Strawberry farming doesn’t sound particularly magical, does it? Yet strawberries have been called by many names over the years; in England, they’re known as strawberries of love and in France, they’re referred to as the queen of fruits. They seem to inspire such passion and awe in those who grow them that you could be forgiven for thinking that they must be difficult to grow and harvest!
How to plant strawberries
Strawberry Hill Farm has been around for over 100 years—and they’ve got a lot of good tips to pass along. Chief among these is that you should plant your strawberries in an area with sandy soil (not clay or heavy soil). Additionally, keep your strawberry plants about four feet apart. Lastly, be sure to use healthy seeds or roots (check with a nursery), as unhealthy plants will not yield high-quality strawberries. If you have kids, consider getting them involved in strawberry farming; if nothing else, it gives them a unique experience from which they can learn more about where their food comes from. The fun doesn’t stop once you get home; Strawberry Upick season starts in late May and runs through early June! Bring your own bags and buckets—but leave pets at home. Also remember to bring cash! You can pick up strawberries for $2 per pound during strawberry upick season.
Stages in growing strawberries
strawberry hill farm uses strawberry upick – harvesting strawberries that grow in bunches on a stem above ground as opposed to strawberries grown on a plant. We plant in strawberry hills or berms which are rows formed by mounding soil and mulch to take advantage of natural sunlight. After planting we use drip irrigation to feed water and nutrients from our reservoir directly to the plants’ roots. In addition to man-made fertilizer (organic or natural), we incorporate lime into our soil because citrus acid promotes root growth. Our strawberry plants live for three years before they must be replaced with new stock. During their lifespan, we monitor them closely for pests and disease through scouting and treating with organic pesticides only when necessary. When harvest time comes around, it is important to pick strawberries at their peak ripeness so they will taste sweet when eaten fresh or frozen for later consumption. When picking strawberries you should avoid bruising them by using care when picking—we use clippers instead of pulling berries off since pulling can damage delicate stems.
How to care for strawberries
Strawberry plants need a lot of attention in order to thrive. Each plant has multiple needs that must be met throughout its growing season. Failing to meet any one of these needs can lead to crop failure. It’s important to determine how much time you have available before planting strawberries so you can effectively plan for ongoing care. Before planting your strawberry hill farm, it’s also essential to evaluate your soil for pH balance and other vital nutrients. This will help ensure healthy growth from your new strawberry patch. Here are some tips on caring for strawberries from planting through harvest:
How to harvest strawberries
Strawberries are delicious when they’re freshly picked, but they only stay that way for a short time. Most varieties are ready to harvest in late spring or early summer. The trick is knowing when exactly you should harvest them. Here’s how to tell if your strawberries are ripe for picking. One thing you might notice about strawberries is that each one grows on its own stem. This means it can be tricky to pick them without damaging other berries around it. You don’t want any bruised berries—it’ll impact both taste and appearance. Also, be sure not to wash your berries until just before eating them—strawberries won’t ripen after being washed! Be gentle with your strawberries as you pick them. Forcing them off their stems could damage or even kill adjacent berries. It also makes it harder to find which ones were damaged in transit back home. If possible, try picking multiple smaller baskets rather than filling up one big basket—you’ll have fewer crushed berries by accident and will end up with more overall weight once you get home.