Strawberries are sometimes the very first fruit that a gardener attempts in their garden, since they yield abundantly and require minimal maintenance. They’re typically planted as dormant low-cost bare-roots which are capable of lasting a number of years. Plants that are actively growing are sometimes sold, which are more expensive. Despite the fact that strawberries are pretty much hardwired to come back every year, the decision to cultivate them in the form of perennials is entirely up to you.
Strawberries are generally perennials, meaning they can produce fruit for around four to five years. The strawberry plants reproduce via a combination of runners and seeds, theoretically enabling strawberry beds to continue to grow eternally even after the demise of their mother plants. A perennial strawberry bed needs to be thinned every year to produce well, and gardeners must utilize active weed management tactics because a strawberry plant is rooted shallowly, according to Michigan State University.
Perennial Plantings Rejuvenation:
According to Clemson Cooperative Extension, the matted row technique is the most frequent planting method for all perennial strawberries. It lets the runners sprout as completely new plants the next year. Because the plants grow densely side-by-side during the planting season, they might compete for room to expand, necessitating fall bed rejuvenation. However, rejuvenating beds is a simple process. Your strawberry plants will be ready to produce beautiful fruit again in the spring when you mow leaves close to the ground, fertilize, and thin the plants into mats having widths of approximately 12 inches.
Planting on an Annual Basis:
Despite the fact that strawberries, naturally, are wired in the form of perennials, they are often planted in the fall and then removed after fruiting in many regions. Treating them like annuals simplifies maintenance and minimizes the risk of pathogens like soil-borne fungi and bacteria accumulating in the beds. Growing strawberries like annuals, on the other hand, can be a great deal of additional work, depending on your planting technique.
Strawberry Bed Maintenance on an Annual Basis
Annual strawberries must be roto-tilled beneath once a year, shortly after the harvest. To prevent disease and weed organisms, you can employ soil solarization or chemical sprays; alternatively, you can utilize a separate bed in any clean place— crop rotation happens to be one of the most proven methods of disease control. You can collect the freshest plants for this new bed if your strawberry stand was healthy. Just make sure it’s ready for planting the fresh crop well before time.
Strawberry Planting Tips:
Plant your strawberries as soon as possible for a huge crop!
We understand that planting strawberries in June sounds a little early, but the earlier you get them in, the more fruit you’ll get, and who doesn’t want more strawberries?
Plant in a sunny location.
Strawberries that are grown in a sunny location have the best flavor. However, we recommend planting them early in the morning or late in the afternoon so that they are not exposed to the intense sun right away.
Allow them some breathing room.
Strawberries need a lot of space to breathe, so give them at least 30cm of soil depth and 40cm between each row of plants.
Don’t submerge the strawberries in water.
Strawberries despise being soaked in water. In these conditions, they will decay quickly, so make sure your soil drains adequately. Strawberry plants planted in little mounds will help keep the soil from becoming too wet.
Place them in their beds.
Raised beds are one of the greatest places to produce strawberries because you have more control over the environment. By removing weeds, using Tui strawberry mix and food, and then adding a layer of barley straw to protect from the elements, you may achieve the ideal growing circumstances.
Gather the blossoms.
Pick the first flowers that appear on your strawberry plants to help them grow faster. When you’re inspecting your strawberry plant for flowers, keep an eye out for any pests or insects as well.
When the blossoms appear, the plant will need all of its energy to concentrate on creating healthy fruit. The most effective fertilizer is one that has a lot of potash.
Take out the runners.
Strawberry runners are the plant’s offshoots. These can be rooted and planted and are produced over the summer months. If the runners aren’t eliminated, a young strawberry plant will not fruit as well since they consume too much energy. Runners, on the other hand, can be left on a fully developed plant if you want to plant more.
Plant different varieties.
Strawberry plants with diverse fruiting behaviors are an excellent way to extend your harvest window. In general, in warmer climates, your harvest season will be longer. Picking strawberries just before they ripen is the finest time. Pests will have a better chance of getting to them first if you leave them on the vine for too long!
Check to see if there is enough to go around.
Because everyone likes strawberries, we recommend planting roughly 5 plants per person to ensure that there are enough for everyone. This will ensure that you have plenty of luscious berries throughout the summer!
We hope that this blog will help you decide whether to treat strawberries like annuals or perennials, and also learn a few tips and tricks to get the best possible harvest.