Tasty strawberries, the secret to growing them

The secret to growing strawberries

Here are a few simple tips to succeed in growing strawberries. If you don’t want to eat bland strawberries sold in supermarkets, grow your own!

You’ll learn about:

  • determinate and indeterminate varieties
  • soil type and exposure
  • best varieties

…to make sure success is just a season away!

Indeterminate strawberry plants or not?

Determinate and indeterminate strawberriesWhether you purchase your strawberry plants at the market, in horticulture stores or over the internet, you’ll have to choose from either determinate or indeterminate strawberry plants. What does this mean? Just like rose trees, the flowers of a strawberry plant will either come only once a year (determinate varieties) or twice a year (indeterminate).

Certain strawberry plant cultivars are early and others late or tardy. If you pair and match them well, you’ll be harvesting from May to October. Aficionados of organic fruits will favor disease-resistant varieties that don’t require chemical treatments, so that children can snap them up right from the bush!

Soil and exposure for strawberry plants

Strawberry varietiesIn your vegetable patch, best select soil that is rich in humus, and slightly acidic and sandy to set your strawberry plants up.

Full sun exposure is preferable. Black mulch film pulled along the soil will keep weeds from growing and will speed up fruit formation. If you don’t like plastic, you can mulch with straw or cocoa hulls around the plants instead.

Space your strawberry plant by 8 inches (20 cm). Water it regularly after that, without getting the leaves wet. Strawberry doesn’t like excess water. Before harvesting, stretch a net or hang old CDs over the planting bed to keep birds at bay.

Favorite strawberry cultivars

For their fragrance of wild strawberry, try out the ‘Mara des Bois’, the ‘Reine des Vallees’ and the ‘Ciflorette’. To please children that have a sweet tooth, select the ‘Gariguette’ and the ‘Gento’ which bear huge fruits.

If you like to prepare strawberry jam, plant ‘Ostara’, ‘Rabunda’ and… ‘Mamie’ which means granny in French. And trick the birds with the white strawberry ‘Golden Alpine’.

Up to you now to prepare sumptuous strawberry fruit salad flavored with crushed mint leaves, and delicious jams to savor all year long!

Pierrick Le Jardinier

Images: own work; Pixabay: Katharina N., Marc Pascual, Maria Luisa Benedicto Gil