There’s nothing better than growing your own strawberries! If you’ve ever wondered how to care for strawberry bushes to get a healthy, strawberry patch, here are a few simple but efficient tips!
How To Care For Strawberry Bushes
Have you ever thought about growing you own supply of juicy, healthy strawberries? It’s so much fun and oh, so easy if you know the basics! Read along and I’ll show you how to care for strawberry bushes so you enjoy your delicious strawberry all summer long.
Before planting your strawberries you need to know there are three types of strawberry plants: spring bearing which produces fruit in spring, June bearing which will give fruit in early summer and everbearing, providing fruit all summer long. I chose the spring and everbearing ones so I could enjoy my strawberries from spring to end of summer.
Also bear in mind the spring and June plants will grow daughters also known as runners (which will form new plants and will expand rapidly). So when planting these types of plants, make sure you leave plenty of room between plants, for the daughters to roam around freely. Allow about 20-30″ between plants on each row and about 3 feet between rows. On the other hand, the ever bearing plants won’t grow daughters so you won’t need that much space for these. They’ll grow bigger strawberries though so don’t plant too close either, strawberries need light and sun to grow healthy and strong.
Tips on How to Care For Strawberry Bushes
- Strawberries need at least 6 hours of sun every day so before planting them, make sure the spot you choose gets plenty of full sun.
- They’ll also need good drainage so you may need to add some sand to your soil if it’s too heavy in clay or even plant strawberries in a raised bed.
- Plant strawberries very early in spring, as soon as the ground is workable. I planted mine first week of March.
- Plant when the sun is not too strong, preferably in the morning, late morning on cooler days.
- Leave enough room for plants to grow and for daughters/runners to spread.
- Dig a small hole that barely fits the root, about 2/3. Lightly cover roots with dirt.
- Apply some organic fertilizer right after planting and water plants to give them a jump start.
- During hot summer days, water 3 times a week, preferably early in the morning and apply organic fertilizer every 2 weeks. Spreading some mulch around the roots will help retain moisture.
- Pinch blossoms and runners in the first year to encourage the plant to grow stronger and supply more fruit.
- When the runners (daughters) start growing, pinch them out and plant on other spots if you want to expand your strawberry patch but would like to keep it tidy.
- If you don’t want the runners to spread, cover the soil around and between plants in foil, then spread mulch. This will also help control weeds.
- Pick weeds regularly, preferably when the soil is moist.
- Surround your patch with a fence if your bushes produce daughters; left alone, strawberries tend to spread rapidly and are hard to control once they took over other parts of the garden.
- Check for ripe fruit every day, in the morning, before the slugs and birds get them. You’ll know fruits are ripe when they turn bright red.
- To prevent birds from stealing your strawberries, cover with bird netting.