How to Grow Strawberries: A Comprehensive Guide

How to Grow Strawberries

Learning how to grow strawberries is not difficult, and it’s a rewarding task to undertake! The most crucial factor to know is that strawberry plants need a lot of energy to produce berries, so they should always be planted in a location with full sun. Although the plants themselves can survive in shaded areas, the lack of sunlight can significantly reduce berry production. Also, strawberry plants prefer well-draining, moist and slightly acidic soils. It can increase their berry yield and quality if you meet all the plants’ requirements.

Most strawberry plants produce ‘runners’ (stolons); these are shoots that the plants send out, and eventually, they grow roots and turn into another strawberry plant. Most varieties will propagate quite quickly this way, so If you have a friend or neighbour that grows strawberries in their garden, they will probably be willing to give you some. Not all strawberry plants are the same, though; some produce one big harvest, others produce multiple, and the size and flavour of the berries vary.

I. Types of Strawberry Plants

There are three main garden strawberry types:

  • June-bearing strawberries: Just as the name implies, this type produces one large crop over 2-3 weeks, usually in June. While most produce berries in June, there are also early-season, mid-season, and late-season varieties. Typically this strawberry type produces the biggest strawberries.
  • Everbearing strawberries: This type produces up to three crops per year. Typically though, you get one harvest in late spring and another in late summer. All wild strawberry varieties are everbearing.
  • Day-neutral strawberries: Flowers and produces strawberries all year from late spring into the fall. You never get a large crop, but you can find strawberries almost daily throughout the warm months. The fruits are smaller than the June-bearing types—they are typically medium to small in size.

There’s a fourth type of strawberry, but perhaps I should say it’s the first, which is the wild strawberry. Wild strawberry seeds produce seeds ‘true’ to their parent, whereas garden strawberries—typical types you find in garden centers—are hybrid plants and do not produce true seeds. All wild strawberry varieties are everbearing.

II. Popular Strawberry Varieties


    • Allstar‘: Produces large, sweet, and juicy berries with excellent flavor, perfect for fresh eating or making jams.
    • Chandler‘: Known for its high yield, large fruit size, and exceptional flavor, making it a popular choice for home gardens and commercial growers.
    • Earliglow‘: An early-season variety that produces medium-sized, sweet, and flavorful berries, often considered one of the best-tasting strawberries.
    • Honeoye‘: A cold-hardy variety that yields many medium to large, firm, and bright red berries with a tangy-sweet flavor.
    • Jewel‘: Boasts large, firm, and glossy berries with a sweet, slightly tart taste, making it ideal for fresh eating, freezing, or processing.


    • Albion‘: A high-yielding variety that produces large, firm, and conical-shaped berries with a sweet flavor and excellent shelf life.
    • Ozark Beauty‘: Known for its large, flavorful fruit and adaptability to a wide range of growing conditions, making it a popular choice for home gardeners.
    • Quinault‘: A disease-resistant variety that produces medium-sized, sweet, and juicy berries throughout the growing season.


    • Seascape‘: Produces large, flavorful, and firm berries throughout the growing season, making it an excellent choice for continuous harvesting.
    • Tribute‘: A high-yielding variety that offers medium-sized, sweet, and firm berries with a consistent harvest from spring through fall.
    • Tristar‘: Known for its small to medium-sized, sweet, and flavorful fruit that continues to produce throughout the season, making it an ideal option for container gardening.

Wild Strawberry Varieties

You can find all of our strawberry seeds here:

III. Growing Wild Strawberries

All wild strawberry varieties are everbearing, producing up to 3 main crops per year. The berries are much smaller than the standard hybrid garden varieties, but they are very aromatic and packed with flavour! The alpine type will produce berries that are approx twice the size of the common (woodland) wild strawberry.

Growing wild strawberries from seed can be an easy to moderately difficult task. The plants, once established, are hardy, drought-resistant, and require very little maintenance. When growing strawberries from seed, it’s best to use a wild variety. Common hybrid garden varieties do not produce true seeds. The best time to start strawberries is in the spring when the temperature is still cool outside.

growing wild strawberries

IV. Planting Strawberry Seeds

Before you start planting strawberry seeds, it’s important to choose the right variety. Only wild strawberry seeds produce true seeds; improved varieties can produce plants, but the results of the berry are random. All strawberry seeds require some form of cold treatment before they will germinate. One way to do this is to sow the seeds outdoors in late fall, or 4-8 weeks before the last frost in spring. Another option to increase the germination rate is to cold-stratify the seeds.

  1. Prepare the Seed Trays When planting strawberry seeds, it’s best to start them indoors in seed trays. Fill the trays with a well-draining seed-starting mix, providing the ideal environment for germinating seeds. Moisten the mix thoroughly before planting, ensuring it’s damp but not waterlogged.
  2. Plant the Strawberry Seeds Now that your trays are prepped, it’s time to plant the strawberry seeds. Place 2-3 seeds in each tray cell, lightly pressing them into the soil. Strawberry seeds require light to germinate, so don’t bury them too deep; a light sprinkling of soil or vermiculite over the top is all that’s needed.
  3. Provide Optimal Growing Conditions After planting your strawberry seeds, place the trays in a warm, sunny location. Strawberry seeds germinate best at temperatures between 60-75°F (16-24°C). If you don’t have a sunny spot, consider using a grow light to provide the required light. Keep the soil consistently moist, but avoid overwatering, which can cause the seeds to rot.
  4. Transplant the Seedlings Once your strawberry seedlings have developed at least three true leaves, it’s time to transplant them into larger pots or directly into your garden. Plant them in a well-draining soil mix, with approximately 12-18 inches (30-45 cm) between each plant. Gently remove the seedlings from the seed tray, taking care not to damage their delicate roots. Water the seedlings well after transplanting and continue to provide consistent moisture as they establish themselves in their new environment.

By following these steps and properly planting your strawberry seeds, you’ll be well on your way to a bountiful harvest of juicy, home-grown strawberries. Remember to provide proper care and attention throughout the growing season to keep your plants healthy and productive.

How to Cold Stratify Strawberry Seeds

  1. Mix seeds with equal parts of moistened peat moss
  2. Place in a ziplock bag
  3. Keep in the refrigerator for at least 4-8 weeks
  4. Do not allow the peat moss to dry out
  5. Afterwards, sow seeds in pots filled with sterilized potting soil

After cold-stratifying, seeds can be surface sown onto some prepared, soil-filled containers. It’s best to use quality garden soil when starting seeds. Leave the seeds uncovered, as exposure to light helps stimulate the germination process. Keep the soil moist, and do not let it dry out completely. Also, keep the seeds in a location with good air circulation to avoid fungi and mould issues. Wild strawberries can be slow to germinate, taking anywhere from 2 to 4 weeks.

V. How to Plant Strawberries

  1. Choose the Right Strawberry Variety: When learning how to plant strawberries, choose a suitable variety for your climate and harvest preferences, such as June-bearing, everbearing, or day-neutral strawberries.
  2. Prepare the Planting Site: A crucial step in how to plant strawberries is preparing your planting site. Ensure it has well-draining soil, receives 6-8 hours of sunlight daily, and has a slightly acidic soil pH between 5.5 and 6.5.
  3. Space and Plant the Strawberries: Proper spacing is essential when understanding how to plant strawberries. Plant them approximately 12-18 inches (30-45 cm) apart, with 3-4 feet (90-120 cm) between rows. This allows for adequate air circulation and prevents the spread of disease.
  4. Water and Mulch: After planting your strawberries, water them well and apply a 2-3 inch (5-7.5 cm) layer of organic mulch to help retain moisture, suppress weeds, and regulate soil temperature.

VI. Strawberry Plant Care

Fertilizing Strawberries

To ensure a bountiful harvest, choosing the best fertilizer for strawberries is essential, which provides the right balance of nutrients for optimal growth and fruit production.

  1. Choose the Right Fertilizer: When fertilizing strawberries, opt for a balanced, slow-release granular fertilizer, such as a 10-10-10 or 14-14-14 formula. This ensures your strawberries receive the proper nutrients throughout the growing season.
  2. Timing is Essential: Fertilizing strawberries at the correct time is vital for optimal growth and fruit production. Apply the fertilizer at planting, then again when the first flowers appear, and once more after the harvest. This gives your strawberry plants the necessary nutrients at crucial stages in their growth cycle.
  3. Apply Fertilizer Properly: To effectively fertilize your strawberries, apply the fertilizer evenly around the plants, approximately 6-8 inches (15-20 cm) from the crown. Be careful not to apply the fertilizer directly to the crown or the plant’s foliage, as this can cause burns or other damage.

By following these steps on how to plant strawberries and fertilizing strawberries, you can enjoy a bountiful harvest of juicy, delicious berries from your own garden. Proper planting and care and timely fertilization will ensure healthy, productive plants.

Watering Strawberries

  1. Consistent Moisture: When watering strawberries, it’s crucial to maintain consistently moist soil. Strawberries have shallow root systems, which makes them susceptible to drying out. Check the soil regularly and water as needed to keep it consistently moist but not waterlogged. Consistent moisture helps the plants develop strong roots, lush foliage, and juicy berries.
  2. Watering Frequency: The frequency of watering strawberries varies depending on the weather, soil type, and plant growth stage. During the growing season, strawberries typically require 1-1.5 inches (2.5-3.8 cm) of water per week. Adjust your watering schedule to ensure your strawberry plants receive the right amount of moisture. In hot, dry conditions, you may need to water more frequently. Conversely, you can reduce the watering frequency in cooler, wet conditions.
  3. Watering Techniques: When watering strawberries, using the proper technique is essential for the health of the plants. Drip irrigation or soaker hoses are the best methods for watering strawberries, as they deliver water directly to the roots without wetting the foliage. This reduces the risk of diseases such as mold or mildew, which can thrive in moist, humid conditions.
  4. Timing Matters: The best time for watering strawberries is early in the morning, allowing the plants to absorb the water before the day’s heat causes evaporation. Watering early also helps prevent fungus growth and other diseases, as the leaves have time to dry out during the day.

By following these essential tips for watering strawberries, you can support your plants’ optimal growth and fruit production. Maintaining consistent moisture, adjusting your watering frequency based on the conditions, using proper watering techniques, and watering at the right time will all contribute to your strawberry garden’s overall health and success.

VII. How to Propagate Strawberries

  1. Runners One popular method for how to propagate strawberries is by using runners. Strawberry plants naturally produce runners, which are long stems with small plantlets that grow at their nodes. Simply peg the plantlets into the soil or a small pot filled with potting mix to propagate using runners. Once the plantlets have developed roots and show new growth, cut the runner from the mother plant and transplant the new strawberry plant as desired.
  2. Division Another way to learn how to propagate strawberries is through division. This method is most suitable for older strawberry plants with multiple crowns. Gently dig up the plant, and use a sharp, sterile knife to divide the plant into sections, ensuring each section has roots and at least one healthy crown. Replant the divisions in your garden or pots to establish new strawberry plants.

Transplanting Strawberries

  1. Choose the Right Time The ideal time for transplanting strawberries is during their dormant period, typically in early spring or late fall. This timing reduces plant stress and allows them to establish themselves before the growing season begins.
  2. Prepare the Planting Site Before transplanting strawberries, ensure it has well-draining soil, receives 6-8 hours of sunlight daily, and has a slightly acidic soil pH between 5.5 and 6.5.
  3. Plant the Strawberries When transplanting strawberries, dig a hole deep enough to accommodate the plant’s roots without bending them. Fill the hole with soil, gently pressing it around the roots to eliminate air pockets. Place the plant in the hole, with the crown slightly above soil level.
  4. Water and Mulch After transplanting your strawberries, water them well and apply a 2-3 inch (5-7.5 cm) layer of organic mulch to help retain moisture, suppress weeds, and regulate soil temperature.

By mastering how to propagate strawberries and understanding the steps for transplanting strawberries, you can expand your garden and enjoy a bountiful harvest of these delicious fruits. Proper propagation and transplanting techniques will ensure your strawberry plants are healthy and productive.

VIII. Strawberry Companion Plants

  1. Blueberries: Blueberries make excellent strawberry companion plants due to their similar growing requirements. Both strawberries and blueberries thrive in slightly acidic soil with a pH between 5.5 and 6.5, making them an ideal pairing. Planting these two fruiting plants together efficiently uses garden space and creates a visually appealing, diverse fruit garden.
  2. Borage: Borage is a versatile and attractive addition to your strawberry garden. As one of the best strawberry companion plants, borage attracts beneficial insects like bees and predatory insects that help control pests. Borage also has the added benefit of improving the flavor and yield of your strawberries.
  3. Thyme: Thyme is another excellent choice when selecting strawberry companion plants. Its low-growing, spreading habit makes it an ideal ground cover, helping to suppress weeds and maintain soil moisture. Thyme also attracts beneficial insects and deters common pests, providing a natural form of pest control.
  4. Lettuce: Lettuce is a fantastic strawberry companion plant because it has shallow roots that don’t compete with strawberry plants for nutrients. Additionally, lettuce provides a living mulch that helps retain moisture, suppresses weeds, and keeps the soil cool. This pairing also makes for a visually appealing and efficient use of garden space.
  5. Chives: Chives are another popular choice among strawberry companion plants. These aromatic herbs deter pests like aphids and mites, helping to protect your strawberry plants from damage. Chives also attract beneficial insects and pollinators, which can improve the overall health of your garden.

Incorporating these strawberry companion plants into your garden can create a more diverse, attractive, and productive growing space. Combining strawberries with blueberries, borage, thyme, lettuce, and chives not only enhances your garden’s visual appeal but also supports the overall health and productivity of your strawberry plants.

IX. Conclusion

In conclusion, learning how to grow strawberries involves understanding various aspects of strawberry cultivation, such as how to grow strawberries from seeds, how to plant strawberries, and the available strawberry varieties. It’s essential to be familiar with proper watering techniques to maintain healthy strawberries and provide appropriate strawberry care. For gardeners with limited space, mastering how to grow strawberries in pots can be an excellent alternative. Key aspects of successful strawberry cultivation include fertilizing strawberries, planting strawberry seeds, and understanding how to propagate strawberries. By gaining knowledge in all these areas, you can enjoy a bountiful harvest of delicious strawberries from your garden.


  1. I am looking for everbearing strawberry plants. I am also looking for Everbearing Alpine Strawberry plants. I am interested in what you have or what you can tell me. Thanks.

    • Hi Evelyn,

      We don’t sell any strawberry plants, but we do sell the seeds. The wild varieties, including alpine, are all everbearing. If you want to try growing strawberries from seed, you can click here to see our selection of strawberry seeds. If you follow the instructions to cold stratify them, they’re fairly easy to germinate.

  2. Hi ,
    I transplanted alpine sprouts outside for some sun , but they seem too be dying (stem is getting weak and the 3rd leaf is turning yellow).
    any advice ?
    Thank you .

    • Hi Malek,

      It best to transplant when the plants have at least 2-3 sets of leaves. Plants can get shocked when the roots are disturbed too much, and if they are planted in full sun immediately. They should be set outside out of direct sunlight for a few days to give them time to adjust. Also, make sure to keep them well watered and some of the plants may survive. Sometimes they will recover from the shock after a few days.

  3. Can I grow my wild strawberry seeds indoors, as I am in zone 5 and late to put them in the fridge. They will be ready in July to plant. Or should I just put them outside?

    • The seeds should be cold treated for 4 weeks, and then you can start them indoors or directly sow them outside. I think you still have enough time this year. They probably won’t produce any fruit until next year though.

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