Tips on Growing Strawberry Plants

Tips on Growing Strawberry Plants image by sarah france lovesdesign: Flickr.com

Unlike grocery store berries that are picked when they're still green, vine-ripened strawberries are sweet, flavorful and succulent. If you don't have the time or inclination to grow a whole garden full of plants, grow a few strawberry plants in pots.

Choosing Plants

The first rule of choosing a particular variety of strawberry plant is proper zoning. If you don't know which zone you live in, check the USDA Hardiness Zone Map (see Resources). Most local nurseries will carry plants that are best suited to your location. However, if you are purchasing from an online site, make sure the plants are zoned for your area.

Soil

Strawberry plants like a sandy, well-drained soil. If the soil has too much clay, amend it with compost. When you can squeeze the dirt in your hand and it falls apart easily (when you open your hand), it is ready for strawberry plants.

Sun

Strawberry plants love sunshine. Plant them in your garden where they will get the most sun throughout the day. Move potted strawberry plants to different locations throughout the day to give them the most possible sun exposure.

Time

Don't plant your strawberries before the last frost in your area. You risk loosing the plant if you plant too early. It's better to set strawberry plants in the ground a bit later.

Watering

Strawberries are known for getting root rot when they stand in water too long, which is why it's best to plant them in sandy soil that drains quickly and easily. That said, strawberries love water, especially during the fruit-bearing period and when the temperature is hot. Give them a good watering once a week during those times.

Weed

Too many weeds can take over your strawberry plants and diminish your harvest. Weed often.

Food

Don't over fertilize your strawberry plants. Feed them once after you harvest the strawberries for the season. This will give them a good start for the following year. Use a balanced fertilizer of equal parts phosphorus, nitrogen and potassium. The front label of a fertilizer container might read 10-10-10 or 12-12-12.

Protection

After harvest and before winter arrives, cover your strawberry plants with mulch. Remove the mulch in early spring after the danger of frost has passed. If you have removed the mulch, but weather reports predict frost, cover your plants with old sheets or blankets to protect them from the cold snap.

Keywords: growing strawberries, strawberry plant tips, choosing strawberry plants

About this Author

Karen Ellis has been a full-time writer since 2006. She is an expert crafter, with more than 30 years of experience in knitting, chrocheting, quilting, sewing, scrapbooking and other arts. She is an expert gardener, with lifelong experience. Ellis has taken many classes in these subjects and taught classes, as well.

Photo by: sarah france lovesdesign: Flickr.com