Strawberries, with their vibrant red hue and irresistible sweetness, are a delightful addition to any garden. Whether you’re a seasoned gardener or a newcomer to the world of home cultivation, growing strawberries is a rewarding and relatively straightforward endeavor. Here’s a comprehensive guide to help you nurture these luscious berries from tiny seeds to succulent delights.

Home Strawberry Growing Guide

Choosing the Right Strawberry Variety:

  1. June-Bearing Strawberries:

    • Pros: Large, flavorful berries in early summer.
    • Cons: Limited fruiting period.
    • Recommended Varieties: Jewel, Chandler, Allstar.
  2. Ever-Bearing Strawberries:

    • Pros: Continuous harvest throughout the growing season.
    • Cons: Smaller berries compared to June-bearers.
    • Recommended Varieties: Seascape, Tribute, Ozark Beauty.
  3. Day-Neutral Strawberries:

    • Pros: Steady production of medium-sized berries.
    • Cons: Less intense flavor compared to other varieties.
    • Recommended Varieties: Tristar, Quinault, Albion.

Planting Strawberries:

  1. Selecting a Planting Site:

    • Choose a location with well-drained soil and full sunlight exposure.
    • Ensure good air circulation to prevent diseases.
  2. Preparing the Soil:

    • Incorporate organic matter like compost to enhance soil fertility.
    • Maintain a slightly acidic soil pH between 5.5 and 6.8.
  3. Planting Technique:

    • Space plants about 12 to 18 inches apart in rows separated by 2 to 3 feet.
    • Plant strawberries at the same depth they were growing in the nursery.

Caring for Your Strawberry Plants:

  1. Watering:

    • Keep the soil consistently moist but not waterlogged.
    • Water in the morning to allow the foliage to dry during the day.
  2. Fertilization:

    • Apply a balanced fertilizer in spring when growth resumes.
    • Top-dress with compost to provide additional nutrients.
  3. Mulching:

    • Mulch around plants to suppress weeds and retain soil moisture.
    • Pine straw or straw makes excellent mulch for strawberries.
  4. Pruning:

    • Remove runners (elongated stems) to encourage larger fruit production.
    • Trim older leaves to improve air circulation.

Dealing with Common Strawberry Challenges:

  1. Pests:

    • Protect berries from birds using netting or floating row covers.
    • Watch for pests like slugs and aphids; treat accordingly.
  2. Diseases:

    • Prevent fungal diseases by providing good air circulation.
    • Remove and destroy infected leaves promptly.
  3. Runners:

    • While runners can be used for propagation, excessive growth may reduce fruit size.
    • Trim or redirect runners to maintain plant vigor.

Harvesting and Enjoying Your Bounty:

  1. Harvesting Time:

    • Pick strawberries when fully ripe and deep red.
    • Gently lift the berries, ensuring the stem is attached.
  2. Enjoying Fresh or Preserving:

    • Devour fresh strawberries right from the garden.
    • Explore various preservation methods, including freezing or making delicious jams.

Strawberry FAQs

Storing Strawberries

Strawberries are nature’s sweet treasures, best enjoyed fresh. But what do you do when your garden yields more than you can immediately savor? Fear not, for mastering the art of strawberry storage opens a realm of possibilities.

  1. Refrigeration:

    • Place unwashed strawberries in a container and store them in the fridge for 2-3 days.
    • Strawberries with stems attached have extended freshness.
    • Consider the stem’s presence for longer storage.
  2. Freezing Magic:

    • Remove stems and caps before giving strawberries a gentle rinse.
    • Avoid prolonged water exposure to preserve flavor.
    • Pat them dry on a paper towel, then freeze in containers or bags.
    • Enjoy frozen strawberries for up to a year.

From Garden to Kitchen: Preparing and Cooking Strawberries

Strawberries, with their natural sweetness, require minimal preparation. Simply remove the stem and cap, give them a quick rinse, and they’re ready for culinary adventures.

  1. Cooking Options:
    • Strawberry Jam: Capture the essence of strawberries in a delightful spread.
    • Strawberry Fruit Leather: Create a chewy and delicious snack.
    • Strawberry Ice Cream: Savor the sweet taste of summer in frozen form.
    • Strawberry Jelly: A versatile addition to your pantry.
    • Dehydrated Strawberries: A nutritious and convenient snack.

Navigating Challenges: Common Strawberry Problems

  1. Bird Menace:

    • Net your plants to shield them from birds once fruiting begins.
    • Remove netting after harvesting, allowing birds to control pests.
  2. Pests and Diseases:

    • Aphids: Neem oil spray effectively manages these tiny leaf-dwelling pests.
    • Grey Mould: Caused by excess moisture; improve watering practices and prevent fruit-soil contact.
    • Verticillium Wilt: Affects older leaves; consider relocating plants, ensuring light and fertile soil.

Strawberry Varieties for Every Season

  1. Early Varieties:

    • Rosie, Honeoye, Christine, Korona.
  2. Mid-Season Delights:

    • Hapil, Camarosa, Chandler, Cambridge Favourite, Sonata.
  3. Late Season Beauties:

    • Fenella, Florence, Symphony.
  4. Everbearing Wonders:

    • Malling Opal, Mara des Bois, Flamenco.
  5. Alpine Treasures:

    • Alexandria, Yellow Wonder, White Soul, Fraise des Bois.


Growing strawberries is not just about cultivating a fruit but embracing the joy of nurturing a delectable treat from seed to table. With the right care and attention, you’ll be indulging in the sweet rewards of your homegrown strawberries throughout the growing season. Happy harvesting!

About The Author