Growing Strawberries

Start out with disease-free plants.

Site Selection

Good soil drainage is imperative. This controls Leather Rot and Red Stele. Raised beds work well. The site needs good air circulation and plenty of sunshine. Strawberries need quick drying foliage and fruit after a rain to control many diseases.

Fertilize

Fertilize in early spring, before flowering, and after harvest, in July, with 10-10-10 fertilizer.

Replant strawberry beds every 3 years because in most cases some type of disease will set in. Also, low fruit production occurs.

Pests

Rabbits, field mice, squirrels, and birds. There is no honor among thieves.

Transplanting Strawberries

Early spring is the best.

Mulching

Research and grower experience has shown that a good layer of straw mulch is very beneficial for controlling fruit rots, especially leather rot. Bare soil between the rows should be avoided and a good layer of straw mulch is highly recommended. The mulch keeps berries from contacting the soil where the leather rot fungus overwinters. In addition, it also aids in preventing infested soil from splashing onto the berries. Recent research has shown that plastic mulch (a layer of plastic) under the plants and/or between the rows increases splash dispersal of the pathogens that cause anthracnose and leather rot. Especially where fruit rots have been a problem, the use of plastic mulch is not recommended.

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