Growing strawberries using organic gardening techniques isn’t difficult. It’s a matter of balance in the garden.
Growing Strawberries Using Organic Gardening Techniques
I’ve been picking a pint or more a day of wonderful strawberries from the garden. I grow our strawberries using only organic gardening methods. The secret is really in the soil. I use almost 100% compost in the raised bed; strawberries are heavy feeders, and by the fall, the soil level is down an inch or more as they transform it through their roots into nutrients. It’s pretty amazing stuff.
This year the weather has been absolutely perfect for growing fruits, vegetables, and herbs. The strawberries thrived with an inch or more of rain per week and the gentle spring weather. Honestly, if I could have dialed up the perfect weather for growing food, it would be this season.
Another thing really helped my strawberry crop this year and that was digging up many of the smaller plants that had grown as the second or third generation plants from the ever-bearing strawberry plants that were the parents. I bought plain old every bearing strawberry plants from Lowe’s to start the garden, but I planted them too close together. This winter on a mild day, we dug up the baby plants and moved them, giving the plants plenty of space. We also added even more compost to the bed. I think the combination of giving the strawberries more space, the abundant rain, gentle temperatures and rich compost gave us the bountiful harvest this year.
Jeanne Grunert is a certified Virginia Master Gardener and the author of several gardening books. Her garden articles, photographs, and interviews have been featured in The Herb Companion, Virginia Gardener, and Cultivate, the magazine of the National Farm Bureau. She is the founder of The Christian Herbalists group and a popular local lecturer on culinary herbs and herbs for health, raised bed gardening, and horticulture therapy.