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How to Grow Strawberries

How to Grow Strawberries

Selecting the correct strawberry variety and following the basic plant care tips are sufficient to grow and harvest juicy strawberries. If you are concerned about growing these berries at home, this article will help you in maintaining healthy strawberry plants in your garden.
Ningthoujam Sandhyarani
Strawberries are a favorite fruit for almost all of us. The sweet, red juicy flesh is eaten fresh or prepared as puddings, smoothies, jams, etc. And in the garden, they are the first fruits that appear in early spring. More than the white blooms, the ripe strawberries with seeds on the outer side of the fruits beautify the yard. Unfortunately, many gardening enthusiasts feel reluctant to grow strawberries. The main reasons being delayed fruiting, small berries, or no fruit at all. Learn the correct tips for planting and caring strawberry plants, and you will definitely harvest a good yield of sweet berries right from your garden.

Tips to Grow Strawberries at Home

Majority of us have a common belief that strawberries require cold climatic conditions for growing and bearing fruits. But, what we do not know is that there are several varieties of strawberries, which can be planted in different environmental conditions. Hence, even if you are residing in a region with a warm climate, you can grow and maintain strawberry plants in your garden. Refer to the tips below to understand how to grow strawberries from seeds.

Finalize Strawberry Variety
The most challenging step is choosing the correct species that tolerates the prevailing climatic conditions in your area. You can ask the local florists about the hardy varieties of everbearing or seasonal strawberry plants. One more important thing, always go for disease and pest resistant strawberry cultivars.

Select Seed or Plantlets
The next step is to purchase strawberry seeds or plantlets for planting in the garden. Starting from seeds is an inexpensive way of growing strawberries. But, purchase seeds from the florists and refrigerate them for 2 - 3 weeks. A mixture of ¾ peat moss and ¼ garden soil is ideal for using as a seed sowing medium. Take a seed tray and fill it with soil mixture (½ inch).

Induce Seed Germination
Sow seeds in the seed tray that contains the soil medium and then, lightly sprinkle peat moss on top of them. Place the tray in direct sunlight and make sure you keep the soil moist at all times. The strawberry seeds will germinate within 2 - 3 weeks after sowing. Wait till the development of the third true leaf for transplantation.

Decide the Plantation Site
Whether you prefer growing strawberries in garden soil or pots, the soil should be well-drained and the plantation area should receive full sunlight. Accordingly, select a suitable area for strawberry cultivation in the garden. If available, opt for an area that remains warm in early spring, so as to induce development of heavy blooms.

Grow in Containers
So, how to grow strawberries in pots? For growing in containers, you should select large-sized pots or cans that can hold 1 - 3 plants at a time. There are also containers with side pockets, which are specifically designed for raising strawberries. While using such pots, fill each of the pockets with potting mixture to grow strawberries.

Ideal Soil Conditions
Soil preparation is not an issue for growing strawberries in pots. But, in case you are planting them in garden soil, make sure you till the soil to a depth of about 12 inches. Remove grass and weeds from the area and supplement the soil with compost or organic manure. Maintain a slightly acidic soil (pH 5.5 - 6.5) for luxuriant growth of strawberry plants.

Plan Strawberries
In early spring, make a hole of about 5 - 6 inches deep for growing a strawberry plant. Gently, place the young plant in the hole without injuring the roots. Cover the roots with soil (the crown should be above the ground level) and press the soil to remove any air pockets. Leave enough space between two plants, about 12 inches on all sides.

Strawberry Care Tips
The young strawberry plants should be watered regularly (about 1 inch of water per week). Mulch the bed with light straw or salt hay to conserve moisture and also, to minimize weed growth. Ask any plant expert, 'how long do strawberries take to grow' and the answer you get will vary as per the cultivar. Whichever variety you have planted, pluck flowers that develop in the first year to ensure a good yield in the second year. Read more on growing strawberries in hanging pots and containers.

These were the gardening basics for growing healthy strawberries, either in garden soil or containers. You can start harvesting berries from the second year of plantation. With fresh, ripe, and juicy strawberries harvested from your garden, you will no longer require purchasing them for making strawberry smoothies, puddings, or cheesecakes.
Planting Strawberry
Planting Seeds