Start strawberry plants in the spring to yield a bountiful harvest.
image by mensatic: morguefile.com
If summer would not be the same without fresh strawberry shortcake or strawberries over ice cream, perhaps it is time to find a sunny spot for a few strawberry plants. Strawberries are a sweet addition to any garden and many gardeners successfully grow luscious strawberries for eating fresh or freezing for later use. Imagine the delight of robust strawberry plants providing an abundant supply of fresh strawberries for several weeks in the summer.
Choose a growing location that receives at least six hours of direct sun every day. Prepare the area in early spring when the soil is warm, yet is not overly wet. Add compost to the soil and work it well with the garden spade to incorporate the compost completely into the soil.
Sprinkle 1 pound of fertilizer for every 100 square feet of growing area onto the soil. Work the fertilizer into the soil about 8 inches deep with the spade.
Select the kind of strawberries you want to grow. Spring-bearing strawberry plants produce berries for several weeks in June. Everbearing strawberry plants produce berries three times a year--in spring, summer and autumn. Day neutral strawberry plants produce berries throughout the entire growing season. Everbearing strawberries and day neutral strawberries are best suited for gardens where space is limited.
Prepare planting rows. Space spring-bearing strawberries 18 to 30 inches apart in rows that are between 3 and 4 feet apart. Space everbearing and day neutral strawberries 12 inches apart in rows that are 2 feet apart.
Dig holes for the strawberry plants so that the roots have adequate room on all sides and the soil will be just above the root tops. Place the plants in the holes and pat the soil around them so that the crowns are slightly above the soil level.
Water the strawberry plants generously after planting. Mulch around the plants with straw to help prevent weeds and keep the soil moist.