Imagine eating luscious red strawberries fresh from your garden still warm from the sun. What a treat and that treat can be yours. Here are easy tips for growing strawberries.
Strawberries need at least six hours of sun a day to flower and set fruit. Keep that in mind when selecting a site for your berries. Strawberry pots, those big pots with little holes in the sides are not ideal for strawberries because they dry out too fast.
Strawberries prefer rich soil. Dig down about six inches with a sturdy shovel and turn the dirt over. Remove rocks and twigs and sprinkle in a slow release fertilizer per package directions. Add a bag of compost or well rotted manure for every 8 square feet of your strawberry patch. For example if your patch is 12 feet by 12 feet you would need 4 bags. Spread the compost evenly and then turn over the soil again to mix the fertilizer and compost into the soil.
Plant strawberry plants about 12 inches apart. Strawberries grow quickly into a bush about a foot around.
Water well. Every month use a liquid fertilizer that feeds the foliage (leaves) as well as soaking into the ground. Strawberries have small white flowers between the size of a dime and quarter with yellow centers. Each plant can have from 3 or 4 berries to a dozen. Depending on the variety of the berry you buy, you can have all the berries setting and ripening at once to berries that ripen continuously over the summer.
Don’t over water your plants especially after the berries have set. Mud around the fruit can cause the fruit to rot. Test the soil to see if it needs water by inserting your finger into the dirt. If the soil is still moist up to within an inch of the surface you can wait to water. If it’s dry then water. It’s best to water deeply less often. That encourages the roots of the plant to reach down into the soil.
When the berries are showing a blush of pink think about how you’re going to discourage birds from eating the berries. This can be accomplished with netting held over the berries by tying the net to posts about one foot off the ground. Or you can try using tinsel, yes the kind you buy for Christmas decorations or specially made foil that grape vineyard use.
If slugs or snails are a problem in your area , Set out jar lids filled with beer in the evening. The slugs and snails love beer, will fall in and drown.
Don’t spray the flowers with insecticides. You risk killing the bees which pollinate the flowers turning them from flowers into berries. Use a strong spray from your garden hose to knock any bugs off the plants.
Berries don’t ripen any more after being picked so wait until your berries are a bright crimson red before picking.
Follow these easy tips from Easy Garden Care and you’ll have lush sweet strawberries fresh from your garden.
Find more tips from Dee Power on growing strawberries at http://www.easygardencare.com.
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