How To Grow Strawberries in Your Home Garden

Strawberries will be a great addition to your home garden… if you are not already growing them. They are delicious and have many healing properties.

The amount of skill, or rather of attention, required to care for them is not more than that required by the ordinary vegetables. In fact, once they are well established they will demand less time than the annual vegetables.

The small fruits that are the most popular and useful are strawberries, blackberries, dewberries, raspberries, currants, gooseberries, and grapes. This article will focus on strawberries.

The strawberry is very important, and although many new gardeners attempt to grow them…many, however, have indifferent success. This is due, partly, at least, to the fact that many methods are advocated by successful growers, and that the beginner is not likely to pick out just one method and stick to it. Further, new gardeners are led to pay more attention to how many layers they will have, and at what distance to set the plants, rather than the proper selection and preparation of soil and other vital matters.

The soil should be well drained and rich, and a good garden soil being the best choice. The strawberries should not follow sod or corn. If yard manure is used it should be old and well rotted, and be as free as possible from weed seeds. Potash, in some form should be added. The bed should be thoroughly prepared, so that the plants, which need careful transplanting, may take hold at once. A good sunny exposure is preferable, and a spot where no water will collect is essential.

The plants are grown from “layers.” They are taken in two ways: (1) by rooting the runners in the soil; and (2) by layering in pots. In the first method they are  allowed to root themselves,  which gives much better results, by selecting vines from strong plants and pushing them lightly down into the soil where the new crown is to be formed.

In the second method, two-inch or three-inch pots are used, filling these with soil from the bed and plunging, or burying, them level with the surface, just below where the crown is to be formed, and holding the vine in place with a small stone, which serves the additional purpose of marking where the pot is. In either case these layers are made after the fruiting season.

SETTING THE PLANTS

 In using the soil-rooted layers, it is generally more satisfactory to set them out in spring, as soon as the ground can be worked, although they are sometimes set in early fall, August or September, when the ground is in very good condition, so that a good growth can at once be made.

Care should be used in transplanting. Have the bed fresh.  Keep the plants out of the soil as short a time as possible, and set the plants in straight and firm the soil. Set just down to the crown and do not cover it. If the soil is dry, or the season late, cut off all old leaves before planting.  Also, shorten back the roots about one-third and be sure not to crowd them when setting. If it is very hot and dry, water it lightly and shade for a day or two.

To be continued…

 

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