Growing strawberries organically
Growing strawberries is easy and rewarding. It’s the fruit that signals “summer has arrived.” Bright, red and beautiful and sweet as sugar, strawberries are a staple to our diet starting in late May/early June on the Eastern Shore of Maryland.
Just in case you’re wondering about the role bees play in the life of the strawberry, wonder no more. The best berries are thanks to bees. When bees are available to pollinate berry crops, as much as one thousand pounds more fruit is produced per acre.
Now that strawberry season is upon us, it’s the perfect time to plant your own crop.
Due to the fact that strawberries grow so close to the ground, and don’t have a “thick skin,” they are often plagued by fungal disease and pests. In conventional farming, the farmer uses strong pesticides to yield predictable results. In organic strawberry farming, crop rotation may be the answer to avoiding pesticides. Or growing strawberries in container gardens may be the way to go.
In every event, we avoid conventionally grown strawberries and we hope you will too. Strawberries are one of the ubiquitous “dirty dozen” fruits, covered in pesticide residue, that is not easily be removed by washing them.
Anyone can grow strawberries! They don’t require a lot of time or space. Perfect for busy lives and small yards.
There are many creative ways to grow strawberries, even if you don’t have a lot of land. My favorite strawberries come from my friend Joyce Wallace’s garden! I know that she only uses her fingers to remove the occasional grub.
If you don’t have a gem of a friend like Joyce, then maybe you’ll consider growing your own strawberries. They made the top 10 easy to grow fruit plant list.
The Natural Way to Stop Strawberry Pests
Keeping strawberries off of the ground is the key to avoid the need for pesticides. Otherwise, the fruits will rest on the soil, allowing insects and other pests to nibble on the berries. Once you get strawberries growing, learn how to control common pests organically from The Spruce.
Strawberries can easily grow in pots and baskets. An easy way to keep ground-dwelling insects from having easy access to your crop. Growing them in baskets or tiered garden containers is the way to go. There are all sorts of interesting growing systems designed for strawberry growing. A quick search offered these results:
You can grow your strawberries vertically in many different ways-pots and hanging baskets aren’t the only options! You can grow strawberries in rain gutters that can easily be mounted on a windowsill or deck rail. Another option would be a Vertical Stair Planter from Menards that will fit into a narrow (but sunny) section of your property.
Mounting an old shipping palette onto a garage or outbuilding wall is a trendy option to create a wall garden filled with berries. Find plans for a DIY Palette Planter that you can make on a weekend afternoon. If you’d like any more ideas, check out these vertical gardening ideas from Smart Living Network.
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