens.