Grow Your Own Strawberries

I don't know what it is like around your house, but, for us, strawberries are almost a must.

Tradition has it that strawberries are grown in the vegetable garden. They are undoubtedly one of the first fruits grown and eaten in gardens but it is still rare in many of the family gardens I have had the pleasure to visit. My grandmother grew them, my mother skipped the whole garden thing, but we are going to continue the tradition, as we must not deprive ourselves of this, one of life's little red pleasures.

The varieties of strawberries are very numerous and it is possible to harvest beautiful sweet and juicy fruits from May until the first frosts set in in fall. It shocked me to see just how many different types of berry you can plant. Though I have to note that they are now all created equally, so you can't plant them in every climate which might limit your options somewhat. But they are versatile and some berry species can even be placed on the edge of flower beds in most pleasure garden. So you don't even need to have a full garden. Strawberry varieties can be categorized into five basic categories:

The strawberry produces multiple times each year, the sap rises and allows new fruit to be produced which accounts for the growth and allows you to harvest multiple set of fruit from each plant making it a pleasant activity for children.

Examples cultivars:

  1. Hecker,
  2. Rabunda,
  3. Ozark Beauty for large fruit;
  4. Valley Red, for the strawberries of the woods;
  5. Allstar with the scent of strawberries wafting and their nearly perfect fruit
  6. Florence/Redgauntlet, whose strong spring production rises slightly in the summer.

Another type of strawberry is one whose very strong fruiting occurs only once.

Early risers include:

  1. Rosie
  2. Sable

Late risers include:

  1. Roxana
  2. Sussette

Planting

Strawberry plants are found in buckets, almost all year round. The best planting time is September/October for a bountiful harvest the following spring. March/April plantings can be harvested during the summer; it is advisable to remove the first flowers in order to promote better rooting.

Carefully prepare the ground with a spade, dig a trench about one foot deep. This helps give the plant a chance to take root, though strawberries grow on stolon they also have deep roots that need a lot of nutrients. Bring in plenty of organic matter by incorporating well-decomposed manure (brown gold) and a bottom fertilizer rich in phosphate and potash. Place a tight black plastic barrier on the ground, the fruit will rest on a clean and dry surface, and the roots will be protected from rot and weeds will not be able to grow during the season. Some varieties can live happily in your garden season after season. But it really depends on the type you choose, some do not live that long and you can expect to replant them after a couples of seasons as the plants are depleted and no longer produce a harvest.

Plant the plants on lines spaced two feet apart, distance between the plants on the line, two feet for berries, but if you have a cultivar with large fruits you may need to space them three feet apart. During the season, it is enough to maintain a good soil moisture to produce fruit.

Maintenance

Each year, clean the rows, remove the stolons and incorporate a strawberry-specific fertilizer into the soil. If you have a species that lives The harvest will be more abundant and the lifespan of your strawberries will be extended.

Diseases and parasites

Strawberries may be susceptible to a few diseases that are easy to control, oidium or white rose bush. Botrytis or grey rot that appears in wet weather (Shuksan are Botrytis tolerant and red stele resistant, as well as virus resilient) on strawberries on contact with the ground. If you notice a problem do some preventative treatments with a fungicide suitable for fruit trees.

The main pests of strawberries are slugs and sometimes aphids. Birds can be serious competitors when it comes time to taste your strawberries. If you are having problems with birds you can protect the rows with a fine mesh net stretched over hoops.

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