I am not really a berry, I am a fruit and proud of it. In fact I am the only fruit with seeds on my outside, just like a berry, which is how I got my name. I am probably the most delicious plant you will ever grow. I rarely make it into the kitchen, when you’re picking fruit all summer long, you will be tempted to eat me and my fruity friends right off the vine. Make sure you plant me in a good location; I will be back year after year so pick a good sunny spot and don’t forget to water me. I will reward your efforts with some of the sweetest, juiciest fruits you ever tasted.
When planting strawberries it is important to remember that they come back every year. So choose a location carefully. Make sure to plant them where they will get sun all day long. Make sure the soil is loose, and is able to drain water. Before you plant your first crop you may want to have an adult help you add sand, compost or shredded bark to the soil. Avoid planting in areas with soil that is always wet or feels like clay. Strawberries also do great in pots on the patio and in most containers. Just make sure they have plenty of room to grow in and get at least a half day of sun.
Watch your strawberries grow and you will see a few stages. First the green leaves appear. As the plants get bigger you will see little white flowers. These flowers are pretty, but don’t pick them. Once bees and other bugs pollinate them, these flowers turn into strawberries.
Strawberry plants also develop shoots that look like vines with a tiny little plant on the end. These are called runners. Some people cut these off so all of the plant’s energy is concentrated on producing yummy berries. If you let them grow long enough, you can stick the end of the runners in to the ground and a new strawberry plant should start to grow.
It is fun to watch them grow from tiny, hard green berries into bright red juicy berries. When the strawberries reach just the right deep shade of red you know they are ready to be picked. After you taste test a few, you will know just by looking at them when they are ready.
Keep an eye out for leaves that turn yellow, and trim them from time to time. At the end of the season after frost, the plant will shrivel up. Clean up as many of them as you can, and your plants will thank you when they come back the next spring