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flower and fruit gardening guides home > how to grow big strawberries

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 strawberries.

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 early spring.

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 production.

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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