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Interesting facts about the strawberry
Botanical name: Fragaria x ananassa or Fragaria vesca
Other names: wild strawberry, monthly strawberry
Use: fruit for immediate consumption and processing, sweet fruit
Origin: wild strawberry: Europe, large-fruited varieties: South America
Flowering period: April to August
Harvest period: May to September
Flower colors: white to pink
Special features: Strawberries are among the lowest-calorie local fruits. They contain a lot of vitamin C, iron and folic acid. After harvest, a large number of runners form. You can use these for propagation. Remove the runners and strengthen the plants.
Strawberries are one of the most popular fruit plants . The aroma of the sweet, red fruits is most intense when freshly picked from the garden. In order to be able to experience this taste experience, you can simply plant them in the garden or enjoy them in large containers on the balcony. With a selection of different varieties, you can harvest the delicious sweet fruit from the end of May until well into the summer. Botanically, the member of the rose family is a pseudofruit. The actual fruits are the small, yellow dots on the surface, these are also known as «nuts». Correctly, the strawberry is not a real berry, but a so-called aggregate fruit, whose seeds are not on the inside of the pulp, but on top. The variety can hardly be overlooked, around 1000 varieties are known, but only about 100 are used in cultivation. Senga Sengana is the most famous representative in the range. The main differences between the varieties are the ripening time, aroma, size and growth character.
In which location does the strawberry feel most comfortable?
Strawberries do well in sunny locations and produce large quantities of aromatic fruit. Even with less sun, the fruit grows and bears fruit, but these are significantly smaller and not as sweet. Strawberry plants are winter hardy but sensitive to drying out in windy locations. A loose and humus-rich soil with a slightly acidic soil (pH value 5.5) is ideal . A heavy soil with stagnant moisture is not tolerated, root diseases can occur here. It is therefore advisable to loosen the soil thoroughly or to cultivate it on dams before planting a new one.
How do I plant my strawberries in the garden?
Find out everything about planting strawberries, the right planting time, obtaining cuttings and the best planting partners for strawberries.
When is the best time to plant strawberries?
It is best if you plant strawberries in late summer . The popular fruit plant needs sufficient time for rich fruit production.
Therefore, planting before autumn is always preferable to planting in spring. After the winter, you can buy strawberry plants from mid-March to mid-May and plant them in the ground , in raised beds or in containers .
If planted in spring , the yield and the proportion of larger fruits will be lower . Summer planting has the advantage, especially with once-bearing types, that the perennial takes root well, many flowers are formed and there is a lush curtain next year. The hibernation (cold phase) is necessary for flowering induction and flowering in certain strawberry varieties .
Fact: The crop yield of strawberries is highest in the second year. It is therefore important to use the optimal time to plant the strawberries and, if possible, to plant new ones every year. From the third year, the harvest volume decreases and the fruits are smaller.
Plant strawberry plants from your own propagation
In addition to the option of buying strawberry plants, you can easily obtain offshoots from existing stocks . Almost all varieties form so-called offshoots that you can cut off and use for propagation . The best time to collect the runners is in the summer . After the harvest, the old strawberry plants form the offshoots on a kind of cord . These young plants are attached to the mother plant . There are usually several young plants on one offshoot. Some of the offshoots already have roots.
For propagation , the offshoots are separated from the mother plant and planted in individual pots . The growing pots , which are biodegradable, are practical for this . Fill the growing pots with Kölle organic growing soil and plant a young strawberry plant in each pot. When propagating strawberries, make sure the soil is evenly moist. It is important that the substrate is never too moist, but also never dries out. A bright, semi-shady place outdoors is suitable as a location for strawberry propagation . A cover with Kölle garden fleece helps to reduce evaporation when propagating strawberries and promotes root formation. The method that is sometimes recommended is that the young plant is left on the plant until the roots are complete and the young strawberry plants are only separated from the mother plant and potted in late summer.
3 tips for propagating strawberries through cuttings
- As early as May, mark the plants that bear richly and form large fruits.
- Only use healthy strawberry plants for propagation.
Select stolons that are as close to the mother plant as possible. These young plants (Kindel) are usually stronger. Fact: To take care of your strawberry plants, you should cut off the offshoots as early as possible . They weaken the plants and without removing the runners, the harvest in the following year will be smaller. Attention, with everbearing varieties you can leave the tendrils on the mother plants, because fruits are also formed on the young plants.
Step-by-step instructions for planting strawberries
Whether you have self-propagated plants or purchased strawberry seedlings, the planting process is the same. Planting in the ground or in a raised bed is ideal for a successful strawberry culture. Cultivation in pots and boxes is a good way to enjoy the sweet fruits on the patio or balcony, but higher yields can be expected when planted in the ground. As a sweet fruit, it is advisable to plant fruit-bearing strawberry varieties more often.
Planting strawberries in tubs/flower boxes/in hanging baskets:
- Above all, choose varieties that bear fruit more often or small varieties such as monthly strawberries and wild strawberries for cultivation in pots or balcony boxes. But basically you can plant all kinds of strawberries.
- Make sure that at least 5 liters of soil is available per strawberry plant. The larger the pot, the better it retains moisture and the easier it is to care for in the summer.
- Strawberries should be planted in pots that are about 15 cm in diameter and at least 15 to 20 cm high.
- Keep a distance of about 20 to 25 cm between the individual plants .
Almost all strawberry varieties are basically suitable for planting in hanging baskets. Hanging strawberries are particularly recommended for hanging baskets.
Planting strawberries in the ground/raised bed:
- Good soil preparation is essential for a bountiful harvest and sweet fruit .
If possible, in the year before planting strawberries, you should sow green manure to improve the soil or early potatoes in pre-culture.
- Before planting, you should water the young strawberry plants well.
- Choose a planting distance of 20 to 30 cm within the row and 50 cm from row to row. Monthly strawberries are placed 25 cm apart.
- Be careful not to plant the strawberry plants too deep in the ground. The root collar should be level with the ground. Planting too deep can cause rot.
- Until they take root, it is important that the young plants are watered as needed . In phases with little rainfall, watering every 2 to 3 days may be necessary.
- Planting in mulch foil minimizes weed growth and thus the maintenance effort. Furthermore, evaporation is reduced and less watering is required.
Which planting partners go well with strawberries?
For strawberries in perennial culture , mixed cultivation is a way of using the available space more efficiently. Garlic or leeks are well suited in combination with strawberries. Especially in the first year there is enough space between the young strawberry plants and you can plant the mixed culture optimally. The so-called ‘good neighbors’ favor the culture and you should plant the strawberries mixed.
Mixed culture of strawberries
- Borage: promotes flowering and fertilization
- Garlic, leeks, onions: keep snails away
Chives: inhibits fungal diseases
- all types of cabbage
Gardener’s tip: To strengthen the plants, it is beneficial to break out or cut off the first flowers. This is especially important when planting in spring. The young plants must first establish themselves and form roots. Therefore, the first fruits on young plants are secondary and negligible at first. Do without the first harvest, because strong plants bring better yields in the long run.
How do I properly care for my strawberries?
Strawberry plants are robust and easy to care for . It is essential for a high yield that the soil is kept evenly moist and fertilizer is applied as required. Weeds should be removed throughout the year and the bed carefully loosened after heavy rainfall. You can also cut off the old leaves after the harvest . As a result, new leaves sprout better and vitality is increased. The plants deliver the greatest yield in the second and third year. After three to four years, the harvest, the fruit size and vigour, decrease and it becomes necessary to place new plants on a fresh bed.
Add wood shavings, straw or special strawberry and vegetable wool to the potting soil immediately after flowering . This keeps the crop clean, dry and healthy. Removing the runners will help the plant conserve energy. It is therefore advisable to cut the tendrils directly on the mother plant. If necessary, the young shoots can be planted in pots as propagation material. If the shoots are left on the mother plant, the row will be denser. This will result in smaller fruits and a smaller harvest in the coming year.
Our best tips :
With different varieties in the garden, you can harvest almost the whole summer. It is important that you always harvest the sweet strawberries directly and do not leave them on the vine for too long. With the right care, you can pick and enjoy every 2 to 3 days. The perennials can also be grown in large containers with sufficient soil.
Delicious recipes with strawberries
Here you can find delicious recipes and find out how you can use strawberries. Our instructions are ideal for copying. Enjoy your meal!
To the recipe
How do I water my strawberry correctly?
Strawberry plants need consistent soil moisture . So neither standing water nor long periods of drought are good for the perennials. It is important to water evenly immediately after planting until the fruit plants have taken root. It is also important to additionally water light soils during dry periods or immediately after flowering. If you water too little in April and May, the result will be small fruits and a low yield.
Important when watering strawberry plants is:
- If possible, do not pour over the leaves and flowers , but directly on the root neck. This saves water and the plants stay as dry as possible.
- Watering in the morning is ideal , so the water is absorbed as best as possible and the plants are dry by night.
- The soil should dry out a bit before the next watering.
Never water in the blazing midday heat.
How do I fertilize my strawberry correctly?
For growth and a good crop it is important that you fertilize the strawberries . In addition to water and sun, sufficient fertilizer is necessary if you grow berries in the garden. Fertilize in spring to provide the plant with sufficient nutrients for growth and fruit set. A vegetable and berry fertilizer is well suited . This organic-mineral special fertilizer with guano contains natural raw materials and thus promotes health and fruit set. It has a long-term effect of up to three months. Further fertilization is carried out after harvest to promote growth and, in some varieties, new flowers. It is important that never fertilize on dry soilshould be done, otherwise root damage may occur. Make sure you use organic berry fertilizer, this will last for months. Mineral fertilizers or fresh manure are not recommended as the high levels of nitrogen, especially in new strawberries, are detrimental to roots and fruit quality. A balanced supply of nutrients will give you a rich harvest and sweet fruits.
Our gardening tip: Fertilize twice a year at most, because plants that are fed too lavishly will produce a lot of leaves and fewer fruits. We recommend a special fertilizer that supplies the strawberry plants with sufficient nutrients but does not contain too much nitrogen. For plants older than two years, a thin layer of well-rotted compost serves as a soil activator in late summer.
When can you harvest strawberries?
The harvest of strawberries depends on the weather, the location, the variety and the planting time . If you planted the strawberries in August, you can expect the first fruits from mid-May . When planting in spring, it can happen that there are only a few fruits on the strawberry plants in May. The main harvest then takes place in the coming year. Depending on the variety, the period in which you can harvest ripe fruit extends from the end of May/beginning of June to September. Depending on the ripening period, strawberries are divided into groups :
- Early varieties (harvest from the end of May/beginning of June)
- Mid-early varieties (mid-June)
- Mid-late varieties (beginning of July)
Late varieties (early July)
Everbearing strawberries — interesting facts about the special group
The term everbearing strawberries speaks for itself. The group, also known as reblooming strawberries, more often bearing strawberries or year-round strawberries, allows for a regular harvest from the end of May until late summer . Everbearing strawberries can be planted in pots, hanging baskets or balcony boxes. In contrast to the once-bearing strawberries, where the harvest is limited to 2 to 4 weeks, with the everbearing varieties you can pick individual fruits over and over again for months . Everbearing strawberries are the perfect sweet fruit , well suited for cultivation in raised beds, natural gardens, family gardens, balcony gardens and much more. The disadvantage of the remontant varieties is that theHarvest quantity per week is much lower than with the one-bearing varieties. Plant the everbearing varieties in Kölle organic berry and sweet fruit soil. This peat-free substrate is ready to use and is ideal for planting strawberries.
What types of strawberries are there?
A large classification is based on the ripening time. There are early, middle and late varieties. There are also species that bear fruit once and several times, trailing strawberries, monthly and wild strawberries.
One-time bearing strawberry varieties:
Strawberries are perennials that bear ripe fruit from late May to late June, depending on the variety. This group produces large crops in a short period of time. It is best if you plant several varieties in your own garden, so the harvest time can be 8 to 10 weeks. If one-bearing varieties are planted in July and August, they will already have a full yield the following year. This group requires a winter/cold break for flowering and therefore only a small yield can be expected when planted in March and April.
Repeat bearing strawberry varieties (twice bearing varieties)
The strawberries, also known as reblooming varieties, are ready for harvest in June/July and, after a period of rest, can be picked in smaller quantities in August and September. The total harvest of this group is no greater than that of single-bearing strawberries, but the harvest is spread over a longer period of time , making them the ideal sweet fruit. Varieties that bear several plants do not need a cold phase to induce flowering. The harvest quantity depends on the age of the plants.
Hanging strawberries/climbing strawberries
Hanging strawberries or climbing strawberries are excellent for window boxes , hanging baskets and raised beds. These varieties are characterized by the formation of many and long runners. The tendrils are up to 1 meter long and can be attached to a trellis — this makes these varieties possible as climbing strawberries or hanging strawberries.
The fruits appear on the shoots, and not just on the bush. As a hanging form or climbing plant, the varieties that bear fruit several times are ideal for planters and large containers. This is how the strawberry culture on the balcony is guaranteed to succeed.
Monthly strawberries (Fragaria vesca var. semperflorens)
This robust specialty is characterized by an incomparable aroma with small fruit. As an always-bearing strawberry with a characteristic taste, it delivers tireless flowering and a continuous load of fruit well into autumn. The aromatic sweet fruit also tolerates partially shaded locations and can be easily cultivated in pots and tubs on the balcony and terrace. In contrast to the large-fruited species, monthly strawberries hardly form any runners and can easily be propagated by sowing.
Wild strawberry (Fragaria vesca)
This once-bearing species convinces with an incomparable aroma. The fruits are smaller than monthly strawberries, but the taste experience is incomparable . Typical of this species is also the strong formation of runners and therefore also the suitability as ground cover with a flat growth. A location in full sun is not recommended here.
Strawberries in buckets
In principle, all strawberry varieties can be planted in pots , but types that bear several times, monthly strawberries, climbing and trailing strawberries are particularly suitable for pots. A warm and sunny location is important for all fruit in the container. Use the largest possible containers to give the plant enough space for good root development. A volume of 20 liters per plant is ideal. With smaller vessels, the maintenance effort increases. When planting in the bucket, it is also important to ensure that the container has a drainage hole, a drainage layer to protect against waterlogging and high-quality soil is used.
Important for strawberry culture in pots:
- provide a sufficiently large volume of soil
- Water drainage must be guaranteed
- Location outdoors all year round (pot protection at low temperatures)
- even water supply, avoid waterlogging
- Needs-based fertilization (organic fertilizer that works for months is ideal)
remove the runners after harvest
What pests and diseases can strawberries get?
Given the right site conditions, strawberries are hardy plants . Undernourished, weakened or over-fertilized plants are more susceptible. The following problems are possible:
It is important that you react quickly to the first signs of feeding. If possible, only water in the early hours of the morning and collect any fruits that are present. Cultivation in a raised bed is ideal, here snail infestation rarely occurs.
First of all, an infestation with lice can be seen on the shoot tips. Lice infestation usually occurs when growing in a polytunnel or greenhouse. Strengthen the plants with organic plant treatment , as this strengthens the plants’ own immune system in a natural way and reduces the spread of pests and fungal infestation .
Mildew infestation occurs on weakened plants, especially after warm, dry temperatures and drought stress. The fungal growth is visible on the underside of the leaves, the foliage turns red-brown and the leaves curl up . A white coating forms on the fruit. Remove affected plant parts and improve site conditions . It is important that the strawberry bushes receive as little moisture as possible from the plant, that the plants are not too dense and that the fertilizer does not contain too much nitrogen. Here, too, a treatment with an organic herbal treatment is recommended.
FAQ — Frequently asked questions about strawberries
Do the leaves of the strawberry bush have to be cut off?
After harvesting , old and dry leaves can be removed in autumn. This care measure promotes the vitality of the berry fruit. A pruning is helpful, especially in the case of infestation by diseases and pests. Plants that have been pruned back grow more luxuriantly and are more floriferous the next spring.
What are the best partners for strawberries?
Optimal partners for the combination are chives, marigolds, marigolds, dill, garlic and borage. Depending on the species, snails are kept away or fungal diseases are prevented.
How are strawberries propagated?
The most common method of propagation is to obtain young plants by cutting off the offshoots. You can also multiply monthly strawberries by sowing.
Can strawberries be grown in a greenhouse?
Protected from wind and weather, the popular fruit can be grown in a polytunnel or greenhouse . Varieties that bear flowers several times are ideal, since no cold stimulus is necessary for the flowers to develop. A constant water supply is particularly important in sheltered cultivation. A disadvantage is the frequent infestation by aphids and spider mites under glass and foil. The preventive use of plant strengthening agents and the application of beneficial insects help here.
Do the runners on strawberries need to be removed?
Strawberry plants often form a large number of runners. Ideally, these should be removed completely. This strengthens the plants. If the stolons are not removed, the mother plants will be weaker.
Is winter protection necessary?
In rough locations, a fleece cover can protect against freezing back. A thin layer of compost or straw also has an insulating effect. Heavily fertilized specimens are more susceptible to low temperatures.