Friday, June 22, 2012

Growing Tips: Strawberries in Raised Beds and Containers

Warning to Beginning Gardeners: What I learned from Growing Strawberries

Concern arose when my strawberry plant's leaves started turning brown and the fruit looked dry and shrivel.

It was producing nice healthy fruit until I put bone meal on it, then things took a dark turn. Bone meal is an organic fertilize used to slowly infuse the plant with phosphorus.
Phosphorus is one of the primary nutrient need to grow along with nitrogen and potassium. Plants also need secondary nutrient: calcium, magnesium, and sulfur. As a beginning gardener I didn't think it was possible to give a strawberry plant to much nutrient, but that is so far from the truth. Giving plants nutrient is a tricky game of measurements and amounts. The first thing I learned from giving my plant to much nutrients:

1. Nutrients seem beneficial to plants, but they are ONLY good for the plant if given the right PROPORTIONS. You can give your plant TO MUCH NUTRIENTS!

Do your research. Know what you are putting on your plant and why. It is easier to give a fruit or vegetable plant to much nutrient than giving it the right amount.

Plant Therapy

To fix my little phosphorus overdose problem, I flooded the strawberry plant to wash out all of the excess nutrients. Then I built it a new home: a wood raised bed.

Undercover Strawberry Plant Investigation

As I was transferring the strawberry plant from it's old container to new raised bed, I noticed that the soil was way to WET. Besides the fact that the strawberry plant was over fertilized, it was also suffering from pour drainage. Strawberry plants need to be planted in soft fluffy drainable soil. The container I had the strawberry plant in was plastic and not letting out enough water. Plants roots need oxygen and if they are drowning in water they are not getting enough oxygen. The second thing I learned from giving my plant to much nutrients:

2. Strawberry plants need to be planted soil and containers that drain.

If the soil is clay like or if the container holds in water the roots may suffer from root rot. To make sure you avoid drowning your strawberry plants, mix perlite into the soil manure mix.


About 8 days after treatment

The strawberry plant looks a lot healthier and is now producing nice beautiful flowers and strawberries again.

Check out my new video where I start a Strawberry Patch in my first 15x15 garden plot!


  1. I learned the hard way that you can over fertilize. My strawberry plant died :(

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  4. Thank you so much, finally i found the problem that was affecting my strawberries.


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