Growing your own strawberries is a rewarding endeavor for any gardener. Strawberries are one of the easiest fruits to get started growing. There are dozens of strawberry varieties.
While some are better suited for warmer climates, others are perfect for growing in chillier zones, even up in the mountains. Strawberries can be also found growing wild around the world. They have long been a popular fruit seen referenced in many cultures, from jams to pies, to flavored milks.
If you’ve growing strawberries, you know just how sweet they can be. There are different levels of sweetness between varieties. Some may simply be sweeter and more flavorful than others.
But just what happens when your homegrown strawberries have no flavor to them?
It can feel so disappointing to bite into a juicy strawberry you’ve picked fresh only to find that it has little to no flavor. Before you rip the plants up and give up on them, there are some steps that you can do.
If you are not getting sweetness when you bite into a strawberry, you will need to evaluate the condition of the soil your strawberries are growing in.
Strawberry plants will perform best in soil that drains well. If your plants are growing in soil that is too compact, they simply will not be able to do their best. Compact soil won’t drain well. The good news is that this is typically an easy fix. You can break up the compact soil and then add in sandy soil to allow the plants to grow better.
Select a planting location that drains well; stay away from any low areas of the garden that might collect water. Actually, strawberries grow well on slightly sloping terrain, and the roots of the plants also have the additional benefit of reducing erosion.
This is a quick and easy fix. It can be done at any time or when the plants are dormant for the winter months. This is a fix that is also low-cost.
If it is at all possible, consider changing where your strawberries are growing. Raised beds are a great option, as they allow you to better control drainage. Even loose sandy soil won’t necessarily drain well.
Raised beds allow you to control drainage and also allows you to amend the soil when you need to. You might think about adding coarse sand to any area where you grow strawberries to improve drainage.
Strawberries grow well in pots and raised beds because, in general, soil warms up more quickly in containers than it does in in-ground beds. Raised beds offer you additional growing space when and where you need it. They also allow you to control the health of the soil better.
Raised beds also provide you with growing space in areas where you may not otherwise have growing areas.
See Also: Best 7 Raised Garden Beds – How To Choose A Perfect One?
Some plants don’t enjoy direct sunlight at all. On the otherhand, strawberries, like the majority of fruiting plants, need full sun in order to flower and produce fruit. Although six hours or more of direct sunlight per day is typically considered to be full sun, strawberry plants can certainly benefit from more.
Ideally, your strawberry patch should be located in an area of your garden that receives eight hours of direct sunlight per day. If your berries are in containers or raised beds, you could relocate them to sunnier areas.
Otherwise, it might be wise to consider planting strawberries in a new area, where they will get that full day of sunshine. You are sure to get sweeter strawberries if they get their full 8 hours of sunshine.
Less sun-exposure will make it harder for plants to develop mature berries before the season is over. It tastes sour and bitter when you eat the young, pale berries.
Sunshine is so important for the health of your strawberries. Moving plants to a new area might be frustrating, but it can resolve your strawberry issues so quickly for the next growing season.
It can be tempting to plant small bedding plants close together. However, mature strawberry plants will need at least 12” of space between them. Ensure that you plant your plants with the right amount of space between them.
They will then not need to be competing with each other for nutrients and growing space. If your plants are bunched together, consider thinning them out. You could try to transplant them, also.
Without needing to compete for resources, your plants will simply be healthier. This will naturally result in better yields and sweeter strawberries. The more space that strawberry plants have to spread out, the happier and healthier they will be.
Strawberries thrive in organically rich, slightly acidic soil, just like many of our favorite fruits and vegetables. Before planting strawberries, improve the soil texture and aeration by adding compost to the planting area and thoroughly incorporating the organic matter into the soil.
Be sure that you are using quality compost and fertilizers meant for fruit plants. Follow the directions that accompany your fertilizers so that you don’t inadvertently over-fertilize them.
This is an easy fix for your strawberries. There are many commercially available compost and fertilizer products. They should all be able to give your plants the nutrient boost that they need.
It is entirely possible that your strawberry plants need several adjustments in order to thrive. Take the time to evaluate the health of the soil and the amount of sunlight that the plants are getting. It can take a bit of time, but this time investment is well worth it.
You’ll definitely appreciate it next summer when you bite into juicy sweet strawberries.