Planting and Growing Strawberries part 1

Planting and Growing Strawberries

You should bear in mind that strawberries need a lot of sun, so they should be exposed to sunlight for at least six hours per day. They prefer a slightly acidic soil, with a pH from 5.8 to 6.3. A well drained, sandy loam is the ideal setting.

Please be aware that certain plants such as eggplants, tomatoes, peppers and potatoes carry a dangerous Verticillium that can cause your strawberries plant to rot, so you should plant it far from the aforementioned vegetables.

A good time to plant is around late fall, early spring: make sure that the soil is dry enough.

Success depends on many factors, but the most important are making sure that your strawberries is disease free (it should be certified as such) and choosing strawberries plant with light-colored, healthy roots and large crowns.

Strawberries should be planted in a hole large enough to spread the roots, with a hilled center, and the crown placed at soil level: the roots should be spread down the central hill, and strawberries plant should be buried only halfway up the crown.

Using organic matter (about 1 to 2 inches) ensures enough nutrients and is highly recommended for strawberries.

Matted row system

Strawberries in a matted row system - recommended for June bearing varieties

As a general rule, the matted row system is good for plants sending out lots of runners (e.g. june bearing strawberries).

Strawberries plant should be set 18 inches apart in rows of 24 inches, with 4 - 4 1/2 feet between rows.

Shortly after planting, you should start to see flower buds and leaves: flowers should be pinched off for the first year (in june bearing varieties); this will allow for a healthier plant and more runners, and will ensure a larger crop, for more years, in the following cycles.

Everbearing and day neutral varieties' flowers should be pinched off only until July 1st.

When you start seeing runners from the crown, train them along the row and space them 6 to 9 inches apart, pressing them gently into the soil and keeping strawberries there with a light weight or an inch of soil until their roots have grown; severing runners from the mother plant is not recommended.

Hill System

The hill system is recommended for varieties of strawberries that produce few runners, namely overbearing and day neutral.

This system consists of a raised bed 2 feet wide and 7 inches high, with plants in staggered double rows, 13 inches apart.

If you want a higher crop production and a healthier strawberries plant, you should sacrifice runners and flowers until the beginning of july in the first year; you can then let them produce at will.

Please be aware that strawberries plant should be replaced every 3 to 4 years, since multiple harvests tend to significantly slow down their production after this period.


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