I have grown a lot of fruit and vegetables in my garden and one fruit that is a staple in my garden is- strawberries! I always recommend that a new gardener plant strawberries. Strawberries are easy to grow and absolutely delicious. With very little work, you could be picking strawberries right from your own yard. Here is why you should be growing strawberries in your garden and why I recommend growing strawberries for new gardeners.
Growing strawberries for new gardeners is easy
Seriously, I do so little to care for my strawberries and yet I still have tons to harvest. Water regularly, and there isn’t much that strawberries will ask for. The basics you need to know are that there are two types of strawberries- overbearing and June bearing. I have a mix of both in my garden.
Speaking of my garden, I use containers to grow strawberries, which has work out very well. Strawberries grow runners (keep reading for more about runners), and I like that in containers, I do not have to worry about the runners expanding the strawberry patch too far. My strawberries are nicely contained to just two containers!
I have even seen strawberries grown in hanging containers. My local nursery sells them and besides looking beautiful, is such a fun way to grow fruit in a space you normally wouldn’t grow food in!
Strawberry Runners- why Strawberries are easy to propagate
Runners are basically vines that grow from the strawberries, which if you put into soil will grow a new strawberry plant. I started off with only a few strawberry plants and let several runners settle into soil in a second container- and in a few weeks I had a second container of strawberry plants. This sounds easy, because it really is.
So you do need to keep an eye on the runners. If you are not propagating new strawberry plants then you will want to trim (cut) the runners. The growth of the runners can take energy away from the plants production of fruit and leaves. I try to trim the runners when I see them now that I am not trying to grow more strawberry plants.
Strawberries are easy to winterize
I have heard of different ways to take care of your plants in the winter and this may differ for different zones. I am in growing zone 7a. I have seen people do absolutely nothing to their plants- and the leaves die off but come back the next year and produce. I like to trim the leaves down to the crown of the plant and fill the containers with leaves to insulate the containers a little in the winter. I add some compost to the top of the containers at this time. I also like that the leaves break down during the winter and give some nutrients to the soil. My plants come back each spring looking great.
The Crown, Sun & Soil
I mentioned the crown of the plant in this post. The crown in the top of the roots. It is important to be able to identify the crown as you should not plant the crown when planting the strawberry plant into the ground. Strawberries like the sun and need 6 or more hours of sun a day. Strawberry plants like well drained, slightly acidic soil soil. I have been using a container soil mix to grow strawberries and have had great results.
Year One of growing Strawberries
Don’t be frustrated if the first year you have your plants they do not produce a ton. This happened to me and I read is very common with strawberries as they tend to produce more staring in year 2.
Growing Strawberries for new gardeners
Growing strawberries can be an easy fruit to grow and who doesn’t love strawberries. My kids love checking on the strawberries to see if thy are red yet and fight over who gets to eat which one. I can’t recommend these plants enough- easy to care for and produce a ton of fruit to eat! If are new to gardening I think it would be a great fruit to start growing!
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