By Arnold Anderson
Growing strawberries at home is not only a way to save money on fresh fruit, but it can also be a fun family project in which everyone can get involved. When the whole family takes the time to learn the best ways to plant and grow strawberries as well as the best way to maintain a strawberry plant for many years, it can become something that the family can look forward to for many years. Decide what kind of strawberry plants you want to grow, and then get your green thumb in gear.
There are three main varieties of strawberry plants; June bearing strawberry plants, everbearing plants and day neutral plants. June bearing plants yield the largest harvest and will offer ripe fruit once late in the spring right around the beginning of June. Everbearing plants offer a slightly smaller fruit and a smaller harvest but they ripen twice a year; once in the spring and once in the fall. Day neutral plants offer the smallest harvest and the smallest fruit but they have the ability to ripen almost any time of year. Choose the plant that you feel would give you the results you are looking for.
Mulch is extremely important to not only growing strawberries, but also for helping to salvage the strawberries during the winter months. Put down plenty of mulch when planting your strawberries to help regulate the soil temperature, and also to help maintain the soil moisture to prevent it from becoming too moist. Mulch can also be used as a covering for your plants in the winter to protect them from the cold and the frost.
Some people are looking for a large harvest of many berries, and other people would sacrifice the number of berries if their harvest gives them the opportunity to grow bigger berries. A strawberry plant is much like a vine. If it is allowed to grow for the duration of its planting cycle, then it will grow indefinitely and continue to sprout more fruit. However, if you clip your strawberry vine at the mid-point of the growing season, the vine will cease to give fruit but it will make the berries currently on the vine much larger.