How Much Water Do Strawberries Need?

Strawberry plants need water whenever the top 1 inch (2.5 cm) of soil feels dry. Depending on weather conditions, you’ll need to water your strawberries 2–4 times per week. A total of 2 inches (5 cm) of water each week is plenty in most climates. The key is to ensure the shallow roots of your strawberry plants get enough water early in the day. This allows the soil to dry out over the course of the day so that the right soil moisture is maintained for the plant.

How much water do strawberries need?

How Much Water Do Strawberries Need Per Day?

Strawberries need 1–2 inches (2.5–5 cm) of water each week depending on the season. However, they rarely need to be watered every day to live a long life. When the weather is cool and/or cloudy, you can typically water your strawberries 2 times per week. Once temperatures rise in the summer, increase watering frequency to 3–4 weekly watering sessions.

  • Strawberries do not need to be watered every day.
  • When the weather is cool, give strawberries 1 inch (2.5 cm) of water split into 2 weekly watering sessions.
  • During hot weather, increase watering volume to 2 inches (5 cm) per week, split into 3–4 weekly watering sessions.

The amount of water can change a bit depending on soil types but a couple of inches per week is a reliable standard. You can also mulch with organic matter to help with moisture retention. This will reduce the need for more frequent waterings by reducing soil evaporation. 

How Do You Water Strawberries?

Use a soaker hose on a low or medium setting to thoroughly soak the soil. This soaker hose in particular is great for deep watering. Strawberry plants have shallow roots so you only need the soil moist to a few inches deep. The rule of thumb is that it’s best to water earlier in the day. This allows excess water to evaporate and dry out a bit, reducing the chances of overwatering.

  • Use a soaker hose to thoroughly soak the strawberry roots.
  • Water earlier in the day to allow the soil to dry out a bit.
  • Regular watering is important to strawberry growth.

You can also try drip irrigation to provide daily watering in smaller quantities. Watering on a daily basis will maintain the right level of soil moisture for ripe strawberries.

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Do Strawberries Like Wet or Dry Soil?

Strawberries prefer moist soil more than wet or dry soil. Soggy soil in particular can lead to health issues with strawberry plants like fungal diseases, root rot, and slugs. You’ll still need to provide plenty of water but want to avoid drowning your plant roots.

  • Strawberries prefer moist soil.
  • A moisture meter can be extremely helpful in maintaining the right moisture level.
  • Aim for the middle of the moist zone on your moisture meter.

Invest in a moisture meter to track the soil moisture around your strawberry plants. This will ensure that you are meeting your plant’s water requirements as often as possible. Use this moisture meter to monitor your watering frequency.

Can You Overwater Strawberries?

Strawberry plants are rather easy to overwater. This is because the roots need to be soaked but strawberries hate wet soil. So, you have to walk a fine line between soaking the roots and waterlogging the soil. If done wrong, watering strawberries too much leads to swampy soil that can strangle your plant roots.

  • Overwatering is easy because strawberries need a fair amount of water but hate wet soil.
  • Check for root issues if your plant begins wilting or discoloring.

The big worrying signs of overwatering are droopy stems and discolored leaves. If the overwatering continues for too long, it can lead to crown rot and other fungal diseases. In general, the signs of overwatering are broadly similar to those of underwatering. Thus, it’s important to check the actual roots and soil around the roots. If the soil around the roots is very wet the source of the problem is overwatering.

How Do You Know If Strawberries Need Water?

You’ll know your strawberry plants need watering once the ground around the plants is dry at a depth of 1 inch (2.5 cm). There are a few other warning signs that your strawberries are overwatered. They are:

  • Wilting.
  • Discoloration.
  • Leaf loss.
  • Droopy vines.
  • Dry, cracking soil.
  • Plant death.

In a hot climate, some of the signs of underwatered strawberries can resemble the signs of overheating plants. Strawberries grow best in full sunlight in temperatures 60–80℉ (16–27℃). Anything hotter than this can result in wilting, leaf loss, and leaf bleaching. If the soil around the plants is moist but the plants are still struggling, the damage is probably caused by heat. Combat heat damage with cooling tricks, such as providing partial afternoon shade.

Do Strawberry Plants Require Lots of Water?

Strawberries need a fair bit of water every week. The key to watering strawberries is to find the right balance between soaking the roots but not waterlogging the soil. This is why it’s highly recommended that you keep a moisture meter. Some other key tips for watering strawberry beds include:

  • Strawberries need 1–2 inches (2.5–5 cm) of water per week.
  • In cool weather, water strawberries 2 times each week.
  • In hot weather, increase watering frequency to 4 sessions per week.
  • It’s best to water strawberries with a soaker hose but drip irrigation can work too.
  • Strawberry plants prefer moist soil and dislike wet soil.
  • Water early in the morning to give your strawberry beds the chance to dry out a bit.
  • It’s easy to overwater strawberries if you aren’t careful and don’t use a moisture meter.
  • You’ll know it’s time to water your strawberry beds when the top 1 inch (2.5 cm) of soil is dry to the touch.

Taking the time to learn to grow strawberries properly and avoid issues of waterlogged soil is well worth it. If you follow these tips, you’ll be a great strawberry farmer in no time.

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