Grow Your Own Strawberries
Grow Your Own Sweet Juicy Strawberries
There’s few things that can match the juicy sweetness of a fresh picked strawberry. That sun ripened taste just can’t be found in your local grocery store. Growing your own strawberries is very rewarding. You can eat them still warm from the vine, in a favorite dish or pie, or you can make delicious home made strawberry jam.
Strawberries only grow about 6 to 8 inches in height and spread to around one foot. So, they don’t require a large amount of space to grow. In fact, you can even grow strawberries in a window box, hanging basket or other container. They produce long runners that bloom with pink or white flowers which eventually turn into a delicious strawberry.
In areas that experience mild winters, strawberries can be planted in the last summer or fall for a wonderful spring harvest. In areas with harsh winters, you will need to wait until spring to plant. If you choose the ever-bearing variety, you can have both a summer harvest and a fall harvest from the same plant.
When you plant the strawberries, make sure that the crowns are above the top of the soil. The upper most roots only need to be about 1/4 inch deep in the soil. If the crowns are buried under the soil they will rot and roots that are exposed to the heat will dry out. Mulch can be used to retain moisture, prevent weeds and keep the strawberries clean.
Strawberry plants need to be spaced about 2 or 3 feet apart and planted in rich, well drained soil. When preparing the planting area make sure that you add some organic matter such as compost. Strawberries need to be planted in an area that receives full sun. And, they need frequent waterings that soak deep into the soil especially when the plants are bearing fruit.
They only need fertilized twice each year, once after noticeable growth begins and then again after the first berries are harvested. Strawberries need a complete fertilizer that consists of a high phosphorous content. At the end of summer, most varieties will produce offsets. You can simply let them grow to produce more plants, or pinch them off to produce larger plants with smaller crops of big strawberries.
If you plan to grow your own strawberries in containers, keep in mind that they will need more frequent watering. Strawberries planted in baskets, pots or window boxes will require watering on an almost daily basis. If the temperatures are really extreme, you might need to water them twice each day.
Types of Strawberries
Ever-bearing strawberries will tend to reach their peak during early summer. But, they will continue to produce fruit all the way through the fall. This variety will provide you with delicious fresh fruits all season long.
June bearing strawberries only produce one crop each year either in the late spring or early summer. Because you will get all of the berries at one time, this variety is more appropriate for canning or freezing.
Written by Connie Corder, Copyright 2010 HousePlantsForYou.com