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Perhaps an even more important reason you should consider growing strawberries in your own garden is what you often buy along with the strawberries in stores. You buy pesticides. Commercial strawberries repeatedly rank very poorly on list of most-contaminated produce items (the Environmental Working Group’s data). This rank gains them membership in the infamous “Dirty Dozen” club. Even after washing, store-bought strawberries often have residual pesticides on or in them. Growing strawberries in your own garden allows you to know exactly what you are eating! In fact, here are reasons you should consider growing your own strawberries.Whether you start with seed or plant, successful fruit production comes from successfully growing strawberry plants. All the factors and considerations needed for growing strawberries are: choosing your strawberry variety, selecting your planting site, deciding on a planting system, preparing your chosen planting site, planting the strawberry plants, creating a favorable environment, caring for the growing strawberries, harvesting the berries, renovating the berry beds, and preserving the strawberry plants throughout the dormant months.
There are three main types of strawberries: June-bearing, everbearing, and day-neutral. Some people consider everbearing and day-neutral varieties to be the same thing, but they are actually different. For a full discussion of each, see the Strawberry Varieties reference page. In short, June-bearers have the largest fruit but only produce one big crop over a week or two. Everbearers produce a larger early crop, smaller late crop, and a few berries in between, while day-neutrals produce throughout the growing season. Everbearers and day-neutrals typically produce less and smaller berries overall than do the June-bearing varieties.
Not all strawberry varieties are created equally. Strawberries are temperate by nature and can be finicky as to what makes them happy. So, thanks to decades of dedicated breeding programs, scores of specialized strawberry varieties have been developed and released. The most generally-adapted cultivars have become quite popular, but the popular varieties might not be the best choice for your location. To help you find which variety is suitable for your state/location, I have gathered the recommendations by state Extensions and compiled them in one place. To be sure you get an appropriate variety, check the recommended varieties for your area and choose one suitable to your locale.
All runners are removed from every strawberry plant in the hill system as soon as they are identified. Removing the runners causes all the productive capacity of the mother plants to remain with the mother plants. This energy will result in additional lateral crowns adjacent to the original crown and more flower stalks for fruiting. The hill system is often preferred by the home gardener because it results in a higher quantity of higher quality berries (fancier, larger, better for selling at farmers’ markets), while the matted row system usually produces a higher total number of strawberries
The pH of your site’s soil is also important for growing strawberries. In order to grow strawberries most effectively, the soil needs to be slightly acidic. Strawberry plants will grow in dirt that has a pH between 5.0 and 7.0, but 5.8 to 6.2 is ideal for maximum growth and production. Soil test kits are available online and through garden supply stores. However, the best results are obtained through the professional soil testing services provided by your county’s agricultural extension agent. Before planting strawberries, you should test your soil and amend it as indicated to create the best possible environment for growing strawberries.(Source:strawberryplants.org)