When most people think about planting strawberries, they think about doing it in the spring. However, did you know that you can plant them in the fall? This blog post will answer the question, ‘can you plant strawberries in the fall?’
Can You Plant Strawberries In The Fall?
The answer is yes! You can get a much better yield if you plant your strawberries in the fall. This is because strawberries are cool-weather plants and don’t produce well when it’s hot.
Strawberries planted in October, which are kept free of ice and cold temperatures, produce much more fruit than those sown in the spring, according to Texas A&M University’s Lubbock Research Center.
One of the best things about cooler weather and rain is that it’s the perfect setting to establish new plants. The moist ground makes it easier for roots to take hold, and the cooler temperatures help to protect young plants from stress.
As a result, planting in the fall can give your plants a head start on the growing season. They will produce earlier in the spring, giving you a better crop.
In addition, fall plantings are often less susceptible to pests and diseases, making them a healthier option overall. So if you’re looking to add new plants to your garden, don’t wait for spring. Get a head start by planting in the fall.
What You Need to Know Before Planting
Now that you know you can plant strawberries in the fall let’s talk about what you need to do before planting.
First, it is essential to choose the right strawberry variety. There are many different types of strawberries, so be sure to select a variety that is well-suited to your area.
You will also need to prepare the soil before planting. This means adding organic matter and ensuring a pH between 5.5 – 6.8. If you are not sure about the pH of your soil, you can test it with a soil test kit.
It is also essential to ensure that your strawberries have enough sun exposure. They need at least eight hours of full sun per day.
When and How to Plant Your Strawberries
Once you have chosen the suitable variety and prepared the soil, it is time to plant your strawberries. The best time to plant them is in late September or early October.
Make sure to put your strawberry plants in a low-traffic area with good drainage. If the soil is too wet, the roots will rot. Location is important. If you’re not careful, your plants might get Verticillium wilt. This disease is found in locations previously planted with eggplants, tomatoes, peppers, and strawberries.
When planting, be sure to plant the crowns above the soil line. The crown is the part of the plant where the leaves meet the stem. If you bury the crown too deep, your plant could suffocate and die.
It is also important to space your plants properly. Each plant should be about 18 inches apart. This will give them enough room to grow and produce fruit.
Watering and Fertilizing Your Strawberries
Strawberries are a versatile and popular fruit enjoyed fresh and in various baked goods. While they are relatively easy to grow, they have some specific fertilizer requirements to produce the best crop possible.
In general, strawberries are not heavy feeders and will do well in most garden soils that have supported other vegetables or flowers. A 4-8-6 fertilizer promotes growth, while a 5-10-5 fertilizer is ideal for developing sturdy plants. A 6-10-4 fertilizer may be the best option if you’re looking to encourage productivity. Lastly, a 4-12-4 fertilizer is perfect for helping plants thrive in harsh conditions.
Once your strawberries are planted, you will need to water them regularly. Strawberries have shallow root systems. Therefore they should be watered about an inch to an inch and a half per week.
Winterizing Your Plants
When winter arrives, it is vital to take steps to protect your strawberry plants. If you live in an area with harsh winters, you must cover your plants with a layer of straw or mulch. This will help to insulate them and prevent the roots from freezing.
However, mulching too early or too late can be harmful to plants. If mulch is applied before the temperature has fallen to approximately 20 degrees, it can trap warmth in the ground and cause plants to “break dormancy” prematurely.
This can result in damage from frost or even death. If mulch is applied too late, it may not provide sufficient protection from the cold weather. For these reasons, it is essential to apply mulch in November as soon as the temperature has fallen to approximately 20 degrees.
Strawberries are a delicious and easy-to-grow fruit. Following the tips in this article, you can enjoy a bountiful crop of strawberries each year. Your plants will provide you with years of enjoyment with proper care and attention.