Documents: Special Interest: Seeds, Bulbs & Such:

Growing Strawberries in your Victory Garden
by NGB
June 14, 2020

Strawberries are a fun addition that can easily be grown in gardens, containers, and window boxes! Think strawberry shortcake, strawberry pie, or eaten straight from the garden! Any way you eat them, it’s a major “YUM!”

We asked our NGB strawberry breeder members to answer 15 FAQ on growing strawberries in your Victory Garden 2.0. These answers will help you grow delicious strawberries.

15 Growing Strawberries Questions Answered…

1. Do strawberries attract bees?

Strawberries NEED bees and bumblebees! And the strawberry blossoms are a real treat for them. Planting a strawberry plant contributes greatly to biodiversity.

2. Can you explain the different types of strawberries like June bearing, ever-bearing, and which is better for the garden?

June bearing strawberry varieties -as the name says- bear fruit only in June. If you like to harvest fruit all summer long, we advise ever-bearing varieties. AAS National Winner Delizz® is an ever-bearing variety.

3. How do I plant my strawberry plants?

If you want to plant your strawberries in a container, you will need a large container with at least 5 quarts of soil per plant. Leave the root ball protruding about 1-inch above the surface. If you are planting in the ground, it is better to cover the root ball with a thin layer of soil (approx. 0.5 in.) and a layer of straw. This way you prevent the root ball from drying out. Note: planting too deep is bad for the development of the plant.

Make sure you choose a sunny spot in the garden as strawberries love the sun.

4. I just brought home my new strawberry plants. When should I expect my first strawberries?

You can expect your first strawberries 4 weeks after you see the first bloom.

5. How many strawberry plants should I plant per person?

10 ever-bearing plants should provide strawberries for one person every day of the season.

6. Should I cut off the runners from my strawberries?

Cut off all runners, otherwise, your strawberry patch will become too crowded and your plants won’t grow as well and will produce fewer berries.

7. I want to grow strawberries in Florida, is that possible? What do I do about the hot summers and not cold winters?

In Florida, you might plant in autumn and harvest fruit in early Spring. AAS National Winner Delizz® is a good choice.

8. How long do strawberry plants produce?

June bearing varieties produce fruit for 5-6 weeks. Ever-bearing varieties produce fruit for 3-6 months.

9. Can strawberries overwinter?

Yes, they can. Many varieties of strawberries are cold hardy and will survive mildly freezing temperatures. If you live in an area with mild winters, little to no care may be necessary. In more northern areas, that have heavy freezing, extra care and mulching will be required.

10. When should you buy new plants?

It is best to buy new strawberry plants of everbearing varieties in the Spring. For June bearing varieties, it is best to purchase new plants in August.

11. I am having problems with pill bugs that are eating my strawberries as fast as they are growing. Is there anything safe to use around my strawberries that will get rid of them? I have mulch around my plants should I remove the mulch so they won’t have any place to hide under?

Pillbugs like a dark moist environment, try placing straw around your plants.

12. Is it okay for strawberries to touch the soil?

No, you do not want your strawberries to the soil because it will hasten deterioration. Instead, use straw around the base of the plant to keep the berries off the soil.

13. Is the strawberry plant better in wetter areas?

No, strawberries do not like wetter areas, make sure that the excess water can drain. In rainy weather or when the plant/the soil is too wet, fruit might rot quickly. A straw bed under the plant ensures that fruit dries quickly after every shower of rain, and no sand splashes against the fruit.

14. What is the best fertilizer for strawberries?

Add water-soluble fertilizer once a week. Choose a complete fertilizer with macro and microelements, relatively less Nitrogen (N), and more Potassium (K), 1:2.

15. I bought bare root ever-bearing strawberries this year and they are doing wonderfully in my garden. I’m seeing blossoms on all of them now. (We’re in 8A.) I’ve read in some places where they say to remove the blossoms the first year so they can develop stronger roots. Other sources say it’s fine to let the blossoms go and enjoy strawberries the first year. Which is better?

With bare-rooted ever-bearing strawberry plants: remove only first blossom and let it go. and photo courtesy NGB

  • New Eden
  • Kids Garden
  • Plant a Row Grow a Row