Planting and Growing Strawberries
Planting And Growing Strawberries
What: June bearing, bare root strawberry plants
Chandler, Camarosa, Camino Real
Plant October into December, harvest April to June (peak production lasts two to three weeks)
Strawberries prefer a moist, sandy, well drained soil. They can tolerate heavier soils very well as long as the space in which they are planted has good drainage. Strawberries can not take any standing water. They also do well in raised beds and containers.There are several styles of strawberry pots available for container planting.
Strawberries can either be planted on a single row, spaced 12 inches apart, or a staggered double row spaced 14 inches apart.Planting a double row is usually a more efficient use of space. Rows should be around 42 inches wide and at least 8 inches tall after settling.
Prepare your soil with 2 lbs of 13-13-13 per 25 ft of row several weeks ahead of planting.Make sure the soil gets watered or rained on before putting plastic mulch down.Mulch helps prevent disease on strawberries by preventing particles in the soil splashing onto the plants during a rain.Black plastic mulch is the most common but other materials such as pine straw may also be used.If using plastic, it is very important to make sure the dirt has settled before putting it down.Prior to planting your plants, trim the roots to 1 1/2" - 2" long.This will stimulate new root growth and make it easier to get all of the roots in the dirt.When putting bare root strawberries in the ground, care must be taken to plant them at the correct depth.
The crown of the plant should be at the level of the soil.If planted too shallow, the roots will be exposed, causing the plant to dry out; too deep and the whole plant will rot.
Side dress with calcium nitrate in January and March at a rate of 1/4 - 1/2 lbs per 25 ft of row.
Common Pests and Diseases:
Ants - Fire ants love strawberry gardens!The rows stay high and dry, plus they have a convenient cover over them.Prevent ants with an application of a granular insecticide labelled for garden use, such as Surrender G (contains Bifenthrin .115%) prior to putting plastic mulch down. For an organic garden, use a product containing spinosad (Ferti-lome Come and Get It) or diatomaceous earth (Natural Guard Crawling Insect Control).
Slugs and Snails - It is very important to make sure you have some sort of bait out for slugs and snails when your strawberries start producing, because apparently, the slimy little things love them as much as we do.Hi-Yield Slug & Bait is an old standard, but use caution with this product, as its active ingredient (metaldehyde) is highly toxic to dogs. It does contain a taste deterrent to try to keep dogs from eating it, but as dog owners know, some dogs just won't be deterred.The other option is Bonide Bug & Slug Killer which is also a bait, but can be used for organic gardening. It contains spinosad, which is a great broad spectrum insect bait, and iron phosphate, the same ingredient as the popular slug bait Sluggo.
Diseases - Strawberries are susceptible to several different fungal diseases such as powdery mildew, Anthracnose fruit rot, gray mold, etc.Captan 50W (wettable powder) may be sprayed at 7 to 14 day intervals, beginning in early spring up until harvest.For organic gardening, you may use copper fungicide at the start of flowering, every 7 to 10 days until harvest.To help prevent disease, avoid watering from overhead and water plants in the morning, instead of in the evening, so the sun can dry the water off of the leaves.