Thoughts of sweet juicy homegrown berries is what inspires just about everyone to try growing their own strawberries.
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Phoenix Gardening Steps
- Types of Strawberries
- Best Time to Plant Strawberries
- How to Plant Strawberries
- What grows well near strawberries and what doesn’t?
- How to care for strawberries
- Harvesting strawberries- When is the ideal time to pick strawberries?
Types of Strawberries
There are several types of strawberries to choose from including:
- Alpine strawberries are tiny with an intense flavor.
- Day neutral strawberries produce fruit regardless of the day length. They have smaller berries and fewer runners.
- Everbearing strawberries produce twice once in spring and again in the fall.
- June bearing strawberries are what most consider the classic strawberry. This type will produce a large crop from late spring to early summer.
Best Time to Plant Strawberries
The first strawberries we planted in our raised garden bed didn’t make it very long. Timing is really important and I know that I planted our first try at strawberries much too late in the season.
Day neutral strawberry plants grow best when temperatures are between 45-85 degrees. They will stop growing outside this range. Flowers generally stop when temperatures reach 70 degrees or above. This type will do best in moderate climates.
Best Time to Plant Strawberries in Phoenix
Yes, strawberries can successfully grow in the low desert.
Bare root strawberries should be planted in the month of November in Phoenix. You can usually find strawberry plants at local nurseries in the months of November – March.
Our second attempt at growing strawberries we planted five Everbearing strawberry plants in February. They flowered in the month of February. By March several of the plants have tiny green berries and one of the berries is just starting to turn red.
How to Plant & Grow Strawberries
You can plant strawberries in the ground or in containers. For ground planting, space them about 18 inches apart in rows, with rows 3-4 feet apart. Make sure the crown (the point where the leaves meet the roots) is at soil level. In containers, use a good potting mix and space the plants accordingly.
Companion Plants for Strawberries
Strawberries can benefit when planted near bush beans, spinach and lettuce. Certain plants can be detrimental to strawberries and should not be planted near them. Don’t plant strawberries near tomatoes, peppers, cauliflower, or potatoes.
How to Care for Strawberries
Light Requirements: Strawberries require full sun or about 6 – 8 hours of sun a day.
Soil Requirements: Prefers loamy well-drained soil, strawberries doesn’t like “wet feet.” Strawberries like slightly acidic soil. The soil pH range of 5.5 to 7 is ideal.
Water Requirements: Strawberries like consistent moist soil, but be careful not to over water. You can apply mulch to help keep the soil moist.
When to Harvest
Our first strawberry was fully ripe and ready to eat by mid March. We had a handful of sweet ripe strawberries to eat by April.
We have successfully grown strawberries for four years now. The key to successfully growing strawberries is timing and providing shade in the summer months. We use straw and pine needles as a mulch.