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During season two, the plants should receive 1 inch of water per week during fruit development and through until fall. Watch plants for signs of pests or disease and be prepared to protect plants from birds and animals. Strawberries begin to peter out after 1 or 2 seasons of production. Stagger plantings or start over with new plants every 2 to 3 years to maintain productive crops.
You can plant strawberries according to several different systems, each having its own advantages and disadvantages. The hill and matted row system are the two most common methods, while growing strawberries in "jars" and hanging baskets works well for gardeners with limited space.
Advantages: Because the runners are constantly removed, the plants are able to put their energy into producing bigger berries. The strawberry patch also stays productive longer.
Disadvantages: Because you are continuously removing the runners that would form new plants, this system is more labor intensive and requires more plants to start with a greater up-front cost.
Spacing: Set ever-bearing varieties 12 inches apart in a double row (12 to 18 inches between rows). Space day-neutrals slightly closer together: 8-inches apart in a double row, with 12 inches between rows. Overcrowded strawberries create damp conditions that encourage disease. Stagger the plants in the rows to make sure each plant has plenty of room.
Training: Remove all of the runners every few weeks during the growing season. If you prefer, you can peg a few runners into the ground and allow them to form replacement plants.
Best Suited For: Day-neutral and standard ever-bearing varieties that don't produce large numbers of runners.
Advantages: This system requires less labor than the hill system, and requires fewer plants to get started with less up-front cost.
Disadvantages: Because the runners are allowed to set freely, individual berries on each plant tend to be smaller. Replacement plants are necessary to avoid lulls in production.
Spacing: Set new plants 18 inches apart in a single row running down the center of a raised or mounded bed. If you're planting a level plot, leave at least 30 inches between rows.
Training: Allow the plants to set runners in the spaces between crowns and form new plants. During the growing season, keep walking paths free of runners, and remove any that stray more than 18 inches from the rows.
Best Suited For: Varieties that produce lots of runners (June bearers and vigorous standard ever-bearers).
Advantages: Plants are off the ground where they are less susceptible to problems from insects and disease.
Disadvantages: Container strawberries mean fewer plants and a smaller crop of berries.
Planting "Strawberry Jars": Although nearly any pot or container will do, "strawberry jars" are attractive, urn-shaped planters (usually made of plastic or terra cotta) with a series of small pockets running along the sides.
To plant them, fill the pot with soil until you reach the lowest level of "pockets" on the sides of the urn. Insert your strawberry plants into the pockets and fill in around them with soil.
After planting the first set of pockets, insert a 1 inch diameter PVC pipe with holes drilled along the sides into the center of the pot (this will be used for watering). Continue to fill the urn with soil and plants until the jar is full.
Planting Hanging Baskets: Use one 12 or 14 inch diameter hanging basket and 4 to 8 plants (any excess growth will readily spill over the sides). Fill the basket with a lightweight potting soil that holds moisture well. Mix in a little compost or other slow release organic fertilizer when planting. Strawberry plants in containers need watering more frequently than those planted in beds, so check moisture levels daily. Hang your basket on a Shepard's hook or use a wall or roof-mounted hook, if your sunny spot is beside the house.
Training: At planting time, remove all visible blooms, runners, and berries that started to develop at the nursery. It's important that all of the plants' energies go into producing strong roots while getting settled in.
Best For: All strawberry varieties. For a harvest that comes all at once (with larger berries), choose June-bearing strawberries. For a continuous crop of smaller berries throughout the season, choose day-neutral varieties. Or you can try a few of both!
Approximate Time: Two evenings (one for painting and one for assembling)
By Nelda from Dallas, TX
Several people have posted a tip on ThriftyFun suggesting the use of pudding cups for starting seeds and cuttings. My opinion was that they were too small to allow adequate root formation prior to transplanting.
If you have new strawberry plants and don't have time to plant them in the bed right away, no problem. The new plants will await your convenience if you the the method called "heeling in".
For those of you with strawberry planters, here's a tip on how to water them without having it run out the sides. Drill several holes into a PVC pipe that's a little longer than the height of your planter, then insert it down the middle of the planter.
Choose young plants or rooted runners for the best results when transplanting strawberry plants. This is a guide about transplanting strawberries.
Because of the trailing, spreading nature of many strawberry varieties they make good choices for container gardening. This is a guide about growing strawberries in containers.
Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.
I'd like to grow strawberries this year, so I bought four different types (one is a June bearer and the other three are ever bearing). I bought four plants of each type, so I have 16 total plants. I can't seem to find any information on how much fruit that will yield. I'd like some advice on whether I have bought too many plants or too small an amount of plants.
All four of my family members enjoy fresh strawberries. If there's enough after fresh eating, I'd gladly freeze some for smoothies for later months and would even consider canning some jam. If someone would let me know if I've planted enough plants or if I should go buy more, I would so appreciate it. Thanks.
Hardiness Zone: 7b
Strawberry plants usually take two years before they produce any fruit. They grow well in full sun but I have seen them do well in partial shade.
Go with that number ofplants first. They develop new plants on runners (something like a spider plant) and you will find your numbers of plants growing whether you like it or not! Plant them all out as they grow and when they are bigger, you can cut the cord from the mother plant. But who could possibly have too many strawberries!!! Grow them in full sun, water well and mulch around the plants with straw or other mulch. That way you will have luscious berries and keeping them off the ground with help prevent mold. You will soon have strawberry plants to give away to your friends! The best part of being a gardener is sharing!
I plant mine in a compost frame that has holes in the sides. The mother plants are on top and the babies get popped into the holes to grow on in the sunshine.
If you are starting with 16 plants, it will not take very many years and you will have hundreds of plants, if you let the runners from each plant form a new plant. I have a large strawberry patch in Minnesota. There is nothing better than fresh home grown strawberries. Enjoy
I asked the same question somewhere else, and was told that if you want a lot, start with a lot! I have a strawberry pyramid with 50 plants in it. From what I hear, the plants are good for about 3 years, then they start to decline in production. So every year, pull up 1/3 of the plants and put in new ones, grown from runners. Otherwise, pinch off the runners, so the plants will put their energy into fruit production...Cathy
I live in Pensacola. When is the best time to plant strawberries?
I am trying to grow strawberries in a barrel. The plants are doing well but the runner are touching the ground. What do I do with them?
Hardiness Zone: 8a
By Glenn from McGehee, AR
I did plant strawberries on the ground and they crept all over.
Set small pots at the base of the barrel and set the "daughters" in them. They will eventually root and be new plants and then you can plant them where ever you want.
I set out everbearing strawberries last year. How many years can I hope to have berries before they need transplanting?
Hardiness Zone: 7b
By Cookie from Pleasant Plains, AR
You are supose to remove the mother plant and let some of the babies take over about every three years. The mother plants will have bigger leaves, and show the runners that are comming from them. They will even continue to multiply if you choose to give them away when you pull them. Here is what happens.
The runners will get many babies. Strawberries are a ground cover. I give away strawberry plants every year becouse they just take over every thing.
The first few years they would not produce for me. So I did some research and found that rabbit droppings are the majic key to producing fruit. Stir them in water and just throw the muddy looking water on. Hourse manaure is a second choice. Good luck with your strawberries.
How to I get the animals to stop eating my strawberries? They are growing on the ground.
Hardiness Zone: 6a
By Martha from Parma, OH
What kind of animals? Neighborhood pets, rabbits, birds, or burrowing critters? If the animals are above-ground, fencing your strawberry patch might work. If the animals can reach them from above, then a fence with netting or chicken wire over the top might work.
If they're burrowing animals, though, someone else would have to step in here, because I'm not sure how to stop them.
I hope this info helps, or maybe inspires you to come up with a better solution!
I live in Georgia and this is the first time trying to grow Strawberries here. I have grown them in Florida and they did great, but they are dying quickly and have not produced much fruit. What can I do to save what I have left?
Hardiness Zone: 7b
By Horsewzl from Macon, GA
I would say lots of water!
How do I transplant strawberries from my earthbox? Do i need to buy another box? A man once told me not to use the first year runners, if so should I just snip them off?
I have had sucess growing strawberries by covering the part of the runner closest to the new plant shallowly with soil and anchoring it there either with a bent piece of wire or a small brick or rock. After the new plant has taken root, you can then cut the runner from the mother plant. If the mother plant is in a container I would place a pot next to it for the new runner to grow in. I have been told to only use first and second year runners because strawberries are usually infected with viruses by the third year, but any runners will take strength from the mother plant and reduce yields. :)
I got some strawberry plants from a friend and I planted them last year. They didn't produce last year and this year they don't have a flower on them yet, so I doubt if I'll get any strawberries this year neither. What am I doing wrong?
Can I till up my old strawberry patch and plant new plants? Or do I have to plant in a different spot?
By Gerald D.
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This is the first year I have been able to grow more than a small handful of strawberries. What a treat to eat them fresh from my own, pesticide-free garden!
Photo Description I have a good size piece of property, and I like to keep it fairly open with clean lines. So, I don't plow large sections for gardens. I do as much container gardening as I can. Other stuff, I start as seedlings, and give them to my neighbor who has a garden. I get to harvest what I want from his garden. Not a bad investment! I'm always trying to find the smallest container any given plant will grow in and actually thrive. I decided against a raised bed for strawberries. I have been keeping them in pots above ground. Last fall I transferred some of them from pots to 2 liter soda bottles. I did this, hoping to conserve space, water, and labor in caring for them. If all goes well, I will keep a couple hundred plants this way. I couldn't keep that many plants in pots. That's why I gave away most of my plants last year. They seem to like the soda bottles. They are already producing a few berries before filling out with lush growth. That's sort of unusual. What's more unusual is that the Earliglo is a June bearing berry and today is April, 08. I have had ripening berries since the first of April. Everything has triggers. Even triggers have triggers. I'm guessing the few unusually warm days we had earlier, tripped a few of the strawberry plants' triggers, causing them to start the maturation process of their fruits. Hey...I can live with that!
I just noticed; some companies offer strawberry plants/seeds with the name 'Earliglo', while others offer 'Earliglow'. I wonder if they're the same strawberry. And, I wonder what the developer of the Earli????, named his original. Well, for now, that's beside the point.
I have a good size piece of property, and I like to keep it fairly open with clean lines. So, I don't plow large sections for gardens. I do as much container gardening as I can. Other stuff, I start as seedlings, and give them to my neighbor who has a garden. I get to harvest what I want from his garden. Not a bad investment!
I'm always trying to find the smallest container any given plant will grow in and actually thrive. I decided against a raised bed for strawberries. I have been keeping them in pots above ground.
Last fall I transferred some of them from pots to 2 liter soda bottles. I did this, hoping to conserve space, water, and labor in caring for them. If all goes well, I will keep a couple hundred plants this way. I couldn't keep that many plants in pots. That's why I gave away most of my plants last year.
They seem to like the soda bottles. They are already producing a few berries before filling out with lush growth. That's sort of unusual. What's more unusual is that the Earliglo is a June bearing berry and today is April, 08. I have had ripening berries since the first of April.
Everything has triggers. Even triggers have triggers. I'm guessing the few unusually warm days we had earlier, tripped a few of the strawberry plants' triggers, causing them to start the maturation process of their fruits. Hey...I can live with that!
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I have a container garden, and planted my strawberry plants in milk jugs. I couldn't seem to water them enough, the strawberries were too little and dried out. I decided to improve their container by turning it into a self watering planter. I got another milk jug, cut it in half and used the top part so I could pour water into the bottom half. I put a piece of torn t-shirt that was long enough to touch the bottom of the 'reservoir' into the bottom of the container holding the plant and pushed it into the 'reservoir'. I then duct taped it so it would stay together. Already my strawberries are plumping up!
Hardiness Zone: 5a
imama2many from UT
A large colony of ants can be problematic in a strawberry patch primarily, because the ants act as protectors of aphids, tiny sap sucking insects which love to feed on young strawberry leaves. The aphids eat the leaves and excrete a sugary substance called honeydew that the ants love to feed on. The ants appreciate the honeydew so much that they will actually act as "shepherds" to the aphids, protecting them and herding them from plant to plant in an effort to keep them well fed. It is a win-win for both insects.
Short of moving your strawberries to a new location or resorting to pesticide use (which is unhealthy in the case of edibles and not always effective anyway), one strategy might be to try to clear the ants out of the area before replanting this spring. A week or two before you expect to plant, keep the soil moist (not saturated) and turn the soil over once or twice every day with a shovel. This will destroy their current mounds and should be enough to keep them from rebuilding. In theory, they will be fed up from the constant commotion and move to a more stable location. I have also read of gardeners successfully convincing them to relocate after flooding the mounds daily with a watering can, and others having some success by mixing diatomaceous earth into and on top of the mounds.
Sprinkle crushed egg shells around your plants. They say ants (and slugs) don't like to crawl over them. (01/10/2008)
Give them white sugar (sprinkle it right on the ground) it will kill their reproductive system and they will all eventually die. Will take it a while, but it will work. When it rains just sprinkle more sugar. (01/11/2008)
Coffee. Use Coffee Grounds. Most coffee shops will gladly give you their old coffee grounds. They're just gonna pitch them anyway. This will allow the ants to live their lives and do their part for nature, as well as allow you to grow strawberries. Ants do not like things with jagged edges, so if you put coffee grounds (with all their sharp little edges) around your strawberries, the ants won't encourage the aphids.
As a note, you need to keep all the leaves from touching untreated ground, and you'll need to keep up on the grounds. We did this with our roses and it worked wonderfully. (01/11/2009)