Strawberries and raspberries always seem to be one of the easiest things for us to grow in our garden. We plant them, forget about them, and get berries. Not much other work is required. It could be that our climate is great for them, but I suspect that they are just hardy plants that grow well in many places and environments. That being the case, one of the first things we planted this year were strawberries.
Most of the gardening books we use indicate that the best time to plant strawberries and raspberries is late summer or early fall. This allows you to harvest a crop the next season. If you live in a dry area like we do, planting in early spring will work well, just don't expect to get a harvest the first year. In fact, it is recommended to pinch off the flowers of your raspberries and strawberries the first year in order to let the plants focus on establishing themselves. This allows for one to harvest a better crop the next season. Both plants do well in the sun although they can survive in shaded areas. Both plants like plenty of humus and fairly acidic conditions. They are also potash hungry. When preparing their soil, add wood ashes to the ground as it will help them thrive.
Here is what our strawberry patch looked like before we started working it.
We added straw and compost, and then we double dug the ground.
We purchased bare root stock. These are strawberries and raspberries that don't come in pots and their roots don't have dirt at all. This is the cheapest way to start them and we find that they grow just as well as long as you plant them immediately after purchasing them.
(bare root plant)
Here is what our patch looks like after our work.
This will be one of many berry patches that we will have dispersed throughout our yard. It will require some patience on our part to wait a year for the fruit but trust me, it is worth the wait when you bite into your first fresh strawberry from your yard.
What have you found works well for your strawberry and raspberry patches?