Garden Maintenance

Spring Gardening Ideas: Growing Your Own Strawberry Patch

Have you thought about some gardening ideas to consider this Spring? Growing strawberries in your veggie plot is a great addition to your beautiful garden.

Strawberries need sufficient amounts of heat and proper care to ensure they grow healthier when it’s time to harvest and help them thrive in the spring and summer months.

Why Strawberries?

If you’re looking to add some gardening ideas to your arsenal, strawberries are one of those crops that homeowners can grow all year round. From its sweet and delicious taste, you can make fruit jams, oatmeal bars, shortcakes, pies and many more. These seed-bearing fruits also create a varying flavour depending on the methods and techniques used in growing them.

However, with the ongoing strawberry-needle scare which spread across five States and Territories, it can be easy to think that buying punnets of strawberries in the market is unsafe.

Strawberries are delicious fruits and shouldn’t be considered as an overall threat. In fact, health and government officials advised Australians to cut the strawberries into small pieces before consuming them.

If the idea of purchasing still makes you worried, growing your own healthy crops may be ideal to include in your gardening ideas.

1. Choose a suitable dormant crown.

Before you start your planting scheme, it’s good to choose the best dormant strawberry crowns suitable for your garden. Strawberry plants have variations so you have to consider some important factors such as the strawberry crown’s tissue colour and its firmness including the shade of the root. Make sure it appears light-coloured and doesn’t look dull. Your climate is another consideration.

Garden specialists know the basics of plant selection and they can assist you in the process. You can buy some from a trusted store or nursery when looking for strawberry plants to grow.

2. Have your soil tested.

It’s important to know your soil condition before you attempt to plant bare strawberry roots. In subtropical areas like NSW, soil preparation is done 4-5 months before planting. However, the method and period of preparation will still depend on your climate and the variety of strawberries your garden prefers to grow.

It also helps to determine the amount of acid and alkaline within the soil so as not to affect the plant’s growth. A balanced level of soil pH can make the strawberries yield well. In this case, a 6.0 to 6.5 soil pH is the ideal amount for these plants to successfully produce.

3. Apply fertilisers.

It’s essential to remove the weeds before adding fertilisers to your garden bed. Taking out some rubbish and debris also makes it look uninviting to pests.

With careful analysis on the plants and the soil, you can easily figure out what base fertiliser is applicable to use. Can green manure crops or animal manure be suitable for the plants?

Placing a sufficient amount of organic matter in the soil helps strawberries to grow well. Also, adding mulch in between the plants can help to hinder weed growth and fungal diseases.

4. Plant, but don’t compress the roots.

In your pre-conditioned soil, it’s good to have it raised and well-drained. Measuring the depth when digging the soil helps to prevent bent roots as they impede the plant’s growth.

You also need to consider your plant positioning. As a rule of thumb, keep a 20 to 30-cm space between your plants as strawberries spread as they grow. Avoid exposing the roots so as not to dry out the plant.

If you plan to grow them in a room, it’s recommended to prepare a special strawberry bed. Likewise, if it’s in a small area, you can plant two others or hang a basket to give space for breathing and allow good air circulation.

Maintain, Maintain, Maintain

Watering is also one of the basic methods when growing strawberries. It’s important to pour water on the sub-surface and not on the foliage so as to avoid the presence of fungus. Make sure not to overwater them to prevent excess moisture which can be attractive to some pests.

Cutworms, aphids and fruit flies are some pests which can ruin your strawberries. It’s also best to keep an eye on snails and slugs as they may also make their way on your strawberry patch.

Looking for the best garden expert who can help you grow a strawberry patch? HIREtrades can help you find the right one who can best respond to your gardening ideas and concerns.

Featured Photo Courtesy of Farsai C. via Unsplash

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