Secrets to growing great Strawberries in Austin

Secrets to growing great Strawberries in Austin

Strawberries, like tomatoes, are one of those crops elevated to legendary levels by gardeners. Home-grown berries are nothing like the dry, bland, hard red things you get at the store. You really haven’t lived till you’ve tasted one warmed by the sun, right off the plant.

Strawberries are like tomatoes in another way too- they are a challenge to grow in our Texas climate. Check out these tips for success.

1. Give them plenty of rich soil. Amend your soil heavily with compost. I used acidified cotton bur compost with great results.

2. Make sure to mulch. Cover the ground around the plants with pine needles, wood mulch or leaves. It’s important to keep the roots cool and protected from heat.

3. Give them some shade. In the summer your strawberry plants need to be shaded. Cover them with shade cloth, grow vines on a trellis over them or plant them under a deciduous tree. I had great luck growing cucumbers over them on hoop-like supports.

My farmer friend, Amy, grows hers with plastic mulch with drip irrigation underneath. I was at her house on Easter and noticed how clean the berries are!

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