Many home gardeners take pride in growing their herbs, fruits, and vegetables. Fresh organic produce from your personal garden can’t be compared to even the tastiest fruits and veggies from the supermarket.
First of all, Why should I grow my strawberries in a raised bed?
The little red berries are one of the favorite fruits for both new and seasoned gardeners. Not only are they easy to grow, but they don’t require much space either. And as perennial plants, the berries return for several years after planting. There are several ways to grow these delicious berries. In this article, we’re focusing on doing it in raised beds – this is a preferred method for many as it tends to be the easiest and most practical method. As a bonus, we’ll cover growing those plants vertically and in pallets.
Growing strawberries in raised beds
The most common way for growing strawberries is in raised garden beds. And this method comes with many benefits! Strawberries require good draining, which garden beds offer. Thanks to the controlled space, the fast-growing plants are kept contained, and weeds won’t grow as much as they would on the ground. And as the plants aren’t directly on the ground, it helps to protect them from insects and birds.
Before you start your project, you’ll need a few things – a garden bed, a high-quality potting medium, and baby strawberry plants. Choosing a garden bed is up to your own personal preferences. With many available options on the market, there is something suitable for everyone.
When it comes to the soil, you should always use a good quality, well-draining potting mix for growing strawberries. What is the best soil for growing strawberries in a raised bed? The chosen medium should be fertile and light. Another thing to remember is that strawberries enjoy a slightly acidic environment – the soil pH level should be between 5.8 and 6.2. And last but not least, choose your desired strawberry variety!
How much soil do I need in my raised strawberry bed? Well, It mostly depends on the container. However here is the thumb rule: if you are planting your strawberry in a 12-inch deep bed, then you are going to need as many cubic feet of soil as multiplying its length and width in inches.
Planting strawberries in raised beds
Planting your strawberries is a very straightforward process that should be done in the spring or fall, depending on where you live. While spring works best for cooler climates, fall is the best time for planting in hotter climates.
- Fertilize your soil before planting the strawberries. If using a slow-release fertilizer, do it a couple of weeks beforehand.
- Dig small holes in the soil where you’ll place your plants.
- Spread the roots apart and plant them into the soil. Ensure that the crown of the strawberry stays above the soil surface. Leave at least 8 to 10 inches between the plants to allow them enough space for growing.
- Gently firm the soil surface and give it a good watering.
Care and maintenance of strawberry plants
Once you have your strawberry plants in the soil, all left to do is take good care of them. Strawberries aren’t very moody and don’t require much work – you could say they are low maintenance. But there are some things to keep in mind.
Strawberry plants want at least 8 hours of sunlight per day, so pick a sunny spot for your garden bed. However, you will want to avoid any harsh wind. The plants should be watered regularly and thoroughly, but avoid overdoing it. Wait for the surface of the soil to dry out before watering again. Since strawberries are perennial plants (meaning they grow year after year), fertilizing them every year helps to increase their lifespan. During the first year, it’s recommended to pinch off any runners the plant grows – this helps the mother plant to save energy and resources for itself.
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Growing strawberries vertically
Did you know that it’s possible to grow strawberries vertically instead of horizontally as traditionally done? Instead of planting the strawberries in rows in gardening beds, the plants are stacked on top of each other. This method is perfect for those with limited space but still want to get their hands dirty in the soil. And vertical gardening doesn’t just save space – it also helps to avoid pests and certain fungal infections as the plants are off the ground.
Growing strawberries vertically is not challenging, as such, and requires the same care and maintenance as strawberries in garden beds too. Whether you’re building your vertical strawberry garden in your backyard or on your balcony, ensure it’s in a sunny spot. Use high-quality well-draining soil, as strawberries don’t enjoy a wet environment, and let the soil dry out between waterings.
Plenty of vertical planters are found in most plant nurseries to suit many different aesthetics and budgets. Or, if you’re handy, why not make your own out of PVC pipe?
Growing strawberries in pallets
If you have a pallet or two taking up room in the corner of your room, you can easily turn it into a pallet planter for strawberries. It’s a fun DIY project for when you have some time on your hands. Use a heat-treated pallet and give it a coat of color. The pallet can be simply placed on the ground and used as a garden bed.
Frequently asked Questions
What to grow with strawberries?
You can grow strawberries on their own. But growing them with other companion plants can be beneficial for a beautiful and healthy crop. Some great companion plants to plant near your strawberries are spinach, chives, dill, and garlic.
How to grow sweeter strawberries?
Some strawberry varieties have a sweeter taste than others. But there are some tips and tricks to ensure the sweetest possible harvest. To get the best quality fruits, plant the strawberries in fertile and well-drained soil, and allow them to get plenty of sunlight.
Can strawberries grow on a trellis?
Strawberries are traditionally grown horizontally in gardening beds. However, there are other ways to do it! Growing those berries vertically on a trellis is gaining popularity among people who don’t have much space in their backyard.
How to grow white strawberries?
Growing white strawberries is not different from growing red strawberries. Just follow the same process you would if you were planting regular strawberries.
How do I winterize a raised strawberry bed?
First, you should cut back 2 or 3 inches from the crowns after the growing season. After that, remove everything else – like weeds – around the strawberry. When the temperature is dropping to the freezing point, you should put some isolation on the plant like pallet. If the weather is above the freezing point, you should water it regularly.
How many strawberry plants can I fit in my raised bed?
It is not easy to tell, how many berry plants can be put in a raised bed since there are many different types of strawberries and beds. But the thumb rule is the following: put one strawberry per square foot in the container. If your strawberry has a larger yield, you should leave a little bit more room for them.