It’s strawberry season again, and conveniently enough, strawberries are an excellent choice for the home garden and one of the easiest fruit crops to grow. Go through these tips to grow succulent strawberries, and you will have a full grown strawberry garden in no time!

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PREP SOIL: Begin tilling aged manure into your garden soil about one month before you plant your strawberries.

THINK AHEAD: Make sure you plant the right variety of strawberry for your climate and garden size.

TIMING: You can begin planting as soon as the danger of frost is past in the spring.

ROOM TO GROW: Strawberries are sprawling plants, so make sure you allow for growing space between each plant.

GIVE ’EM SUN: Make sure your garden will get direct sunlight for at least six to nine hours a day.

BEAT WEED DEMONS: Weeding is very important in the first month of planting.

PATCH MANAGEMENT: Strawberries will produce the first year, but if you pick the blossoms to discourage fruiting, you will have a larger harvest in the second year.

WATERING: Strawberries have a shallow root system so regular watering is a must. Adding mulch around the plants can help keep in moisture so they don’t dry out as quickly.

NAP TIME: When growing season is over, cut the plants down to 1 inch and cover with pine straw. Remove this in early spring after the danger of frost has passed. This will help prevent damage to your plants over the winter season.

This article was originally published in the NEW PIONEER ™ Summer 2015 issue. Subscription is available in print and digital editions here.

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