Planting strawberries: when & where

Planting strawberries: when & where

The sweet strawberries simply taste best from your own garden. We’ll tell you how best to plant strawberries.

Growing strawberries (Fragaria) in your own garden or on the balcony is actually not difficult. With the right soil in the right location, correct maintenance, fertilisation and watering, nothing stands in the way of a delicious harvest between June and August.

Planting strawberries

In the following, we will introduce you to everything you need to know about strawberry planting, from the choice of location to planting time and the correct procedure.

Planting strawberries: location

Location is decisive for a successful strawberry harvest. Rhizomes of strawberry plants are sensitive to frost. For this reason, wind-exposed and extremely cold areas are not suitable for strawberry cultivation. However, also very protected locations, which lead to premature budding and then expose the plant to late frosts without protection, are far from ideal. Strawberry plants prefer structured, well aerated and slightly acid (pH 6) soils with an abundance of humus. Spots with decent amounts of sun are perfect and watering should not be omitted especially when the sun is full and direct. Soil compaction and waterlogging can reduce the success of cultivation because, as a result, the risk of root rot increases. Those who fear problems caused by waterlogging or very loamy soil should consider cultivation on hills (by this we mean ‘the hill and row method’, when hills of mounded soil are formed and plants are grown on them). If the soil locations in your area do not meet the required criteria whatsoever, a possible solution is to plant strawberries in pots or containers. In this way, the plants can be effortlessly moved to sunny and wind-protected areas and relocated to avoid the risk of frost during winter.

By the way, strawberries should not be planted in beds where cucumbers, tomatoes, potatoes, celery, cabbage or legumes (beans, peas) were grown the year before. Why? Because all these plants can be attacked by the Verticillium wilt and thus subsequently transmit the disease to the strawberries. Garden beds in which strawberries have grown in the last three years should also be given a three-year break for the time being. Plants used as green manure (e.g. barley, oats, buckwheat, phacelia), which supress the annoying weeds, are the best previous crops for a new strawberry bed.

What should be considered when choosing a location for strawberries?

  • Strawberries like it sunny and sheltered from the wind; they absolutely despise frost
  • Well ventilated, humus rich and slightly acidic soil
  • If the soil is loamy or there is a risk of waterlogging: consider ‘the hill and row method’, taller beds (e.g. 40 cm tall) or varieties that cope better with these conditions

Planting strawberries: when and how

The best time to plant strawberries is from the end of July to mid-August. In this way, the plants have enough time to form roots and develop flower buds in September for the first harvest next year. Strawberries can also be planted into September and in spring, but will not bear fruit in the first year. The so-called frigo plants (of good quality!) can be planted between the beginning of April and the end of June. They are slightly more expensive, but bear ripe fruit about eight weeks after planting. This is possible because the runners, that became frigo plants, were separated much later than normal and have already formed flowers.

To ensure that the strawberry plants have enough energy to grow, either some compost or horn shavings should be worked into the soil or added into the planting hole beforehand. Three garden bed rows with a distance of 40 to 45 cm between them are a possible option of how to plant strawberries in the home garden. After every three rows, a path about 60 cm wide should be laid out to make it easier to take care of and access the plants. In the row, the distance between the plants should be about 25 to 30 cm (15 cm for wild strawberries).

Because the transition between the roots and the shoots of strawberries is minimal, it is essential to plant them in just the right depth. If the plants are too deep, the inner leaves (the small vegetation tips in the middle of the plant) and the roots can rot easily. If the plants are too close to the soil surface, the roots and the inner leaves are at risk of drying out. Strawberries should be watered vigorously immediately after they have been planted. Especially in midsummer temperatures, a sufficient water supply must be ensured. Therefore, it is vital to water once a day particularly during the first two or three weeks.

When and how are strawberries planted?

  • At best between the end of July and the middle of August, then a harvest can be expected in the following year
  • Frigo plants (harvested after 8 weeks) can be planted from the beginning of April to the end of June
  • When planting, pay attention to the correct planting depth


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