Growing Strawberries: Best Tips For Success

Growing Strawberries

Are you looking to add some sweetness to your garden? Growing strawberries can be a great way to enjoy fresh, juicy fruit right from your own backyard. You can produce a bountiful harvest of these delicious berries with the proper techniques and care.

In this guide, we’ll provide you with the best tips for success in growing strawberries.

Firstly, choosing the right strawberry plant for your climate and growing conditions is important. There are three main types – June-bearing, everbearing, and day-neutral – each with their own unique characteristics.

Once you’ve selected your plants, it’s time to start planting and caring for them. From soil preparation to watering schedules, we’ll provide you with all the information you need to ensure your strawberry plants’ healthy growth and maximum productivity.

So grab your gardening gloves, and let’s dive into the world of strawberry cultivation!

Key Takeaways for Growing Strawberries

– Strawberries require full sun and well-draining soil, with proper spacing and regular fertilization and weeding

– Different types of strawberries have unique fruiting patterns (June-bearing, everbearing, day-neutral) and should be selected based on your needs

– Proper care and maintenance, including removing runners and providing winter protection, is necessary for a successful strawberry patch

– Powdery mildew is a common disease that can be managed with proper fungicide application and care, and choosing disease-free plants is important for prevention.

Quick Tips for Planting Strawberries

If you want to plant strawberries successfully, you should start by spacing them 12-18 inches apart and planting them on higher ground to avoid frost damage and increase air circulation.

Strawberries need full sun, so make sure you place them in a location where they can get at least 6 hours of direct sunlight each day.

Removing runners throughout the season is crucial to prevent overgrowth and ensure that your plants produce a good crop.

Before planting your strawberries, it’s important to test the soil for nutrients and amend it with compost if necessary.

You should also plant dormant transplants in spring when the soil is warm enough and ensure you don’t plant them too deep or too shallow.

Once planted, water regularly, but be careful not to overwater, as this can lead to root rot.

By following these tips, you can ensure that your strawberry plants thrive and produce delicious fruit for years to come.

Types of Strawberries

If you’re interested in growing strawberries, knowing the different types available will set you up for success.

June-bearing strawberries produce a large crop in mid-June to early July, while everbearing varieties produce two crops (early summer and early fall). Day-neutral plants produce fruit throughout most of the growing season. 

Refer to this extensive list for specific recommendations for growing strawberries by specific varieties by state.

June-Bearing Strawberries

As the name may imply, June-bearing strawberries typically produce a large crop in mid-June to early July, making them a popular choice for many home gardeners.

To successfully grow June-bearing strawberries, you should space them 12-18 inches apart in full sun and remove runners throughout the season to prevent overgrowth.

These plants can produce up to 120 daughter plants in a single season, so keeping them under control for optimal fruit production is important.

It’s also important to note that these plants are self-fertile but require bees for pollination. Ensure that there are plenty of bee-attracting flowers nearby, or consider keeping your own hive.

Proper watering, fertilizing, and weeding are crucial for healthy plants and successful fruit production.

Everbearing Strawberries

Get ready for continuous harvests throughout the growing season with everbearing strawberries! These types of strawberries produce two crops – one in early summer and another in early fall.

When planting, make sure to space your everbearing strawberry plants 14-18 inches apart in well-draining soil with a pH between 5.5 and 7. These plants are best grown in full sun and should be mulched to reduce water needs and weed invasion.

To ensure healthy growth, fertilize with all-purpose granules and pick off blossoms during the first year to develop strong roots. Eliminate runner plants as needed throughout the season to prevent overgrowth.

During winter, provide some protection in colder regions by covering plants with straw or other protective coverings. Recommended hardy varieties for cold weather climates include Northeaster, Sable, Primetime, Cardinal, Camarosa, and Tristar.

Day-Neutral Strawberries

Day-neutral strawberries are an excellent choice for those who want to enjoy fresh strawberries throughout most of the growing season. Unlike June-bearing or everbearing varieties, day neutrals do not produce a large crop at once but instead produce fruit continuously from spring until fall.

Here are some tips to help you successfully grow day-neutral strawberries:

– Plant in early spring as soon as the soil can be worked

– Space plants 12-18 inches apart in rows that are 3 feet apart

– Pinch off early flowers for maximum yield later in the season

– Use drip irrigation or soaker hoses to keep leaves dry and prevent disease

Growing day-neutral strawberries requires consistent attention and care, but the reward is fresh, delicious fruit all season long. When growing strawberries such as day-neutral strawberries, you can enjoy a bountiful harvest of these versatile berries with proper spacing, pruning, and watering techniques. 

Best Varieties for Northern Zones

If you’re in a northern zone, you’ll love these strawberry varieties that are perfect for your area.

Northern zones have shorter growing seasons and colder climates, making choosing the right strawberry plants essential.

Some of the best varieties for northern zones include Northeaster, Sable, Primetime, Cardinal, Camarosa, and Tristar.

  • Northeaster – is known for its exceptional hardiness and can withstand temperatures as low as -30°F.
  • Sable – produces large fruit with excellent flavor and is especially well-suited for jams and preserves.
  • Primetime strawberries – are early producers that can yield up to two quarts per plant.
  • Cardinal – has firm fruit that holds up well during transport while also being ideal for freezing or canning.
  • Camarosa – produces large berries with attractive red coloration that makes them popular among commercial growers.
  • Tristar is an everbearing variety producing sweet fruit throughout the growing season and into fall, making them a favorite among home gardeners.

By choosing these varieties suited to northern zones, you’ll be able to enjoy growing strawberries even in cooler climates.

Growing Strawberries: Planting and Caring for Your Plants

Growing strawberries is a popular fruit that many gardeners attempt to grow. Like all other plants, strawberries need proper care to produce the most fruit possible. Factors such as buying your plants, choosing a site, planting spacing and depth, watering them correctly, and keeping your strawberries productive throughout the growing season are essential to get the most out of growing strawberries.

Buying Plants When Starting Growing Strawberries

Knowing where to buy disease-free plants for your garden is important to ensure success in growing strawberries. Look for local nurseries or horticultural societies that sell plants grown in your area. These plants are likely to adapt to the local climate and soil conditions, increasing their chances of thriving in your garden.

When purchasing strawberry plants, inspect them carefully for signs of disease or damage. Look for healthy foliage and roots, and avoid buying any plants with brown spots or wilting leaves. It’s also a good idea to purchase from reputable suppliers who guarantee their products and offer advice on planting and care.

Choosing healthy, high-quality plants gives you the best chance of a successful strawberry harvest.

Choosing a Site, Plant spacing, and Depth

Now that you’ve purchased your strawberry plants, it’s time to choose the perfect spot for them in your garden. Strawberries thrive in full sun and well-drained soil with a pH between 5.5 and 7.

Choose a sheltered location with good air circulation to minimize frost damage and increase bee pollination. It’s also important to consider the spacing of your plants, as they need room to grow and produce fruit.

When planting, space your strawberries 12-18 inches apart and at an exact depth so that the crown is level with the soil surface. Planting too deep can lead to rotting, while planting too shallow can cause drying out of roots.

If you’re growing strawberries using a row planting system, use the matted row method where each plant has enough space for runners but not too much that it will overcrowd other plants or become difficult to manage during harvest season.

Remember to water and fertilize regularly throughout the growing season, remove runners as needed, and provide winter protection when necessary. With these tips, you’ll be on your way to growing strawberries in no time!

Watering Strawberries

Proper watering is crucial for healthy and productive strawberry plants, so it’s essential to understand how much water they need. When growing strawberries, they require about one inch of water per week, which can be achieved through a combination of rainfall and supplemental irrigation. However, it’s important not to overwater as this can lead to root rot and other diseases.

To ensure proper watering, it’s best to use a drip irrigation system or soaker hoses that deliver water directly to the roots without getting the leaves wet. This helps prevent fungal diseases such as powdery mildew from taking hold. If using overhead sprinklers, try to water early in the day so that any excess moisture on the leaves has time to dry before evening.

It’s also important to avoid letting the soil dry out completely between waterings, as this can stress the plants and reduce fruit production. Following these guidelines, you can keep your strawberry plants well-hydrated and productive throughout the growing season.

Keeping your Strawberries Productive

To keep your strawberries productive, you need to pinch the flowers and train the runners for healthy plants. It’s also important to fertilize and weed regularly to ensure optimal growth.

When it comes time to harvest your strawberries, be sure to pick only fully ripe berries every three days and store them in the refrigerator for a few days.

Finally, provide winter protection for your strawberry plants in colder regions by covering them with straw or other materials.

Pinching Flowers and Training Runners

When growing strawberries, it’s important to pinch off any flowers that appear in the first year and train runners to ensure healthy plant growth. Here are some tips for properly pinching flowers and training runners:

1. Pinch off any flowers that appear in the first year of growth to encourage root development and a better harvest next year.

2. Train runners by attaching them to pegs or burying them slightly in soil, making sure they are at least 6 inches apart from each other.

3. Remove excess runners throughout the season to prevent overcrowding and maintain proper plant spacing.

By following these steps, you can help your strawberry plants produce a bountiful harvest for years to come. Remember to be patient with your plants, as they may take a few seasons before reaching their full potential. 

Fertilizing and Weeding Your Growing Strawberries

If you want your strawberry plants to thrive and produce the sweetest berries, don’t forget to fertilize regularly and pull those pesky weeds out by their roots.

Fertilizing is important for vigorous plant growth and fruit production. Use an all-purpose granular fertilizer with a balanced nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium ratio or consider using your own home-grown compost. Apply it according to package instructions or based on a soil test result. It’s recommended to fertilize your growing strawberries every 4-6 weeks throughout the growing season, starting in early spring when new leaves emerge.

Weeding is another crucial task in strawberry care. Weeds compete with strawberry plants for nutrients, water, and sunlight. They also provide hiding places for pests like slugs and snails that can damage fruit.

The best way to remove weeds from a strawberry bed is by hand pulling or hoeing them out carefully without disturbing the shallow roots of the strawberries. Be sure to remove the entire weed, including its root system, as some tough weeds can regenerate from even small pieces left behind.

Regular weeding will keep your strawberry patch healthy and productive year after year.

Harvesting Strawberries

Ready for a sweet treat? Harvesting your ripe strawberries at the peak of their flavor is a satisfying and delicious task in strawberry gardening.

To ensure you’re picking your berries at the right time, look for fully red (ripe) berries and pick them every three days. Be gentle when removing the fruit from the stem, as they’re delicate and can easily bruise.

Once you’ve harvested your strawberries, storing them properly is important to maintain their freshness. Place unwashed berries in the refrigerator for 3-5 days, or freeze them whole for about 2 months.

Remember not to wash your berries until just before you plan to eat or use them, as excess moisture can cause them to spoil more quickly. With these tips in mind, enjoy the fruits of your labor and savor the taste of freshly picked strawberries!

Winter Care of Your Strawberries

Now that you’ve learned all about how to harvest your strawberries, it’s important to know how to care for them during the winter months. Proper winter care will help ensure a healthy and bountiful crop the following year.

Here are some tips for taking care of your strawberries during the winter:

1. Mulch: Cover your strawberry plants with a thick layer of mulch (such as straw or leaves) before the first frost to protect them from freezing temperatures.

2. Pruning: Cut back any dead or damaged foliage in the fall after harvesting, but leave at least 1 inch of growth above ground level so new shoots can emerge in the spring.

3. Watering: Water your strawberry plants deeply before the ground freezes to help them survive through dry spells during the winter months.

By following these simple steps, you can ensure that your strawberry plants stay healthy and productive throughout the winter, ready for another abundant harvest come next summer!

Managing Pests and Diseases

In order to keep your strawberry plants healthy and productive, it’s important to be aware of the common pests and diseases that can affect them.

Powdery mildew, black root rot, and leaf blight are diseases to assess your strawberries for regularly. 

Common insect pests include spotted wing Drosophila, slugs, sap beetles, and Japanese beetles.

Powdery Mildew

To prevent powdery mildew from infecting your strawberry plants, you’ll need to take precautions such as using fungicide sprays and choosing products with active ingredients like myclobutanil or sulfur.

Powdery mildew is a fungal disease that thrives under conditions of low light intensity and warm, humid weather. It overwinters in live infected plant tissue, and spores are carried by the wind, germinating on dry leaf surfaces with high humidity.

Fungicide sprays may be necessary to protect plants after renovation, so choosing products that contain effective active ingredients for controlling the disease is important. When applying fungicides, make sure to follow instructions carefully and use protective equipment such as gloves and a respirator if necessary.

In addition to using fungicides, you can also help prevent powdery mildew by providing adequate air circulation around your plants, avoiding overhead watering, which can leave leaves wet for extended periods of time, removing infected plant material promptly, and planting resistant varieties when possible.

Black Root Rot

It could be a sign of black root rot if you’re experiencing yellowing leaves and stunted growth in your strawberry plants. This fungal disease attacks the plant’s roots, ultimately leading to plant death. It’s caused by Thielaviopsis basicola and can survive in soil for many years.

To prevent black root rot, it’s important to choose well-draining soil and avoid overwatering. If you suspect your plants are infected with this disease, there are steps you can take to control it. Remove any infected plants immediately. Treat surrounding soil with fungicides containing thiophanate-methyl or triflumizole. Rotate crops every 2-3 years to prevent buildup of the fungus in the soil.

Leaf Blight

Leaf blight can be a frustrating problem for strawberry growers, causing brown spots on the leaves and reducing the plant’s overall health. This fungal disease is caused by the Mycosphaerella fragariae fungus, which overwinters in infected plant debris and soil. The spores are then carried by wind or splashing water to infect new plants.

To prevent leaf blight, it’s essential to maintain good sanitation practices, such as removing all dead leaves and debris from around the plants. Additionally, avoid overhead watering as this can spread the fungus spores from one plant to another.

Remove and destroy any affected leaves immediately if you notice any signs of leaf blight on your plants. Fungicides containing copper or sulfur may also be used for control but should be applied before symptoms appear for best results.

Common Insect Pests

When dealing with common insect pests in your strawberry patch, you’ll want to regularly inspect your plants for signs of damage and take proactive measures to prevent infestations.

Some of the most common insect pests that can harm your strawberries include aphids, spider mites, and Japanese beetles.

Aphids are small, soft-bodied insects that suck sap from leaves and stems. You can control them by spraying a mixture of water and dish soap on the affected plants or introducing natural predators like ladybugs.

Spider mites are tiny arachnids that feed on the underside of leaves, causing yellowing and stippling. They thrive in hot, dry conditions, so try to keep the soil moist and increase humidity around your plants.

Japanese beetles are metallic green insects that eat foliage and flowers, leaving behind skeletonized leaves. You can hand-pick them off your plants or use traps to attract them away from your strawberries.

By taking preventive measures early on, you can protect your strawberry plants from these pesky insects and ensure a bountiful harvest.

FAQ and Troubleshooting

For those who may be experiencing difficulties with their strawberry plants, here are some frequently asked questions and tips for troubleshooting.

One common issue is powdery mildew, which can be identified by the white powdery substance that appears on leaves and fruit. To prevent this, ensure your plants have adequate air circulation and aren’t overcrowded. You can also try removing any affected leaves or fruit and using fungicide sprays with active ingredients like myclobutanil or sulfur.

Another problem that gardeners may encounter is slug damage to their strawberries. Try placing sand or pine needles around your plants or using a gritty mulch to deter these pests. You can also hand-pick any slugs you see and use a garlic and neem seed oil spray for larger infestations.

Additionally, birds may be attracted to your ripe berries. To keep them away, you can hang reflective tape or balloons above your plants to scare them off.

By following these tips and addressing any issues promptly, you can ensure a successful harvest of sweet, juicy strawberries from your garden.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can strawberries be grown indoors in a typical home environment?

Strawberries can be grown indoors in a typical home environment, but it can be challenging due to fluctuating conditions.

Alpine strawberries are the best option for indoor growing, but they grow slowly. Container gardening is an excellent choice with adequate light, water, and well-draining soil.

Stackable pots or hanging baskets are options for growing strawberries in pots. Plants can be overwintered in containers to keep them going for a few years.

However, it’s essential to maintain the right temperature and humidity levels and provide enough sunshine or artificial light for optimal growth. Regular watering and fertilization are necessary to ensure healthy plants that produce tasty fruits throughout their lifespan.

How long do strawberry plants typically produce fruit before declining in productivity?

Strawberry plants typically produce fruit for about 3 to 4 years before their productivity declines. This is important to keep in mind when planning your strawberry patch and deciding when to replace older plants with new runners.

It’s also crucial to provide the proper care and maintenance necessary for healthy plants that can produce quality fruit during their lifespan. Regular fertilization, watering, weeding, and pest management are essential components of successful strawberry growing.

Additionally, choosing the suitable varieties for your location and following recommended planting and harvesting techniques can help ensure a bountiful crop year after year.

Are there any fruits that can be grown alongside strawberries in pots?

Yes, there are several fruits that can be grown alongside strawberries in pots. Blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries are good options as they have similar soil and sun requirements as strawberries. However, it’s important to note that these plants may need different fertilization schedules and pruning techniques than strawberries.

Herbs such as thyme or oregano can be planted alongside strawberries to help deter pests and improve soil quality. When growing multiple fruits or herbs in one pot, make sure to choose varieties with similar growth habits and space accordingly to prevent overcrowding.

What is the best way to deter birds from eating strawberries?

To deter birds from eating your strawberries, you can use various methods. One option is to place netting over the plants, which prevents birds from accessing the fruit.

Another option is to create scare tactics, such as hanging reflective objects or using a motion-activated sprinkler system.

You can also try planting companion plants that attract birds away from the strawberries, such as sunflowers or millet.

It’s important to note that it’s best to start deterring birds early in the growing season before they become accustomed to feasting on your fruit.

Are coffee grounds beneficial for strawberry plants?

Coffee grounds are often touted as a natural fertilizer for plants but may not be particularly beneficial for strawberry plants. While coffee grounds do contain some nutrients that can benefit plants, such as nitrogen and potassium, they also tend to be acidic.

Strawberries prefer slightly acidic to neutral soil pH levels, so using too many coffee grounds could actually make the soil too acidic for optimal growth. Additionally, coffee grounds can attract pests like slugs and ants that could harm your strawberry plants.

It’s best to stick with traditional fertilizers and soil amendments specifically designed for strawberries to ensure healthy growth and a bountiful harvest.


There you have it, the complete guide to successfully growing strawberries. All of these factors are important to having your best strawberry plants and production. Armed with the information and tips, you will be on your way to enjoying juicy, tasty strawberries in no time!

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