This week we are going to talk about one of the most popular crops for the home garden: Strawberries. Strawberries are easy to grow at home and can be highly productive even in relatively small spaces.
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In this episode, we discuss:
- Types of strawberry plants
- How to plant and care for your strawberry patch
- Strawberries fall into two general categories based on when they set fruit. The two main types are June-bearing and Everbearing. June-bearing plants generally produce a large fruit set over a period of only a few weeks, usually in early summer (thus the name June-bearing). Everbearing plants set smaller-sized fruit over the course of an entire growing season.
- While a strawberry plant can live for 5-10 years, most growers choose to replace plants every 3 or 4 years because the plants eventually succumb to fungal disease, and removing and replacing plants every few seasons will help keep your crop healthy and productive.
- When cleaning up strawberries in the spring:
- Remove all dead foliage: Not only will this help make your strawberry patch look tidier, but removing the old, decaying leaves will help control disease.
- Weed area thoroughly: Weeding will only become harder as the plants begin to fill back in, so a thorough weeding in the spring will go a long way in reducing the time your spend on strawberry maintenance the rest of the year!
- Thin plants to 4-6 inches apart: Remove some runners and older plants. Strawberries plants are most productive in their first 1-3 years. There will be many runners, and most likely you will need to remove some, but if your mother plants are getting old, allow some of the runner to root and become new plants.
- Add fertilizer: Ours is 4% Nitrogen(N), 4% Phosphorus(P), 3% Potassium(K), but any all-purpose organic vegetable garden fertilizer will work.
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