How to Plant Strawberries with Landscape Fabric

Planting a strawberry patch

A Simple Guide to Planting a Strawberry Patch

Strawberries are really easy to grow and very rewarding. Did you know that one plant can produce one quart of strawberries!?!

They are pretty forgiving little plants too. However, there are a few important things to consider when planting your strawberries.

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Since I’ve planted a fair share of them myself (and helped others as well), I thought I’d write up a quick little guide on how I like to plant strawberries. I’m sure there are many other methods, this is just the way that has been easy to maintain and successful for us for years.

Step 1. Decide what Kind of Strawberries to Plant

There are 3 main varieties of strawberry plants. Here are the differences between them:

  • June Bearers– These produce a large crop of strawberries in June and then a few berries here and there for the rest of the season.
  • Everbearing and Day-neutral – These plants produce well all growing season long. They do not send off as many runners as the June bearers.

Preparing soil for strawberries

Step 2. Prepare the Soil

It is very important to prepare the soil before planting your strawberries. Strawberries are a perennial which means they come up every year so it is difficult to change the soil after they are already planted.

Peat Moss and organic matter are very important to have in the soil. The Peat moss aerates the soil and the organic matter fertilizes it. Till or turn the peat moss and organic matter into the soil 6-8″ deep.

We plant ever-bearing strawberries so we use the “hill system”, basically a raised bed 8″ high and 2 feet wide, plants are staggered about 12 inches apart.

Covering ground with landscapers fabric

Step 3. Put Down Landscaping Fabric

To control the weeds, keep the fruit off the ground, and keep the runners under control, we put down landscaping fabric. We secured the edges of the fabric with stakes.

The landscape fabric is preferred over black plastic because the moisture will sit on top of the plastic causing the fruit to rot. You could also use straw as a ground cover.

Cutting out slits in landscape fabric for strawberry plants

Step 4. Prepare the Landscape Fabric

Cut slits in the landscape fabric big enough to dig a hole and plant the bare root plants. Just make sure not to make the whole too big or you’ll get a lot of weeds growing.

The hole just needs to be large enough to fan out the roots and cover to the crown of the plant, like this:

Landscape fabric hole big enough to fan out roots

Strawberry plant poking out of landscape fabric

Caring for Your Strawberry Plants

1 – 2 inches of water per week is needed for juicy fruit. (Water is especially important while the fruit is forming, from early bloom to the end of harvest.) In a couple of weeks, the plants will have lots of leaves!

Learn more about taking care of your strawberry plants:

Grow the Best Strawberries

Grow the Best Strawberries: Storey’s Country Wisdom Bulletin

Landscape fabric strawberries

Comments

  • Jaime

    Don’t strawberries need to keep being replanted? They produce I guess you would call them runners, and the old plant stops producing as much, so you need to get the next crop off the runners?

    • Kearna

      Jaime, you are right, the plants only last around 3-4 years before the production starts to slow down significantly. We will be talking more about this in the next post but we don’t let ours runner because all of the energy goes into the runners instead of the berry production. The last couple of years we let them do some running strategically to get new plants.

  • kg

    just wondered where you get your plants/starts?

  • Sara D

    Do you have any recommendations for slugs? I have a great little area and get tons of strawberries but last year I had problems with slugs (had to do with the wetter weather b/c the year before didn’t have any problems). I am hoping I don’t have problems this year but wanted to get some ideas. I did resort to containers with beer in them but seemed to be always clean (yuck!) and replacing.

  • Tammy

    I was told to nip off the blooms the first year after planting to make healther, better plants. Know anything about this?

    • Kearna

      Yes, I have done that. It is supposed to help the plant get better established so that the plants energy goes into being established instead of the fruit production. I last year I had some that I did that with and some I didn’t and I did not notice an obvious difference.

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