How to Grow Strawberries

from grocery store bought strawberries

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How I grew my own strawberries
from Grocery Store Strawberries
Save your own Seeds and grow Strawberries.

Picture of my first Strawberry grown from my own seeds. :)

How to grow Strawberries from Strawberry Seeds and co-exist with Backyard Wildlife :
Our family love strawberries and I have been looking for a large, sweet strawberry for years. Meanwhile we kept on buying our strawberries from the grocery store and then I thought "maybe I can grow these from seed". So, I peeled the bought strawberries and left the strawberry peelings to dry on paper towel. Next spring I buried the damp paper towel with the strawberry seeds on it and waited. To my surprise the strawberry seeds grew and later on, it started to produce large, red shiny fruits. I had a strawberry that wasn't quite ripe and it was already really sweet. Then the Chipmunks, Squirrels or Mice found them. Every morning, I found half eaten strawberries everywhere. I did protect my strawberries with wire mesh and they tunneled under the mesh and ate my strawberries anyway.

Another option would be to build a wire cage to protect the strawberries.
The holes in the wire had to be small enough that mice couldn't get in, but big enough that bees could pollinate the strawberries. I decided on 1/4" holes hardware cloth. In the spring I will open the protective cage to let the pollinators in and when the fruit is set I'll close the cage and see what happens. Chicken wire; chipmunks, voles and mice can fit through the holes.

The strawberry cage:
- @ my other website

We used wood leftovers from other projects. Old fence boards for the sides of the cage and 2x4" for gussets on the corners for support and hardware cloth for the top.

For a handle:

We just screwed a piece of 2x2" to the fence board frame. I also have my strawberries growing in a raised bed, so it was easy to build a cage to fit on top of the bed.

If you are growing in the ground, I suppose you have to make a frame around the perimeter of your berries so the Critters can't tunnel under your frame. What I found is that Chipmunks, Squirrels and Mice don't like digging in gravel. I added a layer of gravel to my flower pots and the Critters stopped digging in the soil. Maybe a layer of gravel around the in-ground frame will stop the critters from tunneling under it. If that doesn't work, burying some 1/2" hardware cloth around the perimeter of your frame will work. Now I have to find a way to keep the bunnies from eating my cabbages and peas. Chipmunks and Squirrels like peas too and they buried their winter stash in another spot in the garden. Now I have fresh peas that I didn't sow.

I think I have to invest on Electric Fencing.
How do you handle your Backyard Wildlife?

How to grow your own Strawberries?

Selecting Strawberry plants Cultivars
Garden Strawberries are divided in three types of Cultivars:

  1. Everbearers
  2. June bearers
  3. Day-neutrals
  4. Alpine

Plants

4 Strawberry Cultivars

Everbearers:

They start cropping in June and again in August. They produce less berries than June Bearers with less runners. The Berries are not as big as some other cultivars. I have "Everbearers" and they are a treat for me and the birds during the growing season.
June Bearers: They crop around June or July. They produce one single large crop of strawberries over 3-4 weeks. June Bearers produce many runners and spread rapidly. If you want to preserve a lot of strawberries at one time June Bearers is the one.
Day-Neutrals: They are not affect by length of the day. They start produce fruit in June and continue cropping until the first frost in Northern climates. They are fragile and sensitive to heat, drought and weed competition. They produce less runners that rarely get out of control.
Alpine: They produce small, aromatic sweet berries from early summer to frost. Alpines grow from division or seeds without runners. They are good for ornamental edging.

How to Grow Strawberries

Strawberries do best in full sun, sandy loam and a PH of 6.0 - 6.5.
Provide good drainage and till in a lot of compost - 3-4 inches.
Plant strawberries in the spring as soon as the ground warms up. Dig a hole deep enough so the straberry roots won't be bent. Mare sure the strawberry crown is level with the soil and not planted too deep or protruding the soil.
Plant strawberries 1-1/2 feet - 2 feet apart in rows that are 4 feet apart.
Mulch and water well.
After a few years ( 3 years ) strawberry production will decline and that will be time to start a new bed with fresh strawberry stolons.

How to take care of strawberry plants?

Strawberries are shallow-rooted plants and they don't compete well with weeds.
Use straw and mulch strawberries during the summer.
Strawberries need at least 1" of water a week.
Before the ground freezes in autumn, spread 2 - 3 inches of straw to protect them during the winter. Branches work well too. In the spring when the leaves start turning yellow, pull away the straw and let the strawberry plants pook through.
The straw mulch will help retain moisture, control weeds and keep the fruit clean during the growing season.

What can you interplant with Strawberries?

I like to interplant my strawberries with Asparagus and I also use strawberry plants as a ground cover.

How long does it take for strawberries to produce?

A year -if grown from seed. If bought strawberry plants - they flower and crop the same year.

How to grow strawberries in Pots?

I just buy potting soil and plant the strawberry plants. Keep the plants well watered. If you have squirrels - cover your soil with gravel and some type of chickenwire cover. Backyard Critters like strawberries as much as we do. :)

Do strawberries come back every year?

In Canada Zone 6 - yes. Strawberries are perennial.

How many years do strawbery plants last?

I find after 3 years my strawberries production start to slow down. That's when I start another strawberry bed with new runners (Stolons) - daughter plants.

Will strawberries Multiply?

Yes. Strawberries can multiply by division or runners. ( runners also known as stolons and daughter plants )

Where straberries grow best?

Strawberries grow best in full sun.

When to transplant strawberries in Canada - zone6?

I like to transplant anything in early spring. Runners I plant them whenever I have them and plant them to their permanent home in the spring.

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