How to Grow Your Own Fresh Strawberry Patch

Updated: Apr. 23, 2024

Follow this guide and learn how to grow a bumper crop of strawberries at home—including how to grow strawberries in containers.

Strawberry Berries Ruby Ann ContainerBall Horticultural Company
Ruby Ann strawberries

Sweet, juicy strawberries are a delightful summer treat—and are easy to grow in a home garden. These productive plants are perennial, returning year after year, and depending on the type, can provide months of mouthwatering berries. Planting a strawberry patch can save you lots of money too! Here’s how to grow strawberries in your backyard.

June-bearing vs Everbearing Strawberries

There are three main types of strawberries: everbearing, June-bearing and day-neutral. Everbearing strawberry plants fruit in early summer and again in autumn. June-bearing plants produce a heavy crop of large, juicy berries from late spring through early summer. Day-neutral strawberries produce a modest but continual harvest from the late spring through early autumn.

To encourage vigorous plants, pinch all flowers that develop on June-bearing plants that first year. With ever-bearing and day-neutral varieties, pinch flowers until late June and then let subsequent blooms develop into berries.

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When to Plant Strawberries

Couclc17 Dave Logan 003Courtesy Dave Logan
A strawberry patch near Sequim, Washington

Strawberries are best planted in the spring or autumn and are available as bareroot or potted plants. Bareroot strawberries are sold without soil and can be purchased in bundles, usually of 10 to 25 plants. Choosing barerooted plants is a cost-effective way to plant a lot of strawberries at once.

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Where and How to Plant Strawberries

how to grow strawberriesALINA KAZLIKINA/GETTY IMAGES
Research to figure out the best strawberry type for your growing needs before planting.

Space strawberry plants 1 foot apart, staggering the rows to maximize the growing area.

Strawberry plants need lots of light for vigorous growth and plenty of delicious berries. Find a site that offers at least eight hours of direct sun and that has fertile, well-draining soil.

Raised beds, which provide good drainage and allow you to control the soil mix, are ideal for strawberries. If making a new raised bed for strawberries, fill it with a blend of garden soil and compost at a ratio of 3 parts soil to 1 part compost. To amend an existing garden bed for strawberries, dig in 2 to 3 inches of compost or aged manure.

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Watering Tips for Strawberries

strawberry plant leaves with water on themCourtesy Kelly Richards
Water on strawberry plant leaves

How often you water strawberry plants depends on the weather and soil type. The goal is to maintain a lightly moist soil, with strawberries planted in average garden soil needing around an inch of water each week.

Water in the morning so any moisture that splashes on the leaves has time to evaporate before nightfall. This helps reduce the occurrence of plant diseases. Hand-water with a watering can or long-handled watering wand, or make irrigation a snap by running a soaker hose between the strawberry plants.

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Strawberry Plant Pruning and Mulching Tips

Strawberry Plant With Leaves, Ripe And Unripe Berries Isolated On WhiteAlter_photo/Getty Images
Ripe and unripe strawberries

To encourage vigorous plants, pinch all flowers that develop on June-bearing plants that first year. With ever-bearing and day-neutral varieties, pinch flowers until late June and then let subsequent blooms develop into berries.

In regions where the temperature dips below 15 degrees in winter, mulch the plants to prevent damage. After the first few autumn frosts, spread a 3-to-4-inch-deep layer of straw or shredded leaves on top of the plants. Come spring, rake away most of the mulch, leaving a thin layer to deter weeds, hold soil moisture and keep the berries clean.

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How to Grow Strawberries in Pots

The best strawberries for pots, planters and window boxes are day-neutral, which produce over a long season.

Pick a container at least 12 inches in diameter with drainage holes, and fill it with a 50-50 blend of potting mix and compost. Set the plants 8 to 10 inches apart, or plant three strawberry plants in a 12-inch-diameter container.

Keep the growing mix lightly moist throughout the season and use a liquid organic fertilizer once a month.

To provide potted plants’ roots with added insulation from the cold, store them in an unheated garage for winter, move them into the garden in fall or grow strawberries as annuals.

Next, learn how to grow an indoor lemon tree.


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