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One of the best things about the start of summer is fresh, sweet strawberries in June.  Many other fruits take a bit longer to ripen here in western NY so strawberries are always so welcome as the first real fruit of the season.

The other great thing about strawberries is how easy they are to grow.  Like any plant, they need sun, water and good soil, but can be happy in a variety of different situations including in the ground, in containers, or even in a hanging basket!

How to Grow Strawberries:

  1. Plant in spring – Strawberries need plenty of time to root in before winter if you are planting them in the ground, so try to get them planted by April or May.  If you are planting in a container, spring is still a good time to plant, but remember you’ll need to move the container into a garage or shed over the winter to protect the plants.
  2. Pick a sunny spot – Strawberries like about 8 hours of sun per day so either plant in a sunny spot, or hang your hanging basket of strawberries in full sun to get super sweet berries.
  3. Use the right soil – Strawberries like well-drained, moist soil so if your garden is heavy with clay, be sure to loosen it with lots of mulched leaves and compost.  Same goes for sandy soil – add compost to help sandy soil retain more water.
  4. Remember to mulch – Mulch will help the soil retain moisture when the sun gets hotter.  Plus, your strawberries will be much cleaner resting on straw or mulch than directly on soil!
  5. Hang bird netting – Nothing is more disappointing than coming out to see your almost-ripe berries pecked to pieces by birds so be proactive and hang bird netting once the plants are done flowering.  If you have your strawberries planted in containers or a hanging basket and can’t really use netting, consider putting an owl or other bird-deterrent nearby.

And remember that this Saturday, April 22, 2017, is Earth Day!  If you love strawberries, you won’t want to miss Van Putte Gardens’ Earth Day celebration this year!  We will be giving a “sweet” gift to the first 100 customers… a FREE strawberry plant!  Find out more here; hope to see you & your family this weekend!

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