I know a lot of gardeners who do everything that can possibly be done to grow the perfect strawberries, and still fall short. Sometimes, it’s not what you do but what you don’t do that makes the difference! You might’ve invested in the costliest variety, used the most popular fertilizers and employed the most effective irrigation technique, it will all account for little if you’ve overlooked some key points. Here’s what you shouldn’t do when growing strawberry plants.
1. Do not plant strawberries in soils where eggplants, peppers, potatoes or tomatoes have been recently cultivated. All these plants are likely to host Verticillium albo-atrum and V. dahliae, fungi that causes Verticillium Rot in strawberry plants. Make sure the site you’ve picked for planting strawberries hasn’t been home to any of these plants for at least 3 years.
2. Do not over fertilize. It’s one of the most common mistakes that gardeners make, and end up with more flowers than fruit. I’d recommend mixing good quantities of organic material to the soil a couple of days from planting. Fertilize twice a year, once at the start of the growing season and then after harvesting the strawberries.
3. Do not allow the sun to harm the yield. Strawberries do relish plenty of sunlight but too much heat can affect the fruit. I’ve seen gardens filled with soft, pink strawberries that just don’t turn red. This is caused by sunburn. If you live in a warm region, I’d suggest you use canopies to protect the fruits from the afternoon sun.
4. Do not over irrigate. Strawberries normally require about 1 inch of water every week during the growing season. Time successive waterings such that the soil is always moist but never wet.
5. And finally, do not neglect your plants. Strawberries thrive on regular care. Show them some affection and they’ll reward you well!