It is pretty easy to grow strawberries in gardens and in containers at home. Before you start to grow strawberries you have to acquire minimum knowledge about the three distinct types of strawberry plants available in nurseries. These plants include summer bearing, perpetual bearing or ever bearing and alpine.
Perpetual bearing strawberries will bear fruits through out the year although the bulk of the fruits will come only in the season that extent from April to October. You can expect fruits from summer bearing strawberries for more than three weeks a year.
Select a site where you can assure maximum sun to grow strawberries. It should also be a place where the soil is well drained. If you are planning to grow strawberries in your garden where you grow other plants do not choose an area where you have grown potatoes to avoid virus infection to the spuds. Long days and warm temperature is the best and the most suitable climate that favor maximum growth of the leaves and runners of a strawberry plant. Short days and cool temperature is good for flower formation in short day varieties of strawberries. You can expect tastier fruits from growing strawberries in areas where the days are warm and sunny and the nights are cool.
If your plan is to grow strawberries in the ground then you should prepare raised bed to plant them. The highest ground is the ideal location to place strawberries and it should always be protected from the frost by placing them at an ideal location. It is better to choose a location where plants that belong to the Solanaceae family were not grown for at least three years.
Prepare the ground by mixing it with compost or well composted manure. Vegetable food fertilizers can also be used to prepare land for growing strawberries. Once the preparation of the land is over, you can cover the land by using a weed block material. Mark the places where the strawberries are to be planted by cutting an X shape in the material with which you have covered the soil. You will be able to protect the berries from the attack of snails, earwigs, slugs and saw bugs by covering the land with the weed block material. It is advisable to prepare the land in this way at least one month before you actually plant the strawberries.
The beds prepared for growing strawberries should have at least be five to six inches height and six to twelve inches width. Arrange the plants eight to fourteen inches apart in a single row on the top of the bed that you have prepared to plant the strawberries.
Any method of plantation that allows the root of the plant to go straight down and spreading dove-tail can be adopted for planting strawberries. Make sure that the soil is firmly pressed against the roots when you plant the strawberry plant in the ground or in the container. The crown of the plant should be above the surface covering all the roots.
Strawberry plants with shallow roots require watering through the growing season. Drip irrigation is the best method of irrigation to be used in a strawberry garden.
Growing Strawberries in Containers
The pots that are designed for pot planting of strawberries will always have pockets up and down in the sides of the pot. Choose one plant for each pocket of the pot and three or four plants to be planted on the top. You can use all purpose soil mix to fill the container when you plant strawberry crowns in them. If you wish you can also add some reliable slow-releasing fertilizer in the ready made pot mix that you use to fill the pot. You can avoid subsequent fertilization of plant by mixing slow-releasing fertilizer with the potting soil.
Growing strawberries in containers is especially flexible for moving the plants around whenever you want and for relocating the plants to different places. Take advantage of this flexibility with strawberry growing hanging baskets or plastic pockets for a very creative gardening solution.
Growing Hydroponic Strawberries
Hydroponics is defined as the science involved in the growth of plants without the need of soil. The nutrients gained by the plants from soil are included in water. The word originated from the Greek words hydro which means water and ponos meaning labor. The first use of hydroponics was reported during the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, one of the old Wonders of the World. It is said that the plant growth happened along the stream of water. The historic evidence speaks that the soldiers stationed in Pacific Islands consumed fruits and vegetables generated by hydroponics.
You might be wondering the reason why hydroponics is utilized for strawberries. There is a valid motive behind this aspect which is to protect the environment from an alarming problem. Methyl bromide was the chemical on which the strawberry growers depended to keep away soil borne pests, insects, weeds and diseases. This kind of fumigation had its own significance as it helps in yielding top quality strawberries. Presently, it has been found that methyl bromide is a major threat to the ozone layer and for this reason the chemical is banned all over. Due to this reason, the strawberry growers have thought of switching to hydroponics to make it environment friendly and also increase the production as a whole.
Hydroponic strawberries are making a good impression and a good alternative to cultivators. Cultivators across the globe are switching their cultivation style to hydroponics as it has been recognized to be one of the most productive and efficient forms of production.
Hydroponic strawberries does add a few advantages for the cultivators, the most important being the remarkable taste which just keeps you yearning for more. Since the cultivation of these plants is at an elevated height, the picking rate has been increased with no fatigue and a much easier way of cultivation.
When considering the yields per plant, it is much higher and the losses are lower when compared to the growth in soil. You can do the cultivation on any land conditions be it poor or rich because the problem of weeds is simply eliminated. Vertically tying the garden could utilize more space and can be extended sky high thus stacking to utilize more space. Hydroponic strawberries are not seasonal therefore you can cultivate them all year round.
Hydroponic cultivation can be even done right at home which could feed a family of four easily. The cultivation could be done either indoor or outdoor with the help of artificial light or sunlight. Certain steps should be taken into consideration before you start up with the cultivation process right at home. Care is to be taken while you buy the cold-stored runners. It should be purchased only from a well known local nursery after being duly certified virus tested. If the steps are being followed appropriately, you can get a higher yield of these succulent fruits right at your home.