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This is How You Fertilize Your Strawberry Plants Naturally

fertilize strawberries
Foto: CC0 / Pixabay / isfara

Can't get enough of the strawberry season? We'll explore how and when to fertilize strawberries so you can boost your harvest of these bright, juicy berries.

Nothing tastes better than a fresh strawberry straight from your garden. Since garden-grown may taste better than store-bought, you may wonder how to boost your next harvest. After all, who can get enough strawberries? Knowing how and when to fertilize strawberries will help you maximize your yield of berries for next year. Eat them fresh, or use your bounty of strawberries to make things like strawberry sandwichesstrawberry syrupfruit salad, juice pops or boozy popsicles, and even vegan nice cream. No matter what, you’ll find ways to use your delicious and bountiful harvest. 

What Is The Best Strawberry Fertilizer?

Compost is the best way to fertilize strawberries naturally.
Compost is the best way to fertilize strawberries naturally.
(Foto: CC0 / Pixabay / Chesna)

Like any fruiting plant, strawberries need extra nutrients to produce those red, juicy berries. Strawberries, in particular, crave nitrogen, which is one of the most abundant elements in both natural and commercial fertilizers. Compost, being both natural and nitrogen-rich, is the best choice in strawberry fertilizer. Fortunately, compost is widely available and can be created easily at home with the right ingredients:

Whichever materials you rely on, ensure they are fully decomposed so that the nutrients are readily available. Other fertilizers such as wood ash (phosphorus and potassium), eggshells (calcium), or Epsom salt (magnesium) can also be used sparingly with compost. Still, they will provide little benefit without a nitrogen source.

How and When To Fertilize Strawberries

Autumn and early spring are the best times to fertilize strawberries.
Autumn and early spring are the best times to fertilize strawberries.
(Foto: CC0 / Pixabay / Irina_kukuts)

Unlike some other plants, which can thrive on neglect, strawberries are a bit more demanding. This is due to the structure of the plant: strawberries have shallow root systems that can deplete nutrients at the soil’s surface. As a plant for ground cover, strawberries also spread along the surface through runners that take root and create daughter plants. This means that you can fertilize strawberries just at the surface level of the soil without having to work it substantially into the soil. Add up to an inch of compost (or the recommended amount of commercial fertilizer) to the soil around the strawberry and gently rake it in.

Ideally, you should fertilize strawberries at least once annually, but you can opt for multiple times if you fertilize lightly. Here are the best times to fertilize strawberries:

  • Up to two weeks before planting in the spring.
  • Autumn and early spring (before the plants bloom) are the most recommended times to fertilize strawberries. This ensures that the plant has enough time to produce more blooms in the future.
  • Whenever your strawberry plant looks tired or wilted, this often happens right before strawberries ripen or after they are picked. 
  • Some growers recommend using a tiny amount of diluted liquid fertilizer to ensure even growth. Use this method for potted strawberries since they have less soil access.

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