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What is the proper way to care for strawberry plants?

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Quick Answer

The proper way to care for strawberry plants is to not let them bear fruit in the first year and to arrange offspring daughter plants in a 9-by-9-inch spaced row system. Strawberry plants require full sunlight and mildly acidic, moist soil. Use mulch to increase the soil's water retention. Plant strawberries with the roots in soil, but avoid covering the crown, or central growing bud.

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Full Answer

To maximize the quantity and quality of the strawberry harvest, pick off the first-year blossoms, and wait five to six weeks for runners to appear. Runners are offshoots from the mother plant that yield new daughter plants. The first daughter plant on each mother's runner is the most productive; cut off subsequent daughter plants. Strawberries bloom in early spring for pollination before fruiting. Pick ripened berries every two to three days, and expect two to three weeks of harvest.

Maintain two strawberry plant beds in order to have an annual harvest. One bed is for the current harvest, and the second bed is maintained for the following year's harvest. After each harvest, it is best to till in all the plants and start fresh in order to prevent disease and decreased berry yield. The plants also grow perennially with little maintenance but without robust fruiting.

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