Planting organic strawberries takes some forethought.  Berries are highly profitable if planted correctly and fed in a timely fashion.  Use this tips to help you be successful!

Planting

  • Plant strawberries in well drained fertile soil in early spring when ground can be worked. This is the most important step!
  • Buy bare root plants for best results.
  • Make sure to crown is just below dirt with leaves and stems above soil. (plantlets usually have but a few leaves).
  • Purchase varieties growers will be happy to help you select a variety that suits your needs and climate.appropriate for your area. Usually
  • Plant in small hills for easier care and amending. ground should be mounded all the way down the bed.
  • Spacing-   14- 16″
  • Add some readily available nitrogen like feather meal, some well rounded long term amendment like bone mean, and calcium in the for of oyster shell to each plant upon planting.
  • Chose a sunny location.
  • It’s a great idea to put landscape fabric down to avoid weeds and runners
  • Make hole in landscape fabric a 10′ circle for adequate growth space. Drip tape must be laid down before the landscape fabric, then fabric with pre cut holes and then put your plants in.  This is for long term installation.
  • DRIP TAPE IS A MUST! Strawberries melt with overhead water.  After we get the plants in and watered the first few times we lay down the drip tape.
  • Most farmers replant every 2 years as strawberries get smaller after the second year.
strawberries planted organically
Planting srawberries for organic farming

Fertilizing

  • Side dress with high nitrogen manure like chicken poop after the first spring weeding.

  • You can water with fish poop before the flowering.  Once flowering begins stop so strawberries are not coated with fish poop.

    Don’t overdo fertilizing.  Give your plants a nice start with in ground fertilizer and then a few nice doses of fish poop through your fertigator–or watering can for the home gardener.  Over feeding makes for a bland strawberry that gets too big too fast. I find that strawberries like to struggle.  Avoid over watering and your berries will be sweeter!

     

 

Care

  • Keep on top of weeds! Strawberries get shaded quick by weeds.  Weeds steal nutrients.

  • Water when soil gets dry.  A nice chance to dry a little and feel the heat makes strawberries push. This puts on growth.

  • Wet conditions too often can create an environment for disease. Watch for signs of distress.  Purchase varieties appropriate for your area.

  • Remember that plump strawberries require water.  But overhead water too close to harvest is not good.  Strawberries should be harvested dry–especially if you are marketing them!  Wet strawberries rot! Drip tape is preferable.

Stawberries are amazing at your farm stand.  Everyone loves a red ripe berriy.  I find fruit is the first thing people are drawn to.  That being said, don’t get into strawberries unless you are ready for the work of them.  They must be weeded regularly.  To really be big you will have to replant every 2 years, but small berries can sell too.  It is wise to buy good landscape fabric to cur down on labor.  Strawberries should be planted in an area away from a road to avoid being coated with dust.  You can’t wast them before sale as they melt!  They have to be picked early in the morning for marketability. Do the math!  You want to plant enough to fill your farm stand and be worth the labor.  Good berries garner quite a high price and can really draw customers in.