Growing Fruit

Today we celebrate strawberries!

Bowl of Strawberries

Happy National Strawberry Day – a day to celebrate the sweet and tasty, heart-shaped fruit that proudly shows off its seeds on the outside. Strawberries are an excellent source of Vitamin C and a delicious snack or guilt-free dessert at just 55 calories and no fat in one cup.

If you’ve never grown strawberries before, start this year by growing them in containers. It’s easy, and there are many advantages. Strawberries grown in containers are protected from slugs; berries trailing over container edges are kept clean; and they are easier to pick.

Choose a Container

Traditional strawberry pots are fine, but lots of other containers can be utilized as long as they have drainage holes and are positioned in a sunny spot. In addition to predictable pots in a variety of materials, you can grow them in window boxes, hanging baskets and deck railing planters. Grow them in as large of container as you can manage in your space.

Everbearing strawberries produce small batches of berries all summer long.
Everbearing strawberries produce small batches of berries all summer long.

Choose the Variety of Strawberries

While shopping at your local garden center, you will most often find two kinds of strawberries – June bearing and everbearing. If you prefer small batches of strawberries all summer long, choose everbearing varieties.

Planting & Care of Strawberries

Don’t skimp on the soil. Be sure to use a premium potting mix. Plant strawberry plants at the same depth as they are growing in their nursery pots. Water thoroughly and then don’t let the soil dry out. The weather and size and material of container will determine how often plants should be watered throughout the summer. Applying a layer of mulch will not only retain moisture in the soil, it will also keep berries clean. Fertilize strawberries with a slow-release, balanced, granular fertilizer when planting.

Reduce Incidence of Disease

Strawberries may be affected by fungal diseases. These can be reduced by harvesting all fruits when they are ripe, removing any dead leaves, and keeping moisture off foliage when watering.

I am planning on growing strawberries in hanging baskets and deck railing planters this year. Decide on how you will grow them and garden with me!

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