If you are a fresh strawberries lover, you might consider starting your own strawberry farm at home. They are straightforward to grow but need some maintenance to produce healthy and large fruits.
The size of a berry is usually determined by genetics. However, the growing technique can also be a determining factor. Note that the biggest of berries might not be the best tasting berries.
Having figured out how to grow large strawberries, we will share top tips on how to grow the largest and sweetest strawberries.
How To Grow Large Strawberries – Guide
1. Choose Specific Varieties
There are so many varieties of strawberries. Note that irrespective of the sizes of the individual berries, the total crop weight remains the same on average. Specific varieties naturally bear larger berries than others. Some of them include:
2. Choose A June-bearing Variety
A June bearing variety has a significant determining factor on your strawberry size. June bearers usually produce giant fruits during their first harvest around June.
3. Locate A Good Soil
Strawberries grow well in areas that have full sun all day. Areas prone to freeze do not go well with strawberries.
Do not plant strawberries in soils where raspberries, blackberries, tomatoes, eggplants, or peppers have been grown within the three years – This might make them prone to diseases.
4. Keep The Soil Moist At All Times
Always water the strawberries whenever the topsoil is dry or when it doesn’t rain for a week. Using a garden hose, make sure you apply 1 inch of water on your garden bed. You can either water the strawberries late in the morning or early afternoon.
This will allow the leaves to dry before night comes. You must keep the soil moist at all times. When we say moist, we don’t mean soggy. This will prevent the plants from experiencing dryness.
5. Fertilize The Soil
Another critical step is fertilization. A fertile soil means there are enough nutrients to make those berries big. Strawberries love fertile soil. Whether it is fall or spring, if the soil is prepared well, the berries will grow big.
Follow these steps to fertilize the soil:
- Add a lot of aged manure, rotten leaf mold, and organic compost.
- Apply one tablespoon of 10 – 10 – 10 NPK slow-release granular fertilizer to every square foot of your backyard soil.
- Spread the fertilizer granules 3 inches away from the center on both sides of the plants
- Make sure the fertilizer is in 3 inches of the topsoil, then thoroughly water the soil.
- Apply the fertilizer after the harvest is over.
6. Cut Off Runners
During the early spring, the plants will begin to produce new growth. Cut off runners or side shoots.
This is an essential step if you want to grow large strawberries.
If you desire huge berries, you have to cut off every single runner. In no time, the plant will yield lots of flowers. Each flower will develop into fruits. If you want your plant to yield big berries, cut off more than half of the flowers. The reward of doing this is a few but huge berries.
The fewer the flowers, the bigger the berries produced.
Make use of pruning shears to cut the base of the runners not too far from where they shoot out from the main plant. You should remove runners every week until harvesting is done.
7. Eliminate And Prevent The Growth Of Weeds
The presence of weeds will reduce the availability of water and nutrients in the soil for the strawberry plants. This is why you need to remove the weeds growing around the plants.
Find a rake and use it to spread a layer of mulch just around the strawberry plants. This helps to reduce the growth of weed and slow down the evaporation of moisture from the soil.
Keep in mind that the mulch should be 2 – 4 inches away from the strawberries. This is to prevent the plants from being choked as they need the constant circulation of air. Do a weekly check and remove new weeds.
8. Harvest All Ripe Berries
Whenever you notice a ripe strawberry, make sure you harvest them quickly. This helps to facilitate the growth of the unripe or newly produced berries.
Do a daily routine check and pick fully mature and ripe berries. Also, remove damaged and rotting berries and divert more energy and nutrients to the growing and healthy berries.
9. Replace The Old Strawberry Plants
Remove all strawberry plants and replace them with new ones every 3 – 5 years. This is because as they age, the growth and fruiting become stunted.
Over time, you might have so many strawberry plants. If you ever find yourself in this situation, take plants between the ages of 3 and 4, and remove them. Older plants usually have newer babies. Replant those babies, and you will get a healthy plant with large strawberries.
You will have an excellent harvest if you cut and plant the runners from these plants.
In trying to grow large strawberries, you have to consider a lot of factors. That being said, the most significant factor in deciding the size of strawberries is planting the right variety.
Secondly, you must create perfect conditions that support the growth of large strawberries. If you follow the above steps and choose the right variety, you will grow the largest berries you have ever had!