How to Raise Strawberry Plants

Overview

Strawberry plants are a fruit-bearing species that are available as spring- or June-bearing, ever-bearing or day-neutral varieties. The spring- or June-bearing varieties produce a larger fruit than the other varieties. Select a variety based on the garden space available and disease-resistance type recommended for the growing area. Strawberry plants require a renovation period after fruiting to maintain the quality of the plants and increase fruit production.

Planting Strawberries

Step 1

Choose a planting location for strawberries that offers full sunlight and a well-draining soil. Plant the strawberry seedlings on a cloudy day or late in the day so the sun does not cause them to wilt.

Step 2

Set strawberry plants in the soil so it is just covering the roots. Do not cover the crown of the plant. Space rows 36 to 48 inches apart with each plant being 15 to 24 inches apart in the row.

Step 3

Water strawberry plants during the growing season when the rainfall is less than 1 inch per week.

Step 4

Remove the flowers of June fruit-bearing plants as soon as they appear in the first growing season to increase runner growth and a larger fruit crop the second season. Remove flowers from ever-bearing and day-neutral varieties until the end of June to increase the summer and fall fruit production.

Step 5

Fertilize the soil where new strawberries will be planted with a 10-10-10 fertilizer dug into the soil 6 to 8 inches in depth. Apply 1 pound of fertilizer per 100 square feet of planting space. Water the plants well after each fertilizer application.

Step 6

Place straw mulch around strawberries once the plants have gone into dormancy in the fall. Remove the mulch covering the plants promptly in spring, but leave mulch in the row aisle to protect new blossoms until the risk of frost has passed.

Renovating Plants

Step 1

Fertilize the plants after fruiting in July with a 10-10-10 fertilizer dug into the soil 6 to 8 inches in depth. Apply 1 pound of fertilizer per 100 square feet of planting space.

Step 2

Cut the foliage from the plants to approximately 1 inch above the plant crown. Make sure to not damage the crown. Remove all weeds from the planting area.

Step 3

Narrow the strawberry rows to a width of 6 to 12 inches by hoeing or tilling the soil and moving plants closer together. Thin strawberry plants to remove older plant growth while narrowing the rows so there is a space of 4 to 6 inches between each plant.

Step 4

Water the strawberry plants each week when the rainfall is less than 1 inch. This will promote new runner growth for the next year's fruit production.

Things You'll Need

  • Strawberry plants
  • Shovel
  • Water
  • 10-10-10 fertilizer
  • Straw mulch
  • Plant clipper
  • Hoe or tiller

References

  • University of Illinois Extension: Growing Strawberries
  • Purdue University: Growing Strawberries
  • The Garden Helper: How to Grow Strawberries
Keywords: raise strawberry plants, grow strawberry plants, plant strawberries

About this Author

Jennifer Loucks has over 10 years of experience as a former technical writer for a software development company in Wisconsin. Her writing experience includes creating software documentation and help documents for clients and staff along with training curriculum. Loucks holds a Bachelor of Science major from the University of Wisconsin - River Falls specializing in animal science and business.