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How to Grow Strawberries
By Monica Resinger

Mmmmmmmmm. There's nothing like a sun-ripened, freshly picked strawberry. 
Warm, sweet and juicy. Growing your own will offer you a sweeter strawberry 
because it is allowed to ripen on the plant. You will also know how it was 
(no pesticides, etc.). Children often like growing strawberries, well, because 
they like strawberries! Here are some pointers on growing and using them. 

Strawberries grow 6-8 inches tall spreading about one foot across with long 
runners. Their white, sometimes pink (depending on the variety) flowers turn 
into luscious strawberries that we can enjoy fresh, put into desserts, make 
or freeze and use later. 

In mild winter areas, planting season is late summer or fall. These plantings 
will produce a spring crop of strawberries. In other areas, plant 
strawberries in early spring. Everbearers will produce a summer and fall crop. 

When planting strawberries, be sure the crown is above soil level and the 
topmost roots are 1/4 inch beneath soil level because buried crowns rot and 
exposed roots dry out. Use mulch to keep berries clean, conserve moisture and 
weed growth down. Set plants 2-3 feet apart and let runners fill in until 
plants are 7-10 inches apart. 

Strawberries like well drained fairly rich soil, so be sure to add compost or 
other organic matter when preparing the strawberry patch. They need full sun, 
and frequent, deep soakings. Be sure to give adequate water during bearing 
season. They will grow in all zones and should be fed twice a year -- when 
growth begins and after the first crop. Use a complete fertilizer high in 
phosphorous for feedings. 


June Bearing

June bearing types produce one crop per year in late spring or early summer. 
Since this type gives you all the fruit at once, it's best planted for reasons 
of preserving or freezing. 


This type of strawberry tends to peak in early summer and continue on through 
the fall. This is the type to plant if you want fresh berries all season 


Most strawberries produce offsets at the end of runners. If you want more 
plants, just let them grow. If you have enough strawberry plants, pinching off 
the runners will give you larger plants with small yields of big berries. 

If your children are interested in growing strawberries, you can let them 
plant and care for the whole patch, or just one or two plants if the patch is 
much for them. Strawberries will also grow in containers, so this is another 
option that is less work for children. Remember that container plantings need 
much more water than in the ground plantings, usually once a day; if it's hot, 
twice. Be sure to let them help you with the fun part -- harvesting and 
making delicious things to eat with them. 

For more gardening inspiration, check out The Gardening Tips E-book.  You'll 
learn about compost, starting new plants, rose care & tips, whimsical planter 
ideas & yard decor, raised bed gardening, garden recipes, plant 
recommendations, pond care, and much, much more! Click here for details:
Get Monica's FREE e-zine for homemakers!  Each issue includes a home & garden 
article, delicious recipes and more! To subscribe, just send a blank e-mail 


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