Many home gardeners like to try growing different plants. Strawberry plants are one opportunity to add to a home garden. Fresh strawberries tend to taste sweeter than store-bought strawberries since the simple sugars in strawberries break down soon after they are picked. Different plants have different needs. People who want to add these plants to their gardens need to learn how to take care of a strawberry plant.
Strawberry plants produce fruit in their second season, so a home gardener should not be expecting fruit the same year they plant the strawberry plants. Caring for a strawberry plant begins before the plant is even in the ground. A place for the strawberries must be selected that has full sun and good drainage.
Strawberry plants need a significant amount of space. When planning how many plants to add to the garden and where to put them, consider that the plants must be placed eighteen inches apart. Rows need to be four feet apart. The area where the plants are to be planted needs to be prepared. The ground should be tilled twelve to fifteen inches deep. Compost should be mixed into the top four inches of soil.
Before planting strawberry plants, the roots should be trimmed to six inches. The plants’ roots should soak in water for an hour before planting. The plants should be planted up to, but not covering, the crown. The gardener should gently pack the soil over the roots.
The blossoms that emerge in the first spring should be snipped off with shears to prevent strawberries. This will encourage growth of daughter plants and better production in following seasons. Hand-weeding is often preferred to hoeing to guard against damage to the strawberry plants’ roots. Strawberry plants need about an inch or inch and a half of water each week.
Strawberry plants produce runners and daughter plants. If runners are spaced and the strongest daughter plants allowed to remain while weeding out the weaker ones, the garden grows stronger and production potential improves.
The strawberry plants need to be covered with mulch when frosts begin to occur. Some gardeners use about six inches of straw to cover the plants. The following spring, the plants should gradually be uncovered with mulch. The gardener needs to make sure to protect any blossoms from late frosts. Strawberries should be picked about one fourth to one half an inch behind the berry.