You’ve got your strawberry plants all tucked inside their special strawberry pot. You’ve watered them and kept them in the sun, but some of the leaves are yellow and you don’t have any fruit. What could be wrong? The most common reasons are too much water (strawberries hate soggy soil) or not enough nutrition. With another heat wave off to a 97 degree start in SoCal this week, they may need more water than you think. Here’s our 4 step guide for growing berries.
Plant your berries in loose organic soil so they drain well. For an 8 inch pot, two plants are ideal. They’re pretty fussy about their plant depth. The plant’s crown should be planted just above the soil line. The crown is the segment with the roots below it and the leaves above. If planted too shallow with the roots showing, your plants will dehydrate. If planted too deep (leaves below soil surface) then the plant will rot. Once you have a strawberry plant in your hand, you’ll easily be able to identify the crown.
Strawberry plants want at least 6-8 hours of direct sunlight a day. That will help them produce flowers and fruit.
Watering in the morning is best to prevent disease and pests. Keep soil moist but not soggy. In hot temps this might mean watering twice a day- like now. Stick your finger about an inch down into the soil. If it’s dry, that’s a sure sign of more water in need.
If your berries look like this one a reader sent us, it could be from a variety of reasons. If you’ve tried everything, but haven’t fertilized yet, give it a shot. Make a weak solution of liquid fish emulsion or seaweed fertilizer (we love the kelp fertilizer our friends at The Horticult make or they’re sold at most garden centers). Give your plants a dose every 10 days. Neither of them smell very good, but your berries will love them.
Questions about your strawberry patch? Send us a pic and we’ll help troubleshoot!