If you are a berry lover, you can't possibly have a garden without dedicating a space to grow delicious homegrown strawberries. Some people even go as far as saying they are the best of all the berries. What is unique about the strawberry (actually a member of the rose family) is that it is the only fruit with seeds on the outside rather than the inside.
The delicate but great-tasting heart-shaped berry has always been associated with love, passion, purity, and healing. Legend has it that if you break a double strawberry in half and share it with a member of the opposite sex, you will fall in love with each other.
And speaking of legends and folklore, locals in some parts of Bavaria still practice the annual rite - each spring - of tying small baskets of wild strawberries to the horns of their cattle as an offering to the elves.
They believe that the elves, (who are known to be passionately fond of strawberries - what good taste they have), will help to produce healthy calves and an abundance of milk in return.
Strawberries are also prized for their medicinal purposes and health attributes. Ounce for ounce, strawberries have more Vitamin C than citrus fruit and have been associated with lowering cholesterol, easing symptoms of gout and digestion problems and lowering the risk of certain types of cancer.
Strawberries are generally divided into three groups: spring bearing, everbearing, and day-neutral.
The fruits of day-neutral plants and everbearers are usually smaller than the fruits of the spring-bearers. Spring-bearing strawberries generally produce a crop during a 2-4 week period in the spring.
Ever-bearing strawberries produce three periods of flowers and fruit during the spring, summer, and fall - while day neutral strawberries will produce fruit throughout the growing season.
Strawberries prefer the sun but do tolerate some shade. They can be used as an edging plant or a groundcover. Their major requirement is good drainage, so they'll benefit from being planted in mounded soil, terraced beds, barrels or other types of containers. They can be grown indoors, even, in a sunny window or with supplemental lighting, which makes them a great candidate for starting indoors in cold areas.
We invite you to discover the sensational flavor of homegrown strawberries!
Strawberry Planting and Care Instructions
Be sure to plant strawberry starts with their crown just above the soil level. Use a good soil amendment (or a good potting soil if you are keeping them in pots) to help them get going well.
We recommend spacing outdoor in-ground plants 12" apart. Remove all flowers the first two months to help with rooting and then remove runners so that the plant can put its energy into producing fruit.
Placing plastic sheeting underneath the foliage will help keep the soil warm and weed-free. It also deters slugs, snails and other crawling insects from feeding on foliage and berries. Water bedding plants using drip irrigation or by flooding trenches between the mounds or terraces.
Water plants in containers under the leaves. Keep them healthy during the fruiting season by feeding with a fertilizer which is low in nitrogen and will promote more bud growth and fruit.
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