Strawberry Sensation

Everyone loves strawberries! Bright-red, juicy and sweet, they’re one of the fruits we look forward to eating all summer long. This year, why not plant and grow your very own strawberries? It’s fun to take care of them and to watch them grow and even more fun to eat once they’re ripe! Here’s how to do it.

Step 1. Buy strawberry plants at the nursery or you can order them from a catalog or a website. Early spring is the perfect time to plant strawberries, so be sure to get your plants in time. No matter where or from who you buy them, make sure the strawberry plants are certified disease-free so that you don’t get any viruses affecting the rest of your garden.

Step 2. Choose a spot in your garden that has good drainage, gets lots of sun and warms up early in the spring so the blossoms don’t get killed by any late frosts that may happen. The perfect place to plant strawberries, if you’ve got it, is a gentle, south-facing slope. If you can’t find the right spot in your garden, you can grow strawberries in raised beds or containers.

Step 3. Before you put the plants in the ground, you have to dig down about 12 inches to make sure all weeds and grass roots are removed. Then, add plenty of compost or manure to make sure the soil is rich and fertile for the strawberry plants.

Step 4. Dig a hole for each plant that’s deep enough to accommodate the roots. Set the plant into the hole with the top just above ground-level, and fill in the soil so that the roots are completely buried. Set the plants 18 inches apart in rows three to four feet apart.

Step 5. Make sure young plants get at least an inch of water a week.

Step 6. Each blossom that blooms on the plants will ripen into a berry. Pick all strawberries the day they ripen, and eat or preserve them as soon as possible: overripe fruit spoils quickly on or off the vine.

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