To get your strawberry plants to produce lots of fruit, you must plant a variety of strawberry types that produce fruit at different times. Then, create a well-draining soil mix and choose a full sun planting location. Don’t forget to give your strawberries plant food and attract pollinators to your garden. After that, harvest the berries regularly and snip the runners. On top of that, treat your soil with coffee grounds and eggshells to help keep the soil acidic and add key nutrients for fruit production.
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8 Ways to Increase Your Strawberry Yield
Below are our top tips for boosting the size of your strawberry harvest. However, if you want even more strawberries, add more plants. Double your strawberry bed size and you’ll get twice as much fruit each season. It’s that easy. Don’t have room in your garden? Consider growing more strawberries in containers instead.
Plant a Variety of Strawberries
Plant a variety of strawberries to get harvests from spring to fall. Ever-bearing strawberries produce berries in the spring and again in the fall. June-bearing strawberries start producing in June and end in July. Day-neutral strawberries produce small harvests from spring through fall. Keep in mind that June-bearing strawberries have the highest yields per plant. But their growing season is the shortest of the three types. By planting each of these types, you’ll get strawberry harvests from spring through fall.
Choose a Full Sun Location
Strawberries need at least 6 hours of direct sunlight per day to produce lots of berries. More sun means more berries, so 10 hours of full sun is even better. Strawberries will grow in partial shade. But they will not produce high yields without direct sunlight. So, plant strawberries in a sunny location and watch your strawberry patch produce a giant harvest.
Create a Well-Draining Soil Mix
Create a rich, well-draining soil mix to help your strawberries produce high yields. Mix two parts peat moss, one part sand, and one part compost. Because strawberries like acidic soil, use a soil testing kit to make sure the soil pH is between 5.5–6.5. To make the soil more acidic so your strawberries can thrive, mix more peat or sulfur into the soil.
Cover the Soil with Plastic Sheeting
Before planting your strawberries in your soil mix, cover your strawberry beds with a sheet of black plastic. Cut slits in the plastic where you want to plant your strawberries. The plastic will keep the dirt off the berries and prevent runners from rooting. If strawberry runners can’t root, the plants will produce more fruit instead of using their energy to send out roots and runners.
Provide Plant Food
Strawberries need plant food after the first harvest. Early nitrogen-rich fertilizer applications can result in soft berries, which are not desirable. Wait to fertilize until after picking the first berries of the year. Then, apply organic 12-12-12 fertilizer. Use ½ pound (0.2 kilos) of fertilizer for every 15-foot row of strawberry plants. Repeat this fertilizer application every 2–3 weeks through the growing season. This additional nutrient content will drive your strawberries to produce more fruit.
Attract Pollinators to Your Garden
Strawberries need bees and other pollinators to produce more fruit. Attract pollinators to your garden by planting lots of native flowers, shrubs, and trees. Keep a birdbath filled with freshwater near your garden. Leave bare patches of ground and add this hanging bee nest nearby. Also, avoid using insecticides, fungicides, and other chemicals. Many common chemicals can kill or drive off bees, including vinegar.
Harvest Ripe Strawberries Regularly
Keep your strawberry plants producing high yields by picking berries as they ripen. Removing the ripe berries triggers the plant to grow more strawberry flowers. You can then get ripe strawberries more often from each plant. So, don’t let your strawberries rot or shrivel on the plant. During the growing season, it’s best to check your berry patch daily for fresh berries.
Snip Off All the Runners
Cut off the runners coming from your strawberry plants as soon as they appear. Otherwise, the plants will waste energy on growing the runners instead of berries. You can throw the runners in the compost pile or yard waste bin. If you want more berry plants, consider planting these strawberry runners nearby. Given time, they’ll grow into strawberry plants of their own.
Want even more strawberries every season? Add more strawberry plants to your garden. Each plant can only produce so much fruit, after all. So, to double your yields, just add twice as many plants.
Are Coffee Grounds Good for Strawberry Plants?
Coffee grounds help strawberry plants grow by maintaining high levels of soil acidity. They also add nitrogen and repel slugs. Only use coffee grounds after the first berry harvest. Otherwise, the nitrogen boost could result in soft berries.
- Coffee grounds help keep the soil acidic for your strawberry plants.
- The grounds also help boost nitrogen and repel pests, like slugs.
- Mix the grounds into the soil after the first berry harvest.
- Never leave the grounds on top of the soil because they repel water.
- You can also add your coffee grounds to your compost pile.
Mix the coffee grounds right into the soil after the first harvest. Do not leave the grounds on top of the soil. Otherwise, the coffee grounds could repel water away from your plants. Repeat this process 1–2 times each growing season. You can even add your extra coffee grounds to your compost pile to create a rich mix of organic matter for next year.
Are Eggshells Good for Strawberry Plants?
Eggshells can add the calcium your strawberry plants need. However, you must finely grind the eggshells to help the plants get their nutrients. Finely ground shells outperform agricultural lime. And they perform just as well as pure calcium.
- Eggshells can help strawberry plants grow well by adding calcium to the soil.
- Grind the eggshells into a fine powder to help your plants enjoy their nutrients.
- Finely ground eggshells perform at least as well as pure calcium and agricultural lime.
- Use an old coffee grinder to create ultra-fine eggshell particles for your plants.
- Boil eggshells in water and let it steep overnight to produce a liquid calcium solution.
Rinse your eggshells as you use your eggs. Then, let them dry on a paper towel. Grind up the shells in an old coffee grinder to create tiny particles. Once that’s done, you can add them to your garden. Don’t want to grind your shells? Boil about 20 eggshells, and then let them sit in the water overnight. After that, use the strained water as a liquid calcium solution.
How to Grow More Strawberries
Grow more strawberries each season by using the following tips:
- Plant 3 varieties of strawberry plants to your garden. The varieties are ever-bearing strawberries, june-bearing strawberries, and day-neutral strawberries.
- Plant your strawberries in a full sun location.
- Create a rich, acidic, well-draining soil mix for your strawberries.
- Cover your soil with black plastic and cut slits in the plastic to plant each strawberry plant.
- Give your strawberries plant food.
- Make your garden pollinator-friendly by hanging bee boxes and ceasing the use of chemicals that can harm pollinators.
- Harvest your ripe berries on time to encourage more berry production.
- Cut the runners off your strawberry plants to drive more berry growth.
- Consider adding coffee grounds and ground eggshells to the soil to boost strawberry production.
If you want even more strawberries, consider expanding your strawberry patch. If you don’t have room for more strawberry beds, use containers. These tips will keep you rich in ripe strawberries from spring through fall.