Garden strawberries grown today is a hybrid of species of the genus Fragaria. This plant that is cultivated worldwide is famous for its sweet fruits that have a characteristic aroma, juicy texture, and attractive red color. People all over the world consume strawberries in large quantities either as fresh fruits or in processed foods such as fruit juice, milkshakes, ice cream, or chocolates.
Raising strawberries in a greenhouse prevents them from pests and outside weather and it means that they will fruit up to a month ahead than outdoor. These versatile, tasty and sweet-smelling berries are the quintessential summer feast. Don't settle for overpriced supermarket strawberries when it is surprisingly so easy to grow at home.
Sun-ripened strawberries are easy to grow in any greenhouse kit if you follow the guide below.
- Get disease-free seedlings from reputable nurseries and plant them as soon as the ground is workable
- Ensure the hole is deep enough to accommodate the whole root system without bending them and, ensure the crown remains just above the surface
- Work the soil into raised beds as this offers the best condition for greenhouse-grown strawberry
- Mulch the beds to regulate water loss and minimize invasion of weeds
- Do not plant your strawberries too deep because they might rot. If you leave the crown extruding from the ground, they will dry out and perish.
- For easy passage, it is helpful to provide your strawberries plenty of areas. Use a trowel to bore a hole large enough to accommodate the roots, and if you are planting in the ground, plant them 18 inches apart, leaving 30 inches between rows.
- If you are planting runners, lay the roots out in the slot and make sure that the crown is resting at soil level. The same works for planting in pots.
- If you start off immature plants or tendrils in a greenhouse, plant them in a clear pouch or humid propagator till the roots have settled.
- Planting from seed takes a small dose of patience because they can take up to a month to sprout and will normally crop the next year
Tips and tricks to thrive strawberries
When the flowers bloom, fill them with an organic liquid fertilizer every fortnight. Other variations of strawberry produce runners or stem with blooming plants along the length. Eliminate them when they appear so that the plant’s vitality will go towards fruiting and flowering.
Strawberries are susceptible to several common problems such as garden pests. Some of these are Japanese Beetles, spider mites, slugs, and snails. Diseases such as powdery mildew and gray mold may cause serious losses as well. Maintain greenhouse cleanliness and be observant for manifestations of disease to prevent them from spreading. Remove those dead foliage because they can harbor pests and diseases over the wintertime.
It is suitable to substitute strawberry plants after the third season or they may lose vigor producing lesser harvests, and your berries will become more susceptible to pests. If your space permits, move the beds to another section to prevent pests and diseases from growing.
How to grow strawberries in a greenhouse?
Because of the shallow roots, strawberries thrive when the ground is wet. But they don't like sitting in the water-logged ground, which can weaken the crown and cause the berry to rot. It is reasonable to water from the base. Ideally, provide about an inch and half of water each week.
Strawberries do well in nutrient-rich, well-drained, acidic soils that have high concentrations of organic matter. The optimal pH should range between 5.5 and 7.0. Combine a layer of straw or mulch throughout the surface to keep the roots cold and free from moisture.
Make sure that the glasses of your greenhouse are clear and there is nothing in the way to obstruct out the light. They must receive at least six hours of daylight every day. As such, choose your greenhouse site appropriately and ensure the greenhouse kits you buy allow adequate light. With lessened light and photosynthetic movement, they cannot sustain many fruits.
The temperature must not go over 77ºF because higher temperatures can negatively impair the growth. Till they start to flower, keep the greenhouse temperature at approximately 60°F. Strawberries prefer the warmth and as much daylight as possible.
Once you have picked the strawberries, decrease the temperature inside your greenhouse so that it stays cold throughout winter. In the first eight months or so, pick off the blossoming flowers so the strawberry plants do not fruit. A cool phase is important to stimulate them to flower the next season.
Harvesting your fresh strawberries
Strawberry fruits are usually ready about five weeks after the flowers blossom. Harvest by picking them every two days. Remove the mulch when the last strawberries have been harvested. Do not pull just pinch or cut them, leaving a half inch of stalk.
Indulgence is acceptable when it comes to strawberries. Harvest them quickly as they ripe or they will rot on the plant. Monitor them every other day throughout the ripening season.