We had a couple of strawberry plants sitting on our veranda for a couple of years and in the autumn we planted them out in our vegetable garden. They have been fairly quite over the winter months but now that spring has arrived they have really taken off.
Strawberry plants like quite a bit of sun but because we get some really hot days during summer we have planted ours in a position where they get some shade in the afternoon. When I was young my parents had a big strawberry patch and it got quite a bit of afternoon shade so that seems to work in our climate. If you have a milder summer then you might need to make sure that your strawberries get full sun all day.
Our strawberry plants are covered in flowers at the moment and we are giving them a deep watering under the plants every few days. Strawberry plants like plenty of water but they don’t like to be watered overhead.
We have grown strawberries before but I wondered what else we should know to get the most out of these strawberry plants. So I have been looking online for any hints and tips that I can find to maximise our yield of strawberries!
One thing that I didn’t know until recently is that strawberries like a slightly acid soil and that they can be mulched with pine needles. The pine needles are acidic so they create naturally acidic conditions for the plants. We have a couple of pine trees in our backyard so we collected up a container of pine needles the other day and put them out around our strawberry plants.
There are lots of helpful tips available for anyone who is new to growing strawberries at home. After doing some reading I have compiled a short list of useful tips that will help with caring for and growing strawberry plants.
Tips for Growing Strawberry Plants
- Strawberries like an open sunny location (we have best results with some afternoon shade in a hot climate)
- Don’t plant your strawberries where you have had other berries or any of the plants from the tomato family (e.g. tomatoes, potatoes, capsicum or eggplants)
- Strawberries like plenty of water but not from overhead – set up drip irrigation or water strawberry plants underneath
- Mulch around strawberries to retain moisture, prevent weeds, and keep fruit clean
- Strawberries like a slightly acid soil so mulching with pine needles is good
- Fertilise with seaweed solution every two weeks – especially during the growing season
- Cover strawberry patch with bird netting when fruiting and watch out for snails and slugs
- Prune out runners so they don’t overcrowd the patch
- Replace strawberry plants with new ones every four of five years
When I was growing up we had a big strawberry patch and we used to pick big bowls full of strawberries. We used to pick them and eat them straight from the plant or we would have them with cream or ice cream.
I’m hoping that with the right care our current patch of strawberry plants will soon be rewarding us with a bountiful harvest!
If you would like some more information about growing strawberry plants check out the following links: