We love sweet juicy strawberries. In fact the kids can go through a full case is a day or two. It helps to cut our costs by growing a lot fo our own food. WE love to gather strawberries when the spring sales start to stock the pantry with homemade strawberry jam but for summertime snacking or whipping up some easy strawberry pancakes nothing beats growing our own strawberries.
Why grow your own strawberries?
Strawberries make a great addition to gardens because they will come back year after year. These fruits are fresh, juicy, and the perfect treat right out of the garden. They can ever be companion planted with spinach to help protect your berries from birds.
Where to grow strawberries? Can you grow strawberries indoors? Can you grow strawberries in containers?
Strawberries are easy to grow. They love the sun but can handle a bit of shade. They grow well with mild greens like spinach or herbs like mint for companion planting. They love containers and if you have a quality grow light our a sunny south-facing window they can even handle growing indoors.
How to grow strawberries from root
The easiest way to grow strawberries is from roots. These roots can be found in many garden centers in the spring. If you can not find already leafed plants look for bagged bare strawberry roots. Plant your roots in quality soil and keep watered.
How to grow strawberries from seeds
Growing strawberries from seed takes longer. In the first year, you will not see much if any production. You can buy strawberry seeds online or collect seeds from organic strawberries. Remember when collecting seeds from your food that you need organic to get seeds that will produce.
How to grow strawberries in a garden bed
The best place to grow strawberries is in a large garden bed. A few strawberry plants will multiply and fill a large garden bed in just a couple of years. I suggest a raised bed that is separated from your lawn as strawberries tend to run a bit wild and could care less about where they go. If your family loves strawberries consider giving them a garden bed. Place at least half a foot between plants and allow for natural spread. The first year it is easy to grow spinach along with your strawberries.
How to grow strawberries in pots
For smaller gardens or easier to manage strawberries container gardening is a great idea. Strawberries rot is left to sit in the soil so container gardening allows you to hang the berries over the side of your pots helping to make them easy to maintain. For growing strawberries in pots look for long thin planters like window boxes or using a vertical planter.
How to protect your strawberry plants from rot
One common issue when growing strawberries is that they tend to rot very easily. When watering your strawberry plants make a point to water at the base to lessen issues with waterlogged leaves. Strawberries need a lot of water so consider using a watering globe if growing your strawberries in pots to make them easier to maintain.
To keep your fruit from rotting you need to keep the berries up off of the wet soil. In planters, the best way to do this is to hang the berries offer the edge of your planner. For large garden beds, mulch is your friend. Mulch or straw allows the berries to rest on the ground while keeping them dry and healthy so your berries do not rot before they are ready to pick.
Protecting your strawberry plants from birds
Birds are one of the biggest issues when growing strawberries. This is an easy issue to deal with if you find that your neighborhood birds are enjoying your strawberries before you can. You can use tricks to scare birds from your garden like placing up a string of cans that will clank in the wind or pull out the big guns and get some bird netting to protect your garden.
Protecting your strawberry plants from bugs.
Ants, slugs, and other pests love sweet juicy strawberries. One thing to be mindful of for protecting your strawberries is that if the berry begins to rot they will attract insects. Keeping your berries up off the ground with a layer of mulch or straw and harvesting ripe berries often before their fragrance can alert ants to their presence is the best way to protect your berries from bugs. You can use simple bear traps to help deal with slugs and snails after your berries.
How to harvest strawberries
Growing your own strawberries is a great way to feed your family. Harvesting strawberries is easy. Simply snip at the stem to avoid damaging your plants. Be sure to harvest your strawberries when plump and ripe before they have a chance to rot and attract pests. Berries easily grow mold so if you pick more than you can eat use these tips to help keep your berries fresh.