By Peter Timm

Strawberries can be grown either on the ground or from hanging planters or strawberry jars. An advantage of using a planter is that it prevents the strawberry from having contact with the ground, which can cause the strawberries to rot. Depending on the specific type of strawberries you’re planting, you can grow them throughout the season.

Plant your strawberries in the spring, usually during the months of March or April. Planting around this time of year will give your strawberries a chance to start growing before the heat of summer arrives. If you have planted your strawberries and learn of an impending frost, you can protect your strawberries by covering them with a sheet of plastic or mulch.

More important than the time of year that you plant is the condition of the soil when you do your actual planting. Try to plant your strawberries as soon as the ground is workable, thawed out from winter, moist and ready for growth. Do not plant your strawberries if the ground is wet. If the ground is still saturated with water from the melting snow or excessive rain, wait a few days for the soil to dry out a little. Strawberries grow best in soil with good drainage.

You can prepare your soil with an application of fertilizer; do not over fertilize your soil, doing so can cause a decrease in the number of strawberries grown. Apply approximately 1 lb. of fertilizer for every 100 square feet of your garden and work it in so the fertilizer is approximately 6 inches deep. Watering the fertilizer will help it work its way down to root level.

Plant your strawberries, so the soil covers the top of the roots, the crown of the plant should be exposed. In approximately four to five weeks, your plants will spread to the surrounding area, for this reason to not plant your strawberries near any plants that you wish to keep clear. Plant your strawberries where they will be exposed to sunlight for at least six hours a day. Strawberries should receive at least 1 inch of water per week.