If you’re like me, you can’t wait to harvest your strawberries. I believe no garden is complete without a crop of them. The strawberry is one of the best all-around fruits you can grow. What I like best about strawberries is they are the first bloomers of the spring. Can you imagine a better looking, more versatile fruit popping up first in your garden?
How to Plant Strawberries:
Strawberries prosper when planted in properly prepared beds or rows alongside of the house; planting them to work as an edge to a walk or driveway or encouraging them to sprawl over the top of the wall. Strawberries are even happy to grow in strawberry jars and hanging baskets.
The best way to grow strawberries is with slightly acidic potting soil that has a pH between 5.5 and 6.8. You can mix 4 inches or more of compost in a clay type soil to create raised mounds in order to improve drainage. In sandy type of soil, mix a layer of rich compost or manure only after removing weeds.
The plant should be spaced in rows 18 inches apart. The soil should cover the roots very well but the central growing bud (crown) should be exposed to light and fresh air; otherwise if buried, the plant could easily rot. Keeping strawberries from coming in contact with the soil has the added bonus of more space for airflow. This way they ripen more evenly. In warm, sunny weather, the strawberries ripen in 30 days after blossoms are fertilized.
An absolute necessity for strawberries to grow well is at least 8 hours of sunshine everyday. Make sure to protect your strawberry fruits from birds by covering them with lightweight bird nettings. Small strawberry fruits are the result of hot and drought weather conditions. Regular watering and improving climate will help your plant to start yielding normal size fruits. Improper pollination could be the reason for deformation in shape and size of strawberry fruits.