You Too Can Cultivate Strawberries

You Too Can Cultivate Strawberries like a pro with this handy guide for transplanting strawberries

you too can cultivate strawberries 2 shows a long row of transplants

My sister recently gave me some strawberry plants that she had dug up in her garden. She has been growing strawberries for about five years now, so she is a seasoned strawberry grower. In southern Illinois, we have the perfect climate for growing strawberries. Unfortunately, many of the large commercial growers are discontinuing to cultivate strawberries because it is harder to get pickers. The answer is to grow your own which is not that difficult if you live in the right region of the country. So you see, You Too Can Cultivate Strawberries.

You Too Can Cultivate Strawberries:

Strawberry plants ready for transplanting

you too can cultivate strawberries 3 shows plants ready for transplanting

As you can see from the above, the strawberries have already developed on these plants. It would have been better to transplant these in April, but with a little extra care and watering, they should be just fine. I did plant them in the evening after the sun went down. My guess is that this is an Earliglow variety which produces a medium berry and is common in this area. This variety only produces once per year for about four weeks.

You Too Can Cultivate Strawberries:

Shows Row Dug Right Before Dropping in Plants

you too can cultivate strawberries 4 shows plants right before planting in the row

 

As you can see from the image above, I dug a long trench in the garden for dropping the plants. You want to be sure to plant the rootball deep enough to just cover the top of the root system–not too deep and not too shallow. I will monitor the plants during the growing season and determine if any transplanting needs to be done.

I like to use straw over my entire garden for mulch. This hold in moisture from the hot sun and helps prevent weeds. It is also excellent for keeping soil and mud off your shoes when tending to the garden. I buy a bale in the fall to use for my holiday decorating and save it for the garden. Within 10 days of harvest of the strawberries, I will snip off the leaves of the plants about one inch above the ground. After the growing season, the entire garden will be pulled except for the strawberry plants.  When the temperature dips to around 20 degrees in the late fall, I will apply 3-4 inches of the straw over the strawberry plants for protection.

Watering the strawberries is a must. It would be nice if we could depend on rain to come at the right time, but that is not realistic. During the spring when the garden is trying to get established, I water almost every day. Once established, I water 3-4 times per week.

So you see, You Too Can Cultivate Strawberries. It is not that difficult. For more on gardening, see my post on Herbs 101.

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