How to Grow Strawberries

Strawberries are a delicious fruit that can be super fun to grow! These little red fruits are packed full of antioxidants. They also contain vitamin C and potassium (along with a bunch of other vitamins and minerals). 

When it comes to eating, strawberries can be added to a fruit salad, smoothies, or simply snacked on on their own!

All those strawberry lovers out there will be happy to hear that strawberries are pretty easy to grow. While many fruits grow on trees that can take years to produce fruit, strawberries grow on small plants that don’t take very long to get established. 

Read on to learn how to grow strawberries!

Strawberries growing

Are strawberries hard to grow?

Strawberries aren’t hard to grow, which makes them great for beginner gardeners and those who don’t want to spend too much of their time taking care of a high maintenance plant. These little fruit plants can also be wonderful for getting kids excited about gardening. You don’t need anything fancy to start growing strawberries (a simple pot and strawberry seedling or seed will do the trick!)

Seed or seedling?

Should you plant strawberries from seed or from seedlings? Well, the answer is either can work. Seeds will obviously mean a little longer between when you decide to plant strawberries and when you can enjoy the fruits, but you also get the satisfaction of knowing you grew a plant completely from scratch. For those who are new to gardening or those who are impatient to eat their strawberries, the option of growing from seedlings may suit. 

When to plant strawberries?

The answer to this question depends on where in Australia you live. For those who live in more subtropical areas, planting your strawberries in the autumn can be best. People living in areas that experience the cold a little more should think about planting strawberries towards the end of winter or the beginning of spring. In saying this, however, strawberries can be grown throughout the year if given the right conditions. 

Where should you plant your strawberries?

When it comes to learning how to grow strawberries, a big part of it comes down to picking the right location to ensure your plants are given the right amount of sunlight and protection. You may be wondering: do strawberries need full sun? The answer is: it depends. Those living in cooler climates of Australia can pop their strawberries in a spot that gets full sun or part shade, to ensure the plants get plenty of sunshine. Others who live in warmer places (we’re looking at you, Queensland!) should ensure their plants don’t receive too much sun during the summer months. If they’re planted in pots, you can move them to a shadier position during the hottest part of the day, while those that are planted in a garden bed can be given a shade cloth to help keep them protected. 

How to plant your strawberry seeds or plant

Strawberries are pretty hardy, and as such, are good at handling different growing conditions. These plants like to spread out when growing, so if you’re planting multiple plants, be sure to give them plenty of space. 30 centimetres between each plant tends to be a pretty good rule. Once planted, put mulch or straw around the plants. This has multiple benefits, including reducing the number of weeds that can take hold, and helping to keep fruit from resting on the soil and going bad. 

Planting strawberries in pots

Strawberries grow great in pots. Whether placed on your balcony or hanging from the ceiling, pots can be a wonderfully decorative and portable way of growing strawberries! Growing strawberries in pots mean they can be moved easily if it starts getting too hot and sunny in their spot. The hanging red fruits also look lovely on a balcony, contrasted against the dark green leaves of the plant. 

Planting strawberries in raised garden beds

Raised garden beds are a great place to grow strawberries, as the plants can get good drainage plus a little added protection against snails and slugs (a strawberry’s sworn enemy!). When it comes to growing strawberries in raised beds, remember to give each strawberry plant plenty of space, and do not plant another plant too close. 

What can you plant with strawberries?

Some gardeners like to use a method of companion planting in their gardens. If this is you, then good news: several plants can grow well alongside strawberries. These plants include lettuce, onions, chive, spinach, and asparagus. On the flip side, some plants should not be planted near strawberries. These include mint, melons, kale, cauliflower, and celery (just to name a few). If you’re looking to add strawberries to a diverse veggie patch, be sure to check first to make sure they are compatible with the plants currently planted. 

Growing Strawberries

Watering your strawberries

Strawberry plants enjoy regular watering, and it’s important to ensure they don’t dry out too much between watering. Plants that are in pots and baskets need a little more watering than their bed-planted counterparts. These plants don’t much enjoy having wet leaves, so be careful when watering them and try to avoid getting water on the plant itself, if possible. 

When will you be able to eat strawberries?

The question many will be asking. Growing strawberries comes with a very yummy payoff: eating the fruit! It generally takes around 16 weeks from when a strawberry seed is sown to when you can pick and eat your plant’s first fruit. If you can’t wait this long, consider planting a strawberry seedling instead of seeds. 

Strawberries are a great plant for beginner gardeners as they are relatively easy to grow, and produce wonderful fruits that can be eaten and enjoyed! Make sure to take good care of your plants, keep them watered, and you should be enjoying delicious strawberries in no time! 

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