Strawberries are a favorite summer fruit. Yet store-bought berries can’t come near the intense and fresh flavor of those picked right off the vine from your very own garden.
Packed with Vitamin C and fiber, strawberries make a great nutritious and delicious snack. Eat them alone or add to jams, pastries and smoothies.
Find out how you can get the most out of this year’s strawberry harvest.
Stop the Runners
Runners are long stems that “run” off the main strawberry plant to create new plants. Some are good but too many left unkempt will draw nutrients from the main plant and cause it to stop producing fruit.
Snip excess runners off at the base of the plant. Encourage wanted runners to root by gently pressing the end of the runner into the soil.
Beware of Mold
Strawberries are especially susceptible to a gray mold known as Botrytis that makes berries rot. Remove affected leaves and fruit ASAP to prevent further spread.
Keep fungi at bay by planting strawberries in a sunny spot and only watering at the base of the plant in the morning. A layer of straw mulch will also reduce fruit rot.
Strawberries love warm weather, but berries suffer once temps rise above 85 degrees. Give them some shade by using row covers that can be found at your local garden center.
Encourage strawberries to grow by adding Espoma’s Holly-tone, an organic plant food perfect for these acid-loving plants.
Check the soil to make sure it’s loose and at an ideal pH of 5.5 to 7. If the pH level is too high, add Espoma’s Soil Acidifier for ideal soil conditions.
Now just sit back and wait to enjoy the harvest!
To learn more about organic berries, be sure to check out our ultimate berry growing guide!