How to Grow Strawberries | Enhanced Garden&Life
Strawberries are a delicious fruit that many people love to eat and there is no question that they have health benefits. Did you know, for example, that strawberries contain potassium? This can help regulate your blood pressure levels! If you want the best-tasting strawberries possible as well as more nutrients, then it's time to grow some yourself. Follow these tips on how to plant and care for strawberry plants so you can enjoy homegrown berries all year long.
Grow Strawberry Plants
Once you've decided which type of strawberries to grow
- then it's time to prepare the soil so that your berries can thrive well! First, remove any weeds from an area large enough for all of your plants. If you're going to plant in a container, make sure it has enough room for the roots.
How to Plant Strawberries
You can plant strawberries in early spring or mid to late fall. You want a warm, well-drained site that is naturally acidic (pH of about pH: between less than six and seven).
The first step in planting strawberries is deciding how many plants you want. This will depend on the space available and your family's needs, but usually, people start with four or five strawberry plants. When choosing where to plant them, make sure they get at least six hours of sunlight per day as this gives a better chance for fruit production.
Dig a hole big enough to spread the roots and not too deep because the crown should be planted above soil level. Loosen the root ball and spread it out in the hole. Fill with soil, patting down to firm into place. Thoroughly water the plant in to eliminate air pockets in the soil caused by planting. Mulch around each plant - straw or woodchips is a good choice for this.
How to Care for Strawberries
Water thoroughly and then keep moist throughout the season, but do not allow the soil to stay wet later than midmorning as that can cause mold problems. Fertilize with organic fertilizer before new growth begins in spring and again when blossoms appear during the first year of cultivation.
Apply mulch regularly - it helps control weeds, limits water evaporation, and keeps roots cool by moderating heat from sunlight exposure.
If your plants are growing in containers, be sure they drain freely and frequently water until established. It usually takes two weeks from when berries start forming for them to ripen on the vine - smaller varieties may take up to three weeks longer. Start harvesting berry clusters by cutting with scissors; don't yank at individual berries as this will damage the cluster and allow Botrytis cinerea mold to enter the berry.
Strawberry Nutrition and Health Benefits
Strawberries are nutritious fruit that can be enjoyed fresh in season, or frozen for use throughout the year. Strawberries contain vitamins A and C as well as fiber to help keep you healthy. They also contain many phytonutrients with antioxidant properties which provide anti-inflammatory benefits and may reduce risk of disease such as heart disease, cancer, diabetes, arthritis, and Alzheimer’s Disease.
Strawberries also contain many bioactive compounds that help promote good health including ursolic acid which is a natural muscle relaxant; pectin which has detoxifying properties; resveratrol that supports healthy aging by preventing oxidative damage to cells; acetylcholine which helps support cognitive function (including memory); folate for DNA synthesis needed for cell replication and repair; potassium for normal electrical activity in the body's tissues, sodium chloride for water balance, and many more.
Strawberries are a great way to ingest vitamin C which is important for growth and repair in the body; they also provide a good source of manganese that's needed to break down proteins and carbohydrates into sugar molecules (glucose) so they can be used by the cells as energy. They're rich in Vitamin K which helps with blood clotting when injured; folate necessary for red blood cell formation; calcium which maintains bone strength; potassium for nerve transmission signals across synapses between neurons; magnesium vital for healthy muscles, nerves, and bones plus processes involving ATP production - adenosine triphosphate or "energy"; sodium chloride essential to maintain fluid balance in the body; iron required.
Strawberries are good for the skin if you use them as an exfoliant on a dry face - this will make your skin look brighter and smoother.
Strawberry seeds contain healthy fats too! You can add these to yogurt, cereal, oatmeal, or baked goods like muffins.
If you're looking for a healthy snack, make strawberry popsicles with your favorite juice or milk instead of sugar.
Strawberry Growing Tips
-Weeds, as with any other garden plant, can quickly overtake a strawberry bed if not attended to. Make sure weeds don't become too big before you pull them out; either use your hands or an old-fashioned hoe for this task.
-Strawberries need at least six hours of sunlight per day in order to produce fruit - even more, will help increase production and quality! Consider planting strawberries near the south side of your home where they'll get plenty of sunshine throughout most of the day.
-Strawberry plants are one of the most popular fruits grown in home gardens
-The strawberry plant is a perennial that can be started from seed or purchased as transplants at your local garden center.
-Strawberry plants prefer full sun, although some varieties can tolerate partial shade.
-Strawberries are easy to grow in almost any soil type as long as it is well-drained and has good fertility.
-Check for pests such as aphids, scale insects, and spider mites.
- Start harvesting berries by cutting off clusters with scissors instead of pulling them out one at a time which can damage the cluster.
- Plant strawberries in early spring or mid to late fall, with a soil pH of about six to seven and plenty of well-drained containers.
When you think about growing strawberries, the first thing that comes to mind is probably a beautiful strawberry field. While this might be true for some people, there are other ways of getting your hands on these delicious fruits. I've discussed most of what you need to know about how to grow and care for your own crop in order to live out all those strawberry fantasies! If you have any questions or would like more information from me, don’t hesitate to comment below. Happy planting!
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