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Growing Strawberries: A Step-by-Step Guide 2024

Growing Strawberries

There’s nothing quite like the taste of a freshly picked strawberry that you’ve grown yourself. The sweet, juicy, and aromatic flavor is unmatched by store-bought strawberries. The good news is that growing strawberries is easier than you might think.

Whether you have a garden with ample space or a small balcony, you can enjoy the satisfaction of growing your own strawberries. In this masterclass, we’ll explore the different types of strawberries, tips for successful growing, and how to care for your plants. Get ready to embark on a delicious journey of strawberry growing!

Types of Strawberries

Before we dive into the details of growing strawberries, let’s take a look at the different types you can choose from. Strawberries are divided into three main categories:

1. Summer Fruiting or June Bearing Strawberries

These strawberries produce their fruits all at once over a period of about 2 to 3 weeks. Within this group, there are early, mid, and late-season fruiting varieties. This means you can enjoy strawberries from early summer to late summer, and even in spring if you’re in a warmer climate.

2. Ever Bearers (Perpetual or All Season Strawberries)

These strawberries crop on and off throughout the summer and even into early autumn. If you’re looking for a steady supply of strawberries that you can pick as and when you want, ever bearers are a great choice.

3. Day Neutral Strawberries

Day neutral strawberries are not affected by day length. They produce berries throughout the growing season in a small but steady supply. If you want a continuous harvest, day neutral strawberries are a good option.

In addition to these main types, there are also Alpine and wild strawberries. While they have smaller berries, they are known for their intense flavor and can be grown as edging plants or even in cracks in walls.

Choosing the Right Varieties

With so many strawberry varieties available, it can be overwhelming to choose the right ones for your garden. Here are a few tips to help you select the best varieties:

1. Consider Ripening Period

If you want strawberries throughout the growing season, choose varieties from each ripening period: early, mid, and late. This way, you’ll have a continuous supply of strawberries.

2. Opt for Disease-Resistant and Reliable Varieties

If you’re new to strawberry growing or simply want varieties that are known for their resistance to pests and diseases, look for those with awards such as the All America Selection or the Royal Horticultural Society Award of Garden Merit.

3. Start with a Well-Rounded All-Season Selection

If you’re unsure where to start, consider picking one or two varieties from each ripening period. This will give you a diverse selection that ensures strawberries throughout the season.

Preparing the Soil

Now that you have chosen your strawberry varieties, it’s time to prepare the soil for planting. Strawberries perform best with at least 6 hours of sunlight per day, or ideally 8 hours for optimal results.

1. Adding Organic Matter

Before planting, it’s beneficial to add organic matter to the soil. You can use well-rotted manure or garden compost to enrich the soil with essential nutrients. Alternatively, a handful of a balanced organic fertilizer, such as blood fish and bone, can provide the necessary nutrients for healthy plant growth.

2. Avoiding Plastic

While some commercial growers use black plastic to warm the soil and suppress weeds, it’s not recommended for prolonged periods in home gardens. Instead, consider using natural alternatives like coconut fiber mats or strawberry mats. Another option is to use straw, which adds an attractive aesthetic to your strawberry bed.

Planting Your Strawberries

Now that your soil is prepared, it’s time to plant your strawberries. Whether you’re using potted strawberries or bare root runners, the planting process is relatively simple.

1. Planting Potted Strawberries

For potted strawberries, simply plant them at the same depth as they were in their nursery pot. Ensure that the crown, where the leaves emerge, sits slightly above the soil surface.

2. Planting Bare Root Runners

When planting bare root runners, be cautious not to plant them too deep or too shallow. Plant them so that the crown is slightly above the soil surface. This helps prevent rotting or weak plant growth.

3. Choosing the Planting Method

Some growers prefer planting strawberries through black plastic or using strawberry mats. These methods help retain moisture, suppress weeds, and keep the strawberries off the muddy soil. If you prefer a plastic-free alternative, straw can be used as a mulch around the plants to keep the fruits blemish-free.

Caring for Your Strawberry Plants

Once your strawberries are planted, it’s essential to provide them with proper care to ensure healthy growth and abundant fruiting.

1. Watering

Strawberries need consistent watering, especially during dry weather or while they are establishing themselves. Container-grown strawberries have limited access to soil moisture, so regular watering is crucial. Aim to water at the base of the plants to avoid wetting the fruits, which can lead to mold.

2. Feeding

As your strawberry plants start to flower, applying a high potassium liquid tomato feed can help encourage fruit development. Additionally, applying a general-purpose organic fertilizer in early spring can provide the necessary nutrients for a productive growing season.

3. Mulching

Mulching around your strawberry plants is beneficial for several reasons. It helps retain moisture, suppresses weeds, and keeps the fruits clean and blemish-free. Straw is an excellent mulching material, but dried grass clippings can also be used.

4. Pest Control

Two common pests to watch out for are slugs and birds. Slugs can be controlled by setting up beer traps near your plants. For birds, netting or using strawberry-sized rocks painted bright red can deter them from pecking at your ripe fruits.

Expanding Your Strawberry Patch: Runners and Seeds

If you want to grow more strawberries or start from scratch, there are two methods you can use: runners and seeds.

1. Runners

Strawberries produce runners, thin wiry stems that can be used to grow new plants. Simply pin the runners down into the soil or a pot of potting mix, and once they have rooted, you can cut them free from the mother plant. This method allows you to replace older, less productive plants with new ones.

2. Seeds

Starting strawberries from seed is another option. Scatter the seeds over a pot of seed starting mix, ensuring they receive plenty of light. Keep the soil moist and provide warmth for germination. Once the seedlings are large enough, transplant them into their own pots or plugs and eventually plant them outside in spring.


Growing strawberries is a rewarding experience that allows you to enjoy the delicious taste of fresh, homegrown fruits. By choosing the right varieties, preparing the soil, and providing proper care, you’ll be on your way to a bountiful harvest. Whether you have a large garden or a small balcony, strawberries can thrive almost anywhere. So why not give it a try and start growing your own strawberries today? Happy growing!

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Also read Potatoes: A Comprehensive Guide to Growing 2024

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