Introduction: Grow Your Own Great Strawberries
Now who doesn't love fresh strawberries. Unless you are allergic to them I think just about everyone enjoys them one way or another, on shortcake, in ice cream, fresh with cream and a little sugar or just plain fresh to eat.
Step 1: Growing Your Own Strawberries
Yes you can grow your own fresh strawberries. If you love strawberries and have a little garden space or even a little extra space in the flower beds, strawberries are fairly easy to grow, they make a great ground cover and will help hold the moisture in the soil around your flowers and other landscaping plants.
Step 2: You Need to Decide When You Want Your Strawberries to Produce
There are two types of strawberries June bearers which means they put on all their fruit in June and don't produce again until next year. Sometimes if you live in a temperate enough climate you might get a small fall crop. Then there are the ever bearing or day neutral varieties, the don't put on with a big flush of berries but rather produce berries almost all summer. Both have their attributes and you can simply decide which is better for you and your garden.
Step 3: How Your Plants Will Look From the Grower
When you get the strawberry plants straight from the grower they should be bare root and not have broken the bud. This means there should be no leaves and lots of healthy thick roots. This is perfectly normal and should be the way that they look when they arrive, if they came fully leafed out then they will be much more stressed in shipment and being transplanted.
Step 4: When Is It Time to Plant the Strawberries
The best time to plant strawberries is either late winter, early spring or in the fall depending on where you live. I live in the Midwest so we are planting in mid March here.
Step 5: Getting Ready to Plant Healthy Plants
Taking the plants out of their bundles, take a closer look these plants they have a very nice root structure and very little bud break that is perfect for planting. You will want the roots to have very good color and have just plenty of them to supply the plant with a good start the first year. Before actually planting them I soak them in a bucket of water for a little while probably and hour or so to rehydrate them after shipping.
Step 6: Prepare the Soil
Before your strawberry plants arrive you will want the soil to have prepared well, I use leaf and manure compost to feed the soil. Strawberries are heavy feeders and need balanced nutrients in the soil to produce an abundance of berries year after year. So starting out with well prepared soil will make it much more likely that they will live and produce well for you. As you can see this soil is dark with compost and fairly sandy, strawberries don't do well in heavy clay soils that don't drain well. So if you have heavy soil be sure to amend it well to allow for good drainage. Strawberries don't like to be in standing water for long periods of time.
Step 7: Simple Needed to Plant Strawberries
Planting them is pretty simple just a couple of tools needed, a trowel and gloves if you prefer gloves.
Step 8: Laying the Strawberry Plants Out for Planting
Then I lay them out in the row so that they have the proper distance between each plant, don't plant them too close together as they will fill in with runners and produce more plants each year. I start out with them about six inches apart. After they are laid out they are planted in the soil with the roots spread out evenly.
Step 9: Don't Bury the Crown
You should not bury the crown, which is the little top of the plant, the crown bud should be showing after planting. If you bury the crown it will grow but not produce berries.
After planting comes the easy part waiting for them to grow, here they are just breaking ground with the first leaves. Then they will progress into making nice blooms, and then on to little green berries. Not long after the little green berries come the nice ripe berries. You won't get many berries the first year but the few you do get will be well worth the effort of planting them, by the second year you have a bumper crop of berries.
Step 11: Enjoying Your Own Fresh Strawberries
Now that you have planted the plants here is the pay off nice ripe delicious home grown strawberries right out your back door. Now get out there and plant some fresh plants so you can enjoy strawberries for years to come.