Choose a cool location if storage is necessary before they are planted, keep the roots moist, but not soggy, and out of direct sunlight. If possible, plant on a cool, cloudy day to reduce the stress on the transplants.
Strawberries do best in drained fairly rich soil, so be sure to add compost or other organic matter when preparing the strawberry patch
When Planting, be sure the crown is above soil level and the topmost roots are 1/4 inch beneath soil level.
Buried crowns rot and Exposed roots dry out. Use mulch to keep berries clean, conserve moisture and keep weed growth down.
There as four basic systems for growing strawberries
First Growing Season
When Growing as a Perennial, Pinch off new blossoms during the first year of strawberry plant growth. The plants rarely provide fruit during the first year, by gently pinching off the blossoms with your fingers you will encourage new growth for the following season.
Prune damaged roots , Trim excessively long roots to approximately 5 inches in length
How to Grow Strawberries using The Hill system
The Matted Row System
The matted row system is the least time consuming as far as maintenance is concerned.
You'll need an area about 8-10 feet wide and 30 feet long to accommodate 30 plants. This system works best with June bearing strawberries. In the spring, plant the Starter (or Mother) plants 2 feet apart in rows 3-4 feet apart and allow them to produce and set runner plants unobstructed. The first year all the plant's energy is devoted to producing and developing strong plants ,all flowers must be picked off, and fruit is not harvested until the second season.
Keep rows to a width of approximately 18 inches. You may have to cut back runners that grow between the rows.
How to Grow Strawberries as a Ground-cover
Space the starter plants 1 to 2 feet apart.
Weed well , and after the first season, once the plants are established, maintenance should be minimal.
Strawberries grown as a ground-cover will not produce as much fruit. In all cases, the soil should be well tilled and fertilized a week before planting.
Strawberries in Raised Beds
Lupin: Like beans, lupine fixes nitrogen in the soil. Its flowers also attract pollinators.
Do Not plant strawberries near members of the cabbage family which inhibits their growth. This includes broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, collard greens, kale, and kohlrabi.
See: Companion Planting
Basic Care of Strawberries
Firm the surrounding soil and water thoroughly.
Regularly hoe between rows and individual plants.
Remove runners and old leaves.
Most strawberries produce offsets at the end of runners. If you want more plants, just let them grow. If you have enough strawberry plants, pinching off the runners will give you larger plants with smaller yields of bigger berries.
Watering ~ Irrigation
If the strawberry planting is not properly watered, dry weather in late summer and fall could drastically reduce flower bud formation and next year's crop. Water is especially important while the fruit is forming, from early bloom to the end of harvest.
Everbearing and day-neutral strawberries must be watered during dry periods to maintain good fruit production.
Always soak the soil thoroughly when watering, this helps to promote good root development. Do not water excessively, so as to avoid rot. Inexpensive water timer systems are available. You might also want to consider a drip irrigation system, the most common way of spreading strawberry plant diseases and soil borne pathogens is via wet soil splashed on the plant in the irrigation process.
Iron deficiency, or chlorosis, is common in excessively watered strawberries. It is characterized by pale, yellowed leaves with dark green veins. In severe cases, the edges of the leaves will dry up and turn brown. Yields are typically dismal. See: Nutrient Disorders in Vegetable Gardens
Water management is vital when growing plants in alkaline soils [high pH]. In excessively wet or poorly drained soils, the chemistry of the soil degrades in some aspects and iron is depleted. Excessive irrigation in heavy clay soils or in cool climates frequently leads to a deficiency of iron. Numerous iron compounds are commercially available for treating iron chlorosis but no single product has proven 100% successful in all situations. Furthermore strawberries do not always respond well to foliar sprays of iron.
The recommendations below are generalized and should be adjusted to the fertility, nutrient holding ability of your soil, and your observations of the plant growth. An application of Miracle-Gro as they are attempting to get established is recommended.
June bearingThe soil should have been fertilized before planting as recommended. if not, apply 1/3 cup 13-13-13 per 25 feet of row two weeks after planting.
Repeat in late August. 1/3 cup 13-13-13 per 25 feet of row at renovation (after harvest) and again in late August.
In colder climates do not fertilize strawberries late in the season. Fertilizer encourages new growth that will only be damaged by frost.
2 weeks after planting apply 1/3 cup 13-13-13 per 25 feet of row if soil was not fertilized before planting.
Repeat twice in the growing season.Fertilize with 1/3 to 1/2 cup 13-13-13 per 25 feet of row three times per year.
In containers, it may be easier to use a weekly soluble fertilizer or a slow release fertilizer according to label directions. See: Understanding Fertilizer Labels
Soil pH in the range of 5.5 to 6.5 is considered optimal , but good yields have been produced with a pH as high as the 7.5 range.
See Soil pH and adjust accordingly.
To protect strawberries against winter injury, a layer of mulch is recommended. If plants are unprotected, low winter temperatures may kill the fruit buds and damage the roots and crowns. Alternate freezing and thawing conditions in the spring cause heaving of the plants. Mulch should be applied before the temperature drops below 20oF (-6oC). Once the temperature drops below 15oF (-10oC), damage to the plants begins. However, if the mulch is applied too early before the plant growth stops the crowns may rot.
Clean hay or straw make the best mulching material. Do not use tree leaves, as they mat down and smother the plants. A 3 to 4-inch layer of mulch is sufficient.
Leave winter mulch in place until plants show signs of growth in the spring. No harm will result even if many of the plants show one or two small yellow new center leaves. Delayed mulch removal prevents most heaving and may also delay early blooming which may be damaged by spring frosts. Remove just enough of the mulch so that the plants can come through.
Thank You and Happy Gardening.