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How to Fertilize Strawberry Plants

Strawberries are perennial plants, but they have extremely shallow roots. Several varieties of the little red berries are hardy from zones 5 to 8, so they will grow under many conditions. One of the best ways to encourage strawberry plants is to fertilize them properly. Doing so will give you plenty of fruit for years to come.

Prepare the soil before you plant the strawberries. Add compost or manure to your soil to improve its quality. This will give your strawberries a boost without the use of fertilizer.

Add 10-10-10 fertilizer about a month after the strawberries are planted. Add about 1 lb. of 10-10-10 fertilizer per 20-foot row of strawberries.

Fertilize strawberries more than a year old once a year after they have borne fruit, usually in mid- to late summer. Be sure to fertilize strawberry plants before September.

Add half a pound of 10-10-10 fertilizer to each 20-foot row of strawberries.

Apply the fertilizer around the base of each strawberry plant and water well. Apply about an inch of water to each plant.

Strawberry Plants Come Back?

Naturally, strawberries are perennials that can be productive for four or five years. The most common planting system for perennial strawberries is the matted row system. It allows the runners to emerge the following year as new plants. Rejuvenating a bed is simple, though. Although strawberries are naturally wired as perennials, in many areas they are planted in fall and destroyed after fruiting. Strawberries grown as annuals should be rototilled under yearly, right after the last harvest. Soil solarization or chemical sprays can be used to knock down weeds and disease organisms, or you can use a new bed in a clean location instead -- crop rotation is a proven method of controlling disease organisms. Just be sure to have it prepared ahead of time for planting the new crop.


Fertilizer sitting on the leaves will burn them.

If you fertilize strawberries in the spring you will get large, soft berries.

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