How To Properly Plant & Propagate Strawberries

05/28/2024
 Recently one of our followers had some questions about growing strawberries and they asked why their plant might have rotted in the ground. I asked “Did you happen to bury the crown?” He responded “Oh! I DID bury the crown. Was I not supposed to?”

So that prompted me to write this article and create a video to go along with the grow guide we already have here on the website.

In this article I want to discuss some of the things I mentioned in the video but didn’t get a chance to go too far into it. I also want to link to all of the articles and videos and products that I mentioned in the video so you have one easy place to find all the details.

COMPLETE STRAWBERRY GROW GUIDE

After you read the rest of the article below, come back here to check out
the complete Strawberry Grow Guide.

VARIETY

As I mentioned in the video, there are 2 general types of strawberry plants.

Your June-bearing plants will produce fruit for approximately a month. They produce all of their fruit at once and then they go dormant. These plants typically produce larger berries but of course you get a smaller quantity.

Everbearing varieties will produce multiple flushes of berries throughout the growing season. These berries are typically smaller in size. Although you should get more of them.

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GROWING METHOD / LOCATION

 

I have grown strawberries every possible way you can imagine. Even in gutters! I thought I would prefer this method because I have such a terrible Ant & Roly Poly (pill bugs) problem.

 

 

I have tried all kinds of hanging baskets, vertical containers, etc… but I have a really hard time keeping the plants moist enough when growing up out of the ground. So I tend to prefer my raised beds. I have discovered several tricks for combatting the pests over the years!

 

         

 

  •  Grow them near the edge of the bed. If you can drape the actual berry over the side of your bed, it really helps keep the bugs off!
  •  Use EZ Straw mulch around your plants and mulch heavily. I tend to have fewer pill bugs and ants around my strawberries when I have plenty of thick ez straw mulch around the plants.
  •  If you still struggle with something nibbling on your berries, you can purchase a big pkg of these mesh bags for a very cheap price!
  •  If you have birds or rabbits, you can use this type of bird netting. I did use this one year but because of our high winds and my very productive garden, it became a hassle trying to get under the netting every single day so I could harvest the berries. I haven’t needed to use it in a few years but it is great to have on hand, just in case the birds or rabbits get bad again!
  •  Another thing you can use are these plastic cradles. They are very cheaply made and probably not worth the price you have to pay for them (I’m very frugal, sorry!) BUT you can buy them in multi-packs these days. When I bought my first one, several years ago, I couldn’t find multi-packs and I think I paid $7 for one cradle. I have seen 10 – 20 packs for under $20 so that price is definitely getting a little better.

 

OVERWINTERING

As I mentioned in the video, I used burlap to cover my berry plants that first year. I have not needed to do that since then. But we have also had pretty mild winters the past few years.

 As far as gutters go, if you are going to do that I can’t stress enough, the importance of hooking drip irrigation up to your plants. Depending on your climate, you may need to water your plants multiple times a day if you choose to grow them this way. That’s because in these shallow containers, they have no where to go to suck up more moisture. Plus the soil dries out much more quickly.

 Whereas, in a raised bed, even if I’m running my drip daily (which I do in the hottest part of the year), at least my plants can spread their roots out further or deeper into the soil when they are thirsty.

 

SOIL HEALTH

Soil health of course, is where it all begins. You HAVE to begin with healthy soil no matter what you are growing. I have multiple articles and videos over this so I will just share links here.

Here is the original article where you can see the full cost breakdown of the DIY Soil Mix we use, compared to regular store bought brands.  https://secondmilejourney.com/diy-organic-soil-mix/ 
We have made 3 videos about this DIY Soil Mix.  See them all here:

Video 1: https://youtu.be/L3erwYk-FbY?si=lgguqiVRtSKFdZg6 

Video 2: https://youtu.be/cQnKC0jTOcw?si=tp-Gm9szJJJJBD17 

Video 3: https://youtu.be/xfzleTwh8fI?si=VSDkieZNii9eFKFt 

FERTILIZATION

As mentioned, I use a lot of Espoma Organic Fertilizers. I also use Neptune’s Harvest but for berries, I typically use mostly the Espoma products.

 

Your Support Means So Much
By the way, this website and our YouTube channel are my full time job. I have so many big projects I am working on to bring MAJOR VALUE to YOU, my gardening friends! Anytime you make a purchase after clicking one of our affiliate links, it helps to support the channel. And that means SO MUCH to me. I’m not currently making an income with this business. But I believe in what I’m doing and I hope to inspire many more people in their journey to sustainability so I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for every time you click one of our links!

DON’T BURY THE CROWN

I want to stress this part again. I have an illustration below. I drew the yellow line to help explain how to make sure the base of your grown doesn’t get buried below the soil. This can cause your plant to rot. I want to save you from wasted time and money! Check out the YouTube video around the 11:50 mark so you can see just how easy it is to propagate and to make sure you secure your plant to the soil, without planting too deep or burying the crown!

STRAWBERRY MINT ICE CREAM

Recipe Coming Soon!  If you would like to contribute a recipe to the site, please email Shala@secondmilejourney.com and put RECIPE in the subject line.  If you want to join the wait list to be notified once we publish the new recipe, click here.  

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