Strawberry Patch: The Complete Guide

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The strawberry patch
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The Strawberry patch

It is a perfect way for you to have strawberries. You can produce strawberries all year long if you want to and apart from the great taste that your strawberries will have you will also have the ability to sell them.

You can have a specific place in your garden or field. In this space, you can have people come and cut and buy your fresh strawberries. There is nothing more rewarding than knowing that your strawberries are amazing and that people will come for them.

In this article, we are going to give you tips on how you can start your own strawberry patch. Apart from that, we will also give you tips on how you can have aromatic strawberries and how you can grow them successfully. Let’s start with the strawberry plants.

Strawberry Plants

You can have strawberries in your strawberry patch. Strawberries have 3 types of plants. The first category is the neutral strawberry which means that you will be able to enjoy the strawberries all year long. You will have the ability to produce fresh and fragrant strawberries without worrying about the climate or the temperatures.

The second category is the ever bearing. The ever bearing category is the one that you will be able to harvest two times per year. The first one would be in spring and the other one will be in early fall. In this way, you will have strawberries that you’ll be able to use in any way you like.

The final category is the June-bearing strawberries. If you plant these ones in your strawberry patch you will only have production in June. The plant will only produce strawberries 1 time per year. You will have to harvest the strawberries in May and in April. Apart from the plants, there are 2 types of strawberries.

Types of Strawberries

There are 2 types of strawberries that you can have in your strawberry patch. There is the perpetual type which grows and produces strawberries during the summer months. The one disadvantage is that with this type the strawberry plants will become exhausted at the end of the 2 years.

If you prefer the perpetual type you need to follow this tip. You can plant during the first year this type before the other ones are due to retire. If you do that you will be able to ensure the strawberry production in your strawberry patch without worrying about the amount of production.

The second type is the short-day variety. This particular variety produces flowers when the days are short and they give the strawberries during the summer time. A good advice would be to choose among different types and plant them in your strawberry patch.

If you will choose different varieties of the short-day ones for your strawberry patch they will have different cropping periods. In this way, you will be able to produce strawberries all summer months without worrying that you won’t have enough strawberries for your recipes or for the people that will visit your patch.

Strawberry Soil

What you need to do is to prepare the soil for your strawberry patch. The soil that you will choose to plant the strawberries should be a place where you won’t have grown anything else before the strawberries. There is a chance that the soil might have diseases that could last up to 4 years.

You also need to place the strawberry patch in a warm and sunny place. In this way, they will produce strawberries that will have amazing taste and fragrance. The strawberry plant doesn’t have deep roots. Its roots are shallow and for this reason, the soil should be rich and drained-free.

You should also make sure that the garden or field will be free of weeds and grubs too. The place needs to be clean in order for you to get the best results. The pH of the soil is quite important. It should be from 5.0 to 7.0 (from 5.8 to 6.2 would also be ideal in order to have the best production).

You can test the soil by using a soil test kit, in order to find the best place to plant them. In order to make the best for your soil, you should add lime and manure. Before you add these ones you should double dig the soil and then add them and the organic or even hand-made compost.

Your strawberry bed should be raised. This is quite helpful because when people will walk in order to collect the strawberries they won’t walk on the plants or compact the soil. Additionally, the strawberries won’t spread in other parts of your garden or field.

Also, the soil mixture will remain intact and the netting will be tacked down to the wood that can be found around the edges. When you will plant the strawberries make sure to leave 45cm between them and the rows should be at least 60cm apart.

Another good idea would be to divide the rows. Instead of a long row of strawberries on your strawberry patch, you can have smaller ones. As a result, you will be able to take care of the patch easier.

This means that you will be able to protect the strawberries from the birds. Also, the visitors that will come to buy your strawberries will find it easier to move up and down and collect the strawberries instead of having to walk along a single row.

Below we will mention the right way to plant your strawberries on your strawberry patch. Apart from the soil planting in the proper way we will help you have the best strawberries possible. Planting them properly will give the right air circulation and the strawberries won’t die or create diseases.

Planting the Strawberries

Planting the strawberries in your strawberry patch is very significant. You need to buy the strawberries from a reputable nursery. You don’t want to plant strawberries that might have diseases or they aren’t in good shape. You need to buy the right ones.

You can plant the strawberries in fall in order to have them ready during the early spring. What you need to do is to dig a hole in the soil. Then you’ll place the bare root in the hole. Keep in mind that the crown is at the soil level. Spread the roots as evenly as you can and then cover them with the soil.

You generally want to have a strawberry patch that’s five feet wide. If you do that then you’ll be able to reach both sides of your patch. Leave 1 foot apart from each plant because you want them to be in both directions.

What is great with this plant is that it can tolerate different soil types. Before you plant them you must have the manure or compost ready. Watering the plants should be done in order to keep the soil moist. You can use the compost in order to help maintain the moisture.

You should be careful with your new strawberry patch. You must not pick the strawberries too early. Cut down the stems from where they emerge. In this way, you will have more fruits instead of bulkier plants.

Strawberry Runners

Strawberry runners are quite important for your strawberry patch. You can use these runners in order to propagate them and produce new strawberries. What you need to do is to use the small clusters of leaves that are at the tip of long and wiry stems. Push them either in the soil or in pots that you have filled with compost.

Once you do that leave them there because they need to root. Don’t forget to weigh them down because you need to make sure that the base of the cluster is in contact with the soil. It will take about 1 month for it to have rooted. After that, you can cut it down and place it on a strawberry bed.

Strawberries Care

In order for your strawberry patch to be successful, you need to take proper care of the strawberries. Watering is an important element. Strawberries need to have a moist environment in order to thrive.

When you water them keep in mind that they will need from 1 inch to 2 inches of water. The watering should also take place during the months that the soil gets easier dry, August and September. Make sure that there isn’t any standing water though.

The soil that you’ll choose to create your strawberry patch must have a good drainage. Strawberry plants are shallow-rooted and you don’t want them to rot. For this reason, as we mentioned earlier the use of mulch will protect them.

Using fertilizers will help the strawberry plants reach their full potential. You can use the fertilizer before you plan the strawberries so as to increase the level of nitrogen in your soil. You can use the fertilizer again when you plant them.

That would be around from 4 to 6 weeks and in August again. During the time that they will produce the strawberries, you shouldn’t fertilize them. Even though nitrogen helps them, they will be soft and they will get damaged easily. You don’t want something like this to happen to your strawberry patch.

If you are growing organic ones then the best thing would be to fertilize them once per month and it should take place from June to September. You want to have healthy and fragrant strawberries in your strawberry patch.

Pests and Diseases

Strawberries are amazing fruits that you can use wherever you like and create different dishes. In order to do that you need to take care of your strawberry patch because you don’t want the strawberries that have pests and diseases.

Strawberries can develop 2 types of diseases the gray mold and the powdery mildew. The gray mold is a fungus. You might know it with another name, that of Botrytis. It can spread quite quickly and it can cause extensive damage to your plants. Moisture is the main reason that this disease happens.

You will understand that the plants have it when the leaves will have a water-soaked form. The spots then will change their color to gray and the leaves will start to wilt. In order to control it, you can cut off the parts that are infected.

In order to prevent it, you must make sure that the plants are dry, give them the right space and remove any dead leaves that are close to them. Also, don’t forget that air circulation is important.

Another disease that might affect your strawberry patch is the powdery mildew. This disease is a fungal one. What it does is to remove the nutrients from the plant and as a result, it dies. You will notice that your plant will look like it is dusted, and there will be white spots.

These spots will eventually cover the whole plant. What you need to do is to remove the infected area and destroy them. You could also use fungicides such as neem oil that is quite effective. You could also use 1 tablespoon of baking soda in 1 quarter of water and spray them. That could also be quite effective.

Two of the pests that can also infect your strawberry patch are the Japanese beetles and the slugs. They can cause great damage to your plant because they attack the plants in groups. They will devour the leaves and they will be skeletonized.

In order to fight them you could use neem oil, insecticides, and even to hand pick them. You could also use traps. You could try these ones and if they won’t go away then you could ask a specialist for help in order to see how the problem could be reduced and eventually eliminated.

Finally, the slugs are the ones that can cause trouble too. They come out during the rainy season. Their color is dark brown or gray. They feed during the night which makes it difficult to spot them. In order to get rid of them, you should place traps such as cardboards on the soil. Also, you could place shallow dishes of beer in order to attract them.

Conclusion:

In order to create the perfect strawberry patch, you need to follow our tips. You need to take care of the soil and create the right environment in order to plant them. Protecting them is also important.

If you follow our tips you will have an amazing strawberry patch. Not only you, will enjoy but also other people that will come in order to buy them. It is a unique experience that you and your family will enjoy. Have fun!

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