Planting and Growing Strawberries part 2

Planting and Growing Strawberries part 2

Mulching Strawberries

Mulching is recommended to keep the soil cool and moist, and to prevent weeds from stealing valuable nutrients from your plant. A good option is the traditional straw, and you should avoid any material that causes the soil to heat (such as dark plastic) since this will hamper fruit production.

If you live in a cold climate, it is advisable to mulch over the strawberries plant to prevent the crowns from frosting, starting when the temperature drops to 18-19 F degrees. Again, straw is recommended, as are pine needles and any kind of mulch that can be easily removed in spring.

Watering and Fertilizing Strawberries

Your strawberries should be watered with about 1-2 inches of water, per week. You should take care especially from the early bloom to the end of harvest, since this is the time when fruit is forming and its water needs are higher.

If you began with organic soil as suggested, you have the beginning part covered: you should follow it up with a 10-10-10 balanced fertilizer (about 1 lb per 100 square feet) when planting, and again after the second harvest of everbearing and day neutrals (or after renovation of June bearers).

More is not necessarily better with fertilizers: too much will improve leaf growth at the expense of flowers (and fruit); fertilizing in the cold season is also not recommended since new growth will probably frost and reduce the plant's yield.

Harvesting your Strawberries

Strawberries fruit should be handled with care, as it is easily crushed: you should cut the stems and not pull on the fruit itself.

A good indicator of the ripeness is a deep-red color, but this depends on the species and the only failsafe method is a taste test.

Renovating the June bearing bed

Strawberry plants should be changed after about 3-4 years, since their yield tends to drop afterwards: a good renovation regimen will prolong their life to five years.

Renovation consists of mowing strawberries plant to about 2-3 inches in height, taking care not to damage the crowns; it should be followed with a 10-10-10 fertilizer at a rate of 5lbs per 100 linear feet of row, mulching as needed.

The width of the mat rows should be reduced to 18 inches by removing one side and leaving the young strawberries plant, which should be thinned to about 8 inches apart.

Planting and Growing Strawberries part 1


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