How to Grow Strawberries Successfully

Strawberries are a delightful and versatile fruit that can be grown in almost any climate. Whether you’re a seasoned gardener or a beginner, growing strawberries can be a rewarding experience. Let’s dive into the process of how to grow strawberries successfully.

Understanding Strawberry Plants

Before you start planting, it’s essential to understand the nature of strawberry plants. Strawberries are perennials, meaning they grow back year after year. They are also classified into three types: June-bearing, everbearing, and day-neutral.

June-bearing strawberries produce a large, concentrated crop in June. Everbearing strawberries produce two to three harvests of fruit intermittently throughout the spring, summer, and fall. Day-neutral strawberries, on the other hand, produce fruit throughout the growing season.

Choosing the Right Variety

Choosing the right variety of strawberries to grow depends on your climate, soil, and personal preference. According to the USDA, June-bearing strawberries are best for colder climates, while everbearing and day-neutral strawberries are suitable for warmer climates.

Some popular varieties of strawberries include ‘Earliglow’ and ‘Honeoye’ for June-bearing, ‘Ozark Beauty’ and ‘Quinault’ for everbearing, and ‘Tribute’ and ‘Tristar’ for day-neutral strawberries.

Preparing for Planting

Proper preparation is key to growing strawberries successfully. This includes choosing the right location, preparing the soil, and getting the right planting materials.

Choosing the Right Location

Strawberries need full sun to produce the maximum amount of fruit. Choose a location that gets at least six hours of direct sunlight each day. The location should also have good drainage to prevent waterlogging, which can lead to root rot.

Strawberries can be grown in the ground, in raised beds, or in containers. If you’re short on space, consider growing strawberries vertically in a tower or hanging baskets.

Preparing the Soil

Strawberries prefer slightly acidic soil with a pH between 5.5 and 6.5. You can test your soil’s pH using a soil test kit available at most garden centers. If your soil is too alkaline, you can lower the pH by adding sulfur. If it’s too acidic, you can raise the pH by adding lime.

The soil should also be rich in organic matter. Add compost or well-rotted manure to improve the soil’s fertility and drainage.

Getting the Right Planting Materials

Strawberries can be grown from seeds, bare root plants, or potted plants. Seeds can be challenging to germinate and may take longer to produce fruit. Bare root plants are dormant plants that are sold without soil. They are usually cheaper and easier to handle than potted plants.

Potted plants are fully grown plants that are sold in pots. They are the easiest to plant and will produce fruit sooner than seeds or bare root plants. However, they are also the most expensive option.

Planting Strawberries

Once you’ve prepared your site and obtained your planting materials, you’re ready to plant your strawberries. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to do it:

  1. Soak the roots of bare root plants in water for an hour before planting.
  2. Dig a hole wide and deep enough to accommodate the roots without bending them.
  3. Place the plant in the hole, making sure the crown (the part where the stem and roots meet) is level with the soil surface.
  4. Backfill the hole with soil, firming it gently around the roots.
  5. Water the plant thoroughly.
  6. Space the plants 18 to 24 inches apart in rows that are 4 feet apart.

Caring for Strawberry Plants

Proper care is crucial to ensure your strawberry plants grow healthy and produce a bountiful harvest. This includes watering, fertilizing, mulching, and protecting the plants from pests and diseases.


Strawberries need regular watering to produce juicy, flavorful fruit. Water the plants deeply once a week, or more often during dry spells. Avoid overhead watering to prevent leaf diseases.


Strawberries benefit from regular feeding. Apply a balanced fertilizer (such as 10-10-10) in early spring when the plants start to grow, and again after the first harvest. Avoid over-fertilizing, as this can lead to excessive leaf growth at the expense of fruit production.


Mulching helps conserve moisture, suppress weeds, and protect the plants from soil-borne diseases. Use organic mulches like straw, pine needles, or shredded leaves. Avoid using hay, as it can contain weed seeds.

Protecting from Pests and Diseases

Strawberries can be affected by various pests and diseases, including slugs, birds, and fungal diseases. Use organic methods to control these problems, such as hand-picking pests, using bird netting, and practicing crop rotation.

Harvesting and Storing Strawberries

Strawberries are ready to harvest when they are fully red. Pick the fruit with the cap and stem attached to prolong its shelf life. Store the harvested strawberries in the refrigerator and consume them within a few days for the best flavor.

Strawberries can also be frozen, dried, or made into jams and jellies for longer storage. To freeze strawberries, wash and hull them, then spread them in a single layer on a baking sheet. Freeze until solid, then transfer to a freezer bag or container.


Growing strawberries can be a fun and rewarding experience. With the right knowledge and care, you can enjoy a bountiful harvest of this delicious fruit. So why not give it a try? Happy gardening!

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