Home-grown strawberries are nothing like those bought in the supermarket. Fruit that is found in the supermarket is treated with pesticides and it does not have the same flavour and freshness. Strawberries are incredibly versatile, which means that you can grow them either in the back garden or in small containers. These first-fruits of the summer are cold-hardy and very adaptable, so that they are literally ones of the easiest berries you can grow. If you too find the idea of having a supply of berries from a bed of strawberry plants, you will need to follow these instructions.
Getting the right plantsIf you want to get your hands on a specific variety, then you should check online and ask for a specific stock to be ordered in. What is equally helpful is getting the advice of a local garden centre regarding what type of fruit will best suit your local conditions. When should anyone buy strawberries? Ideally, you should buy the plants at the exact time that you intend to plant them. If you leave them too long in their pots, they will become root-bound and unhealthy. Growing strawberries require sun and acidic soil. Plant the strawberries six weeks before the last frost and use row covers to protect the new planting from cold weather. You also have the possibility of planting the fruit in the fall, which is actually a very common practice.
Types of strawberriesYou will have to determine which type of strawberry is suitable for your needs. There are three types of fruit from which you can choose, namely June-bearing, ever-bearing and alpine strawberries. June bearing strawberries will grow well in hardiness zones 6-10. The June fruiting variety will ensure you a large supply in early and midsummer, depending on the plant time. If you purchase this variety, then you will be able to cook the fruit or freeze it right away. Nonetheless, some varieties are more suitable for local conditions than others. You can learn how to grow strawberries that are ever-bearing strawberries because they produce a heavy set in the early summer and they also provide lighter flushes in late summer and fall. What they need is cool temperatures and you should make sure to regularly water and feed them. Last but not least, alpine strawberries are very small in size. They may be small, but they are surely tasty and the berries come in colours like red, white, and yellow. Even though most varieties do not produce runners, they do re-bloom intermittently all during summer.
How to plant strawberriesStart by choosing a sunny, fertile free site free of weeds. The strawberry patch will produce for about three to four years, so enriching the site with organic material is essential. While you can grow a few berries from seed, it is recommendable that you save time and use individual plants sold in bunches. Transplant each plant into a separate container and respect the same depth. The plants should be set about 18 to 30 inches apart and the rows should be 3 feet apart.
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