Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Garden Recipe: Strawberry Soil

The start to almost any happy plant is in the its soil, and that's no exception with strawberries. And strawberries, despite their reputation of being an "easy" plant to grow, they do have specific fertilizer requirements.

Heavy Feeders
Strawberries are shallow rooted plants (meaning their roots stay close to the surface of the soil) so they quickly deplete the nutrients up top. So, strawberries are heavy feeders and require nutrient rich soil to be happy. Adding compost will add organic matter and nutrients but you're also adding a balanced fertilizer (such as E.B. Stone's all purpose fertilizer) per the directions on the box. Depending on how you're planting you strawberries, adding fertilizer may be hard mid season so I would recommend a time released organic fertilizer such as Gardener's Supply's All Purpose Organic Fertilizer if you are planting in pots.

Strawberries drink a lot, but they don't like their feet to be in a puddle. So the trick to quenching strawberries thirst without having to water every day is to add peat moss, which has the ability to absorb up to 20 times it's weight in water, and vermiculite, which helps with drainage of excess water and soil compaction.

Acid level
Strawberries like slightly acidic soil lower than 7; after adding Peat Moss, which lowers soil PH, I added only a little sulfur after testing the original garden soil ph as 7.5.

5 parts all purpose garden soil
2 parts compost
4 parts vermiculite
5 parts peat moss
Slow release organic fertilizer (per product's instructions)
Sulfur as needed

Wheel barral
A method of measuring

Time: After buying supplies, less than an hour


  1. Mix all ingredients together and add water until the soil is moist but not damp or water logged.
  2. Just to check, test the acid level of the soil. 
  3. Plant some strawberry plants in the pot of your choice!

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