Strawberry plants are low maintenance and grow well in a home garden environment. The University of Georgia recommends planting a matted row system to create a perennial strawberry bed in north Georgia and an annual hill system in central and south Georgia. Plant both types of planting systems in the fall season to establish the plants for the early spring growing season. Matted row systems will produce berries in season two, while the annual hill system will produce berries each spring.
Matted Row System
Spread a starter fertilizer with a ratio of 10-10-10 over the soil 1 week prior to planting. Apply the recommended amount on the package, as this will vary based on the size of the planting area.
Work the fertilizer into the soil with a tiller and smooth the soil with a rake. Allow rain to settle the soil after tilling or apply water through a sprinkler system.
Create rows that are 4 feet apart after the soil dries slightly so it is not wet. Set the plants in holes that are deep enough to spread the roots out with the crown remaining about the soil level. Set the strawberry plants 2 feet apart in the rows.
Remove the strawberry blossoms when they appear during the first year of growth. This will force the plant to establish additional runners and create a matted row for an increased fruit production the following year.
Irrigate the strawberry plants at ground level when the weekly rainfall is less than 1 inch. Do not create standing water around the stem of the plants, as this will promote root rot.
Annual Hill System
Spread 3 lbs. of a 10-10-10 fertilizer over the soil for each 100 square feet of planting area. Work the fertilizer into the soil with a tiller.
Create planting rows that are 24 inches wide and 24 inches apart. Mound the row soil to a height of 6 inches with the center being 8 inches tall.
Divide the row horizontally down the middle and set two strawberry plants across from each other in the mound. Set the plant in a hole that is deep and wide enough for the roots to spread out. Make sure the strawberry crown is above the soil. Plant pairs of strawberry plants 12 inches apart for the length of the row.
Water the strawberry plants at the ground level after setting in the ground. Provide supplemental irrigation at ground level when the weekly rainfall amounts are less than 1 inch.
Harvest the berries in spring when they become ripe. Remove the plants after harvest and replant the area with new strawberry plants the following spring.
Things You Will Need
- Organic compost
- 8-8-8 starter fertilizer
- Strawberry plants
- Contact you local County University Extension office to have a complete soil test completed on the planting area. The test results will give recommendations on soil amendments needed to alter the pH and nutrient value for growing strawberry plants.