This post originally was published in April 2008.
After talking about fruit trees and fruiting vines (raspberries, blackberries, and grapes), let’s talk about my family’s favorite summer fruit – strawberries. I don’t worry about the bunnies getting our strawberries. It’s usually my daughter and the neighbor girls finding them first.
We live in zone 7/6, and strawberries do beautifully in our area. They shoot off baby plants, but not aggressively so. I’ve grown strawberries in several places in my yard, and have found that they do best when they get full sun and lots of room to send out runners.
My first two strawberry beds were on the back side of the house and dedicated solely to strawberry plants. One bed has hung on, but not too well. The other bed is no longer supporting strawberry plants.
Instead, I have strawberry plants in two of my flower beds. One is my herb bed which receives full sun and is made up of low-growing plants, except for the butterfly bush in the middle. The strawberry plants grow around the edge of the bed, are easy to care for, and produce lots of strawberries that are easy to pick. My other spot for strawberries, a flower bed next to the house, is in full sun, but the plants are taller, shading the strawberries a bit too much.
This year, I put a flat of strawberries in a flower bed along the front of our property. The plants are along the border and should receive full sun. You can see the spot where the new plants are in the picture above – look where the bed comes out into the lawn.
I’ve tried plants in flats and plants from boxes. The ones in the boxes don’t always take, but I’ve always had success with the plants in the flats. They are more expensive, but for the cost, I’m pretty much guaranteed to have a harvest of strawberries the following year, not to mention subsequent years.
I haven’t had much problem with birds, animals or insects eating the strawberry fruit, especially with the plants in the herb bed. It’s mostly girls who love to pick fresh strawberries who cause the most damage!
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Not sure when to plant seeds or plants? Grab a copy of my seed starting calendar. Before filling in dates, you’ll need to find out the last frost date for spring in your area. In my zone, Zone 7, it’s April 15th. Using the last frost date, you can decide when to plant your vegetables, and how long to keep planting vegetables to take advantage of the power of succession planting.
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