Strawberries … our family loves them. My husband just added to our garden 24 new plants to our existing beds, a few weeks ago.

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Did you know that strawberries are one of the simplest fruit plants to grow in a “home” garden? I don’t think people realize how easy they are to grow!

For 7 years now, we’ve enjoyed our strawberry beds, reaping a phenonemal amount of fruit for such a small area. The everbearing variety that we planted this year is called Seascape, and it produces one big sweet crop of tasty fruit. :)

Which, by the way, for entertaining purposes, homegrown strawberries make the best desserts!

Seascape Strawberries:

-The Strawberry Seascape, a spring planted herbacious root, is an ever bearing strawberry that produces one crop in spring and another in fall.

-Seascape produces high quality, very sweet berries, that are round and evenly shaped.

-Seascape fruit is large, with an attractive glossy finish. They fruit well in spring and it is one of the most reliable producers in the fall.

-They grow and fruit well in hot dry climates.

Strawberries like a rich, loamy soil with good drainage. If the soil is too sandy, adding mulch to hold moisture during the dryer summer months really helps. The plants also do not like soggy soil, so avoid planting in clay soils. If you keep the plants well picked and do not allow old or moldy fruit to stay on the plant for any length of time, they will bear more fruit.

More strawberry facts:

-Strawberries are a perennial plant.

-Plant your bare root or seedlings between 8 – 12 inches apart.

-If you are an urban gardener, strawberry plants do well in large containers or three to five gallon pots.

-Full sun is critical to getting lots of berries, so make sure you have a good, sunny location before investing time and energy into container gardening.

Planting tips:

-If you’re tight on space, tuck plants into the sides of strawberry pots, where they’ll bear fruit for months.

-Apply complete fertilizer after new growth begins, then again after the first harvest.

-Spread organic mulch around plants to help keep the soil moist between waterings.

-Pinch off the first flush of flowers so plants can direct energy into establishing a strong root system. You’ll still get fruit the first year – just later.

We’ve learned to replace the plants every year or two, to keep a healthy crop going.

Oh, and one more secret. Teach your kids how to pick the berries and stay on top of the crop, usually picking every other day.

And they’ll be more willing to pitch in and help make strawberry jam, too!

What are your favorite berries and how do you like to use them?