Who doesn’t love strawberries? I for one am a great fan of them! They’re delicious and very pleasing to look at. However, I bet you can agree that strawberries from the market can be expensive. This depends on where you are located as well, but most of the time they can be expensive.
This is why for all the strawberry-lovers out there, it is more ideal to plant strawberries compared to buying expensive and small ones from the market. It saves you money, and you get to grow your own big strawberries in your garden!
However, strawberries can be hard to deal with, especially if you have little to no knowledge about how to work with them. I had my fair share of failures in growing them as well, and most of the time it was due to soil complications. To prevent you from making the common mistakes that I made, I will teach you 5 simple ways on how to prepare your soil for strawberries.
5 Simple Ways To Prepare Soil For Strawberries
Why focus on the soil? Well for starters, the soil is the stronghold for your strawberries’ roots. Compact or hard soil can easily ruin the chance of your strawberries from growing to their full potential. In fact, this would most likely lead to their deaths, which is why knowing what type of soil to use is important as well.
Below are the elements that you should prioritize in order to successfully grow strawberries.
1) Choose A Good Location
The location of where you are going to plant your strawberries has a major impact on their growth. Strawberries naturally prefer warm and sunny areas, and they require at least 8 to 10 hours of sunlight exposure every day.
Moreover, the area that you have chosen should be free of weeds because weeds can potentially disrupt your strawberries’ development. So, use your weeding tools to get rid of weeds in your garden. In the long run, weeds can grow back, which is something you should regularly monitor as well. As long as weeds don’t overrun the place, then your strawberries will be fine.
2) Prepare Your Soil
When it comes to what kind of soil to use, strawberries love loamy and sandy soil. Before you plant your strawberries, you can apply compost or other organic amendments such as mulch to improve nutrient availability, soil structure, water-holding capacity, and many more!
Strawberries do not need too much soil, unlike other fruits. In fact, 4 to 6 inches of soil will be good enough for their roots. This is why strawberries can be placed in shallow containers. However, the drainage should be suitable to the needs of the strawberries.
If you decide on planting your strawberries in the ground, make sure to loosen the soil with the use of a hoe or tiller since strawberries prefer loose soil.
3) Adjust Acidity
In terms of soil acidity, strawberries do have a specific requirement for this, specifically in between the range of 5.4 and 6.5. But not to worry, you can easily test your soil with the use of a soil test kit. If you do not have one, then I highly recommend you check out this article about testing your soil without a test kit.
Moreover, you can add elemental sulfur to acidify your soil, and there are several other ways to naturally acidify your soil to meet the pH standards of strawberries.
4) Add Soil Amendments
Soil amendments are a great way to boost your strawberries’ growth and development, and this goes along with several other benefits as well. Strawberries thrive in fertile, rich, and acidic soil, which is why adding soil amendments is one of the best ways to promote good health for your strawberries.
I personally use compost, animal manure, and mulch as my soil amendments, and they are all excellent amendments to the soil of my strawberries. This greatly helps with the moisture-retention strawberries need as well.
Strawberries strictly prefer the right amount of moisture that is suitable for them, and also soil that is adequate in draining. These soil amendments get the job done and help your strawberries reach their full potential of growing.
5) Water Regularly
Watering your strawberries regularly not only has an impact on the strawberries, but this can also help enhance the soil’s structure as well. As mentioned, strawberries love sunlight exposure, which is why you should set them in a location that is free from debris that might hinder them from getting the right amount of sunlight they require.
Because of this, strawberries are very prone to plant dehydration. The best way to avoid this dangerous complication is to provide your strawberries with sufficient watering. I recommend soaking and saturating the soil when you are watering your strawberries. The best time to do this is in the morning or evening.
However, you should be cautious in not over-watering your strawberries as this can easily cause waterlog that is dangerous to the health of your strawberries. This can easily cause decay, which is definitely something you would want to avoid.
It is normal to see the soil of the strawberries dry quickly as well since they are shallow-rooted plants. If the environment that you are living in frequently rains, then that is considered to be enough for them to thrive.
When it comes to dry climates, then you are required to consistently water them with the right amount to prevent dehydration that can easily be caused by hot weather. You can utilize water timers as well to save you the effort and time in doing so.
Final Thoughts On Preparing Soil For Strawberries
It is highly recommended that you use the right type of soil for your strawberries, and as well as maintaining the soil itself in order for the strawberries to survive and thrive. I suggest using organic matter for the soil amendments since strawberries love fertile soil, and organic matter provides a rich amount of that.
When it comes to the overall process of growing strawberries, you must take into consideration other elements than soil. This includes regular watering, monitoring, and fertilizing.
Do you have any experience with preparing soil for strawberries? I would love to read about them in the comment section below. Also, if you have any questions, please do not hesitate to ask!