Best Fertilizers For Strawberries

Gardenerdy Staff Oct 4, 2018
Strawberries are among most the favorite fruits one would love to grow in their garden. But to enjoy these ripe, juicy, and red delights, the plants need regular care and attention. Read to know what the best fertilizer for strawberry plants are.
Strawberry is a false fruit (the fleshy part is not derived from the plant's ovary but from some adjacent tissue), a hybrid of the genus Fragaria and family Rosaceae. It is native to temperate regions, but its varieties can be cultivated in subtropical climate.
It was first bred in Europe in 18th century. Today, there are 600 varieties that differ in size, flavor, and texture. It is a rich source of phenols that not only give berries their flush red color, but also serve as potent antioxidants that defend the cell structures in the body and prevent oxygen damage.
The phenol content makes strawberry an anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory, and a heart-protective fruit. It protects against macular degeneration, rheumatoid arthritis, and also promotes optimal health.
Strawberry is a short day plant that requires a well-drained, medium-loam soil rich in organic matter. The soil should be slightly acidic, with a pH from 5.7 to 6.5. The calcium in the soil should also be moderate, as excessive calcium causes yellowing of the leaves.
It requires moderate amounts of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium content in the soil, from 84 to 112 kg per hectare, 56 to 84 kg per hectare, and 56 to 112 kg per hectare respectively. Unlike other plants, strawberry is shallow-rooted and tends to use nutrients available near the top of the soil.
The plant shows several clues when it needs fertilizers, like pale-yellow colored leaves, no berries, and no flowers, even though it may look green and healthy.

Fertilizers for Strawberries

Compost

It is a rich organic fertilizer favorable for strawberries. It has decomposing leaves, grass clippings, and other plant material which help in soil amendment. One can add apple peels, disposed outer leaves of lettuce, shredded newspaper, or other vegetable material to it.
After some time, the heat and moisture generated in the pile promote microbes to break down the organic material. The worms in the pile leave behind their casings and droppings, which add more rich and organic matter to the soil. Compost is the best soil amendment fertilizer and suits all types of garden soil.

Commercial Fertilizers

Nitrogen, phosphate, potassium fertilizers should be added to soil before planting. The nitrogenous fertilizer should be given in two doses, three weeks after planting and again at the time of flowering. Using proper amount of nitrogen gives better quality fruits.
Commercial fertilizers contain a chemical blend of all these three chemicals, with some trace minerals. The fertilizer bags display these three elements generally as numbers in a ratio, such as 5-10-5 or 10-10-10. The numbers show the percentage quantity for each element in the bag, with nitrogen as first, phosphorous as second, and potassium as the third.
For strawberries, one should always choose a balanced fertilizer with ratios like 5-5-5 or 10-10-10. Out of these two, the safest fertilizer is 10-10-10, which should be utilized about 2 ½ pounds for every 100 feet row of strawberries. Sprinkle it around the plants and follow the package directions.
Getting a soil test is a good idea to ensure that one is neither over-fertilizing nor under-fertilizing the plants. It is recommended not to cultivate the strawberry plant on the same land for consecutive years. Although they are available throughout the year, their peak season is from April-July.