Strawberries are an all-time favorite fruit in my household. Known for their oxidizing elements and sweet taste on the buds, there is no reason for me and you to not binge on strawberries. From morning fruits salads to exotic thick shakes, there is nothing about strawberries I don’t love.
Many times I wished I didn’t have to go all the way to the supermarket for a “healthy” breakfast fruit. The dream did come true for me. With a little assistance and immersive motivation for organic fruits, I cultivated a very sweet red batch of strawberries just last week.
And now you can too grow strawberries at home with the following tools:
- Strawberry Plant
- Gardening Tools/Gardener’s Assistance – usually just a spade is okay.
- Soil Testing Kit
- pH Balancing Items
- Most Importantly – Motivation.
Find the Right Spot for the patch your strawberries will grow in
Strawberries are the kind of fruits that will grow in almost any soil, but a nice loamy soil will work best. Any other soil will still make the strawberries pretty well, but there is a chance there is a deficiency of certain vitamins. Also, the spot where you choose to plant it has to be almost right. Do not sow the plant under a huge tree that overshadows the strawberry patch. Prefer a site that isn’t on the northern frontier of your household. Also, choose a site with extremely less wind passage.
Note: Preferably, do not plant strawberries in a patch of soil where Peppers (Sweet or Spicy), tomatoes, potatoes, grass, sod or raspberries have been grown in the past 15-20 months to avoid any chances of a possible weed growth or plant infections.
Check the pH level of the soil
It is essential when planting fruits like strawberry to check on the composure of the soil. A soil lacking nutrients is not the best scenario for strawberries to grow. A pH level of 6 to 6.5 is expected when testing it. I got a soil testing kit at home, but you can also send a soil sample to a soil testing laboratory or measured with a pH meter. If the level comes above or below the accepted measure, we need to take measures a month before you plan to sow the plant. If the acidity is more than the required amount, so in some sulfur flowers to bring the acidity level down. Add lime to adjust the pH level of the soil accordingly.
After I had finished the preparation for my first batch, I discovered that I also had the option to grow soybeans, oats, rye or any other green manure for that matter on the patch to increase the acidity level to our needed amount. The green manure trick can be applied a few months in advance so that it won’t be helpful for shorthanded plans.
Note: When adding nutrients to the soil, make sure you have a few weeks in hand before you start farming. The time is required so that the nutrients get time to settle in the soil and become one with it. Also, for better absorption, use a tiling or forking method so that nutrients reach on every level of the soil.
Prepare the Patch for the Strawberries
A loamy soil with ample of drainage is the ideal match for growing strawberries. A soil bed with a nice 5 inches equally raised ridge is how the patch should be before you sow the plant in. Raised beds are ideal for strawberries because of reduced drainage issues, a better grasp of roots for low-lying soil lands and less soil-borne infections for the plants.
Note: A week before you plant the crop, add a good quality organic fertilizer to the soil. You can ask for cow manures at gardening units.
The “Seeds” are Strawberry Saplings
Fresh and young Strawberry plants are sowed into the soil to obtain full and healthy Strawberries all around the year. Yes, strawberries are perennial fruits. You can find these saplings in bundles at a gardening center. You can select which type of a strawberry you want to grow depending on the locality, weather, and your taste and in which period of the year you are cultivating. When purchasing the plant, ensure that the length of the roots starting from the base of the crown is at least 4-5 inches.
Note: If you have taken the saplings out of the package and there is some time until you sow it, place the saplings in a moist compost tray. It helps to retain moisture in the roots of the plant.
Plant It Already!
Dig an inch of hole at least 10 inches from the other in one row. Plant the sapling in the hole and cover it with soil until only the crown can be seen. The crown is the fresh fleshy part from where new leaves are growing. The row of the plants should be at least 20 inches away from each other. The length of the roots covered inside the root is essential. If the root goes too deep, then there is a chance of rotting, whereas if the root is shallow, then there is a chance of the plant drying out quickly.
Note: If you are hesitant to do it on your own, ask for assistance from a friend or a professional gardener.
Watering the Plants
Overhead watering is the ideal way for strawberries as it can lead to waterlogging on the surface. You need to make sure that each of your plants gets an adequate amount of hydration. Any signs of water retention will start to show on the plants. It is important to keep an eye on the moisture level of the strawberry crops.
Note: To ensure proper water supply to each plant, consider laying down a single or double tube through the plant’s bed. This method of tube irrigation is helpful when there is a chance of the plant drying out due to moisture retention.
Harvest and Maintenance
After you have successfully planted the seeds, observe the growth. Take extra measures for any signs of rotting or visible weed growth. Strawberries cultivated in extremely cold weathers will need extra care against cold injury. After the cultivation becomes dormant, you can lay a full layer of hay or tree barks in the soil up to 2 inches. After you see new growth, help yourself to rake away the hay or tree skin. Also, I kept the hay on the sides of the rows to retain moisture for the soil and to prevent any possible weed growth.
It is necessary to do your research before you dig your backyard upside down. I did mine, and the experience just adds to it. When you are planning to begin cultivating strawberries in your garden, it is necessary to understand the hard work that is involved. Of course, the fruits of hard work were very sweet for me, and I hope they will be equally fruitful for you. Comment below to tell me if you plan to start growing strawberries indoors or in your backyard, or if you already do, please share your experiences, tips, and tricks with us.