Strawberries (Fragraria species, Zones 3-10 with different types for different zones) are fun to have around for garden tastes, even if the crop is not that large. Various raiders such as birds and squirrels will get most of the crop if you don't keep them out with netting or repellants. The plants like full sun or bright partial shade and moist, rich soil. Buy from local sources for types that thrive in your climate.
Strawberries can flower and produce fruit all summer long.
If you'd like a summer-long harvest, grow day-neutral strawberries. While June-bearing strawberries bear fruit heavily in early summer and ever-bearing strawberries bear in June and again in fall, day-neutrals can keep flowering and fruiting throughout much of the summer.
Plant day-neutral strawberries as early in spring as possible and pinch off all the flower buds for six weeks afterward. This lets the plants grow strong before they begin to fruit. Once the plants are flowering, fertilize them monthly to keep the plants vigorous and productive. Heavy producers such as these may not keep up the pace year after year. When you notice berry production diminishing, consider starting a new strawberry patch with fresh plants.
High-Speed Gardening: Simple Strawberries
Plant strawberries in a strawberry jar for an edible feast on a patio. Strawberry jars stand about two feet high and have openings along the side, perfect for planting with strawberry plants. They look especially charming when little plantlets sprout on runners and dangle down the sides.
Plant in peat-based potting soil mixed with extra compost. To make watering easier, run a perforated plastic tube down the center of the pot before planting. You can pour water down the tube to moisten the entire container from the inside out.
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- Gardening: Learn the basics of successful gardening.