So you want to start a Strawberry Patch

Growing strawberries can be one of the most enjoyable gardening experiences because they are easy to grow, they provide an attractive evergreen ground cover and they taste great!   If properly cared for each strawberry plant can yield approximately one quart of berries.

A few berries may be produced in the first year, but the biggest harvests are realized in the second season.  By planting large nursery grown strawberry plants, you can get a jump on the season and harvest more berries the first year.

Soil Preparation

Strawberries do best in well-drained, acid soil, so for the biggest berry crop, most garden soils require enrichment. Add a 4-5 inch layer of Master Nursery Acid Planting Mix atop the bed and work in well. This keeps the soil from compacting, retains moisture, acidifies the soil, and adds much needed organic matter.

Planting

Strawberries may be planted in spring or early fall.  If planting in the fall, a 3-4 inch layer of Gromulch is suggested for frost protection at this altitude. 

Plant strawberries in full sun in single rows spaced 6-8 inches apart, or in double rows spaced 12 inches apart.

Before planting, remove any dead or dying leaves from each plant.  Firm the soil around the new plants and water thoroughly. Be sure to keep the crowns of the plants above ground.

Planting strawberries in containers is easy, pretty, and can give great crops of luscious, red berries.  For great plants in containers the secret is in the potting soil.  Plant in either Gardner & Bloom Raised Bed & Potting Mix or Master Nursery Gardeners Gold.

Watering

Watering is the most important maintenance task in growing strawberries.  Strawberries require 1 inch of rain or equivalent irrigation per week during the growing season.  Do not let the plants wilt from lack of water or the fruit can be affected. Do not allow the bed to become soggy as root rot diseases may develop. 

Fertilizing

For larger berries a follow-up feedings of plant food should be applied every 6 weeks during the growing season.