As Spring approaches, I am so excited that it’s almost strawberry season! Want to get even BIGGER and BETTER strawberries from your plants this year? Let’s learn about “How to Grow the BEST Strawberries with Chives”!
Strawberries are such wonderful perennials to grow on your homestead!
Each strawberry plant is capable of producing a quart of fruit! With just 10 or so plants, you can grow enough strawberries to make jams, jellies and even freeze for the future.
What Conditions do Strawberry Plants Need?
Strawberries can grow from zones 2-10, with at least 6-10 hours of full sun and good drainage. They need loomy soil with a pH of 5.5-7.0.
Organic strawberries are not difficult to grow! After adding chive plants all through my strawberry patch, I rarely see any insects other than the pollinators!
Strawberries at the store are typically sprayed with pesticides and usually aren’t local. Who wants that?? It only makes sense to grow your own, organically, at home!
Types of Strawberries
- June-bearing – These plants produce a full crop, in June, the season after planting.
- Everbearing – These plants will produce 2 smaller crops, one in the Spring and another in the Fall. Everbearing strawberries will yield a harvest the season they are planted.
- Day-neutral – These plants bear fruit throughout the summer.
Which one should you plant?
It depends on what you’re trying to accomplish.
If you like to make jam and freeze berries for later, you’re going to want June-bearing strawberries. June-bearing strawberries give you a larger crop in a shorter amount of time.
If you just want to munch on your strawberries and enjoy them with a dessert occasionally, then Everbearing or Day-neutral might be better suited for you.
Tip #1 for More Strawberries from your Plants – Companion Plant
Giving your strawberries the nutrients they need will help them to produce more fruit for you. This can be accomplished by companion planting.
What are the companion plants for strawberries?
First, chives repels unwanted pests. I rarely see any bugs in my strawberry patch other than pollinators.
Second, by using the “Chop and Drop” method of fertilizing, chives bring potassium and calcium to my patch, which is exactly what strawberries LOVE! This is how to grow more strawberries with chives!
“Chop and Drop” is easy enough to do, simply grab the chives plant like you would a ponytail, and just clip 3-4 inch cuttings and let them drop on the ground.
Well-nourished plants produce more!
Tip #2 to Make Your Strawberry Plants Produce More Fruit – Fertilize
Given that strawberries like just slightly acidic soil (5.5-7.0), be sure to fertilize well with well-rotted compost or manure prior to blossoms blooming. My strawberries go crazy when I use composted chicken manure, because it’s high in nitrogen!
Also, mulching heavily with straw helps to keep the soil moist and prevent weeds.
Tip #3 to Make Your Strawberry Plants Produce More Fruit
Take advantage of runners!
Runners are simply the strawberry plant’s offspring, or babies. If you don’t trim them from the mother plant once they have rooted, it’s put a lot of addition stress on that mother plant. (There’s a life lesson in there somewhere!) So once the runners have little root systems, it’s time to grow on their own and absorb their own nutrients!
These runners often times take root somewhere all by themselves.
However, I like to create rows in my strawberry patch. This runner hasn’t taken root yet, so I will just give it a snip to separate it from the mother plant, and place it where I would like it to be. But even if it has rooted, just gently pluck it out and relocate.
Cover the roots, but don’t bury the plant too deep, just up to the crown. Water, but don’t soak.
It didn’t take long to create a couple of new rows of strawberry plants in my garden! All for free!!
If you don’t want to expand your garden, be sure to offer your runners to someone else who might just love to get a strawberry patch going!