Organic Strawberries Farming at Home
We might be thinking or simply love to grow our fruits in our gardens. Home-grown strawberries are one of the easiest fruits you can cultivate and deserve to be on the ‘must grow’ list. If you follow the strategies in this blog, you can even cultivate a continuous supply of strawberry plants off a single specimen by propagating the ‘runners’ or stolons that shoot out from the mother plant. Do remember to choose the sweet and tasty ones to cultivate your strawberries supply.
Strawberries are a fascinating fruit which give colorful, juicy fresh fruit and require less maintenance compared to other fruit plants. They bear sweet, tangy fruits which are high in vitamin C.
There are three types of strawberries: day-neutral, ever-bearing, and June bearing (each having many varieties). All strawberry plants produce runners (vegetative part of the plant that is capable of producing a new identical plant). However, some types grow more than others The day neutral types flower and produce fruits all year round but the short-day species produce fruits in the winter through early spring.
Strawberries will have more flavor when grown in areas where days are sunny and nights are cool. Strawberries that grow during cool temperatures have firmer fruit than those grown during warm, humid weather. Strawberry plants require 6-10 hours a day of direct sunlight, so choose your planting site accordingly.
Strawberries are tolerant of different soil types, although they prefer loam. Ideally, begin working in aged manure or compost a couple months before planting. After the ground is fertilised, and ready to plant, cover the soil with a weed block material, This will protect berries from snails, slugs, earwigs and sow bugs. Another best practice is to try to grow these on raised beds. If you are growing them in pots, plant them in pots that are at least 6 inches deep, 5 inches wide and 4 inches long. It’s better if you use a potting mix by mixing a fertiliser instead of regular soil. Keep the soil moist but not soggy.
Strawberry plants have shallow roots so they need moisture throughout the growing season. Drip irrigation is the best method because moisture is kept away from the fruit and this will minimize the fruit from rotting. Protecting the roots is also of primary concern, which is why it is paramount to cover them up. Either place the plants in potting soil, sand, or wood chips and sawdust; anything to shield the roots and hold in moisture.
Another best practice is to prune off all runners that develop in the first season so that the energy is focused on fruit production and root strengthening. If the plants are not healthy enough in the first year when flower production starts, remove the first flush of flowers so the energy is used to strengthen the roots, you can enjoy a double amount of fruits the next year.
If you have not started growing Strawberries in your garden now, do consider following our blog post and enjoy the luscious strawberries in 3 months.