How to grow big strawberries
Mmmmm? Strawberry Pie, with a half dozen big, mouth-watering strawberries
sunk into the whipped topping. Does anything else look as good? Follow these
tips to learn how to grow big strawberries.
Location? location? location! One of the most important aspects of a healthy
strawberry patch is where it?s at. Strawberries need a location that has a
minimum of six hours of sunlight a day. However, strawberries are a
sun loving plant. To grow big strawberries, give them a location with as
much sun as possible.
Start healthy. Purchase virus-tested, healthy transplants. Make sure you
choose a variety of strawberry that is capable of producing big
strawberries. Day-neutrals like Alpine Strawberries are delightful, but they
are little. Many ever-bearing strawberries are a good choice for growing big
Give them elbowroom. Strawberries are a very non-competitive plant and will
not compete well with each other or weeds that invade their space. Keep your
strawberry bed free of weeds. To grow big strawberries, also keep runners
pinched back and don?t allow them to root. Plant transplants (mother plants)
in hills, pinching off any runners (daughters) to encourage mother plants to
produce blossoms and fruit. The less work the mother plant has to do to
raise daughters, the more fruitful she will be.
Strawberry plants love water but they can?t swim! Keep soil moist so that
your strawberry plants can get a drink when they need one, but don?t leave
them standing in water. Before you plant, make sure soil is well worked and
rich in organic matter. Till or spade in compost or manure the fall before
you are going to plant. This will hold moisture and keep soil from clumping.
Although strawberry plants like sun, their roots need cool, moist soil.
Mulch is the best way to achieve this compromise and also helps keep runners
in check and weeds under control. Nevertheless, keep mulch about one inch
from the crown of your strawberry plants to prevent damping off. One other
caution about mulching is not to use the straw that covered your
strawberries over the winter. Remove old straw or work it into the soil in
Strawberries are what they eat! How often you fertilize and the ratio you
use will help to grow big strawberries. Strawberries need regular feeding.
At minimum, fertilize your strawberry bed twice a season. In the spring
fertilize before the plants flower and in the fall fertilize shortly after
harvest. IMPORTANT: Do not fertilize the plants during flowering or fruit
Fertilizer has three major components: Nitrogen (N- promotes leaf growth and
forms proteins and chlorophyll), Phosphorus (P- contributes to root, flower,
and fruit development), and Potassium (K- contributes to stem and root
growth and the synthesis of proteins.) So a balanced fertilizer (equal parts
of each element i.e. 10-10-10) will encourage over-all growth while one with
more phosphorus (i.e. 10-20-10) will help produce bigger berries. Knowing
how your strawberries grow will help you to grow big strawberries!
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