Secrets to Growing Strawberries

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Secrets to Growing Strawberries

We have already enjoyed a strawberry crop! See my Secrets to Growing Strawberries here.

Growing Strawberries: Know Your Variety

You can ask your local nursery owners, but typically we can choose between a few varieties.

If you want an early harvest you can select June-Bearing Strawberries. These will fruit early in the year and have a large crop during the month of June (may vary with climate).

Ever-bearing will produce two crops a year, and Day-Neutral will produce a small crop throughout the growing season.

I prefer the earlier crops, since it's a nice reward for all the hard work that goes into gardening in the spring!

Space For Growing

Consider raised beds for strawberries.  We did this big project this year and I am glad we have a nice space for many years to come! It's an investment, but if you are into growing strawberries like we are, it will help in the long run.  You can find many DIYs online, or order a kit (see link).

You can do terraced beds, barrels, raised beds or even planters.  If you have a smaller flower bed, the Ever-bearing and Day-Neutral will be best, as they do not send out runners.

What is a runner? Young strawberry plants shoot out long stems called runners to start new “daughter” plants.

They are not vine plants, but do spread via their runners if they have the space. Those daughter plants will send out more runners, and so on.

If you have a lot of runners, it's best to prune well with small pruning shears, to keep the main growing energy in the fruit-bearing part of your plant!

Strawberry Plants

Protecting Your Plants

Birds have been our nemesis with strawberries in the past. There's nothing worse than a beautiful crop destroyed by a few birds or rodents.  You can find bird netting on Amazon, which is a good investment if you have a lot of them in your area.

Strawberries are also prone to diseases, so keep your flower beds clear and watch out for signs of trouble like wilting or diseased leaves, and insect damage.

Tips for Planting when Growing Strawberries

You can find directions on on your plant packaging, but a few more things to know before you plant include:

  • Full sun is required (at least 6 daylight hours of direct sun)
  • Acidic soil is best (pH of about 6.5)
  • Protect from heavy wind (sometimes a challenge in Oklahoma!)
  • Mulch well to protect from cold weather, as first frost nears
  • After the third year, rotate crop or replace the bed/soil
  • Plant in late afternoon
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