Learn how to grow strawberries to avoid those nasty pesticides common to this fruit. Planting strawberries in pots or containers is a great way to grow strawberry seeds or strawberry plants.
There are three types of strawberries and growing all three will give you an abundant supply for the whole season.
Planting strawberries in hanging baskets or planters will not only add charm to your home, but provide you easier access to this wonderful fruit.
A better way to grow strawberries is not by planting strawberry seeds, but by using the strawberry runners or daughter plants instead.
Learn how to grow strawberries and you can have this luscious fruit for practically free for years to come.
There are three types of strawberries - June-bearing, Ever-bearing, and Day-neutral.
June-bearing - are strawberry plants that produce a large crop of large strawberries once each year and most likely in the month of June.
Ever-bearing - are strawberry plants that produce two to three medium sized crops of fruit every year. However, the quality of fruit is sometimes not as good as that produced by June-bearing plants.
Day-neutral - are strawberry plants that produce a few berries throughout the entire growing season. These strawberries tend to be medium in size.
Ever-bearing and Day-neutral plants don't send out as many runners as the June-bearing plants which produce a lot of runners. This allows these two types to focus their energy on producing multiple harvests instead.
Camarosa Strawberries - June-bearing plant
Allstar Strawberries - June-bearing Plant
Shuksan Strawberries - June bearing plant
Quinault Strawberries - Ever-bearing Plant
Ft. Laramie Strawberries - Ever-bearing Plant
Tristar Strawberries - Day-neutral Plant
Strawberry plants are perennials and will produce fruit abundantly for a good 3 to 5 years. After the third year, strawberry plants in general tend to start producing less fruit.
However, regular pruning can be essential in getting the most from your strawberry plants and could help your plant produce a good harvest for as long as 6 years.
The Basics for How to Grow Strawberries:
How to Grow Strawberries - Best Time: Planting strawberries as early in the spring as your soil will allow is probably the best time, but planting strawberries in the summer, fall, or even winter can work just as well. It will depend on the climate in your region.
In colder climates - planting strawberries in the spring is best, but summer will work too. In hotter climates - plant strawberries in the fall or winter.
How to Grow Strawberries Better: During the first growing season of June-bearing strawberries, remove all flowers as soon as they appear. Removing the flowers will promote stronger root and plant development which will ensure a larger crop next season.
During the first growing season of Ever-bearing and Day-neutral plants, remove the flowers until the end of June. After the month of June, you can allow the flowers to stay which will then set fruit for a summer/fall harvest.
How to Grow Strawberries - Pruning: Pruning is essential to controlling how much fruit your plant will yield each season.
You will want to tame out-of-control runners especially on June-bearing plants. These are shoots from the mother plant which can be used to produce more strawberry plants.
You may want to cut off all runners as soon as they appear, allow them to grow into new plants, or even cut them back once the season is over.
Keeping runners under control will help your plant direct its energy into fruit production and then it should give you a good harvest for about six years.
Also, after every harvest season - trim your plants 1 to 2 inches above soil level to keep your plants productive for next season.
If you have poor soil or your soil drains poorly, planting strawberries in pots or containers will solve that problem. It is also easier to overwinter strawberries in pots than in a garden bed.
Just dig a hole deep enough for the roots and set your plant into the hole with the crown just above ground level. Then fill in the soil so that the roots are completely covered and water.
Make sure to purchase strawberry plants that are disease-free and come from a reputable nursery or farmer. Ever-bearing and Day-neutrals will make the best types of strawberries for potted plants.
How to Grow Strawberries in Winter: You must protect strawberry plants against the cold winter temperatures. Mulching with straw or pine needles should be enough to get strawberries through the winter.
You can also overwinter them in a pot and place the pot in a sheltered location such as an enclosed garage or shed. Making sure you choose a strawberry variety that is winter hardy will surely help as well.
It's important to note that strawberries are their sweetest when they are fully ripened on the plant. This means that you should leave berries on the plant for a day or two once they start turning red.
When your strawberries are fully red and ripe - grasp the stem just above the fruit with your fingers and gently twist or snap to remove the berry.
You'll want to harvest daily or at least every other day once your berries start to ripen. The best time for harvesting berries is early in the morning and in dry weather.
Be sure to remove spoiled fruit to prevent problems for your strawberry plant. Strawberries will store for a few days in your refrigerator, but do not wash them before storing.
Strawberries can be grown by strawberry seeds, but it will take about two years before they can be harvested.
A much easier and quicker way is to purchase a strawberry plant or rooted plants. After a few weeks, most strawberry varieties will produce runners or new daughter plants.
Strawberry seeds won't often grow true to type, but runners are a clone of the mother plant.
All you will need is to purchase a few mother plants and you will have a constant supply of daughter plants in no time.
Once established, this new plant can be separated from the mother and moved to another location.
Just remember every 3 to 6 years, you'll want to replace all your strawberry plants to keep your patch productive.
You can do this by starting strawberry seeds a couple of years before the new plants are needed or simply plant the cloned daughters in place of the older plants.
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