Strawberry plants are one of the most popular small-fruit crop and are easy to grow when planted in the right conditions. Having the right site conditions for strawberry plants will improve plant yield, minimize disease, and allow plants to thrive. This article will focus on how to select a site and prepare it for strawberries.
Strawberries need full sun: The location has to get at least six hours of direct sun during the day. The six hours should be between ten in the morning and six in the evening. Shade should be minimal. Strawberries need direct sun; they won’t do well in a location that gets filtered sunlight.
Strawberries need proper soil conditions: The soil will need to be well-drained. A sandy loam or soil rich in organic matter is ideal. Strawberries do not like poorly drained locations unless grown in a raised bed that drains. Strawberries like moist conditions but do not like sitting in water, so a well-drained soil that retains moisture is desirable.
Other conditions strawberries need: Strawberries are potentially perennial, so eliminate all weeds especially perennial weeds, and use borders to keep the lawn from spreading into the strawberries. Avoid sites with previous diseased plants, especially Verticillium wilt. If the location is in a frost pocket, it is also not ideal, as flowers could be lost to sporadic late frosts.
Preparing the soil for strawberries: Now that the proper site is selected, it is time to prepare the soil for planting strawberries. Add organic matter or sand if the soil is fine-textured, to improve drainage. Organic matter is preferable as it contains nutrients and retains moisture better than sand. Avoid adding excessive organic matter; if the soil needs major modification, add both sand and organic matter. If the site drains poorly because it is low-lying, add raised beds or grade the soil so the strawberries are planted on a mound. Strawberries like an acidic pH; soils can be amended with peat moss to lower the pH. Most soils in the eastern U.S. are already acidic and need no amending.
Your location is now properly prepared and ready for planting strawberries that are more likely to succeed for years to come.