How Much Water Do Strawberries Need?

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How Much Water Do Strawberries Need?

Generally speaking, strawberries are one of the most common garden fruits that people grow at home and one of the easiest to make a success of.

However, this does not mean that they are without pitfalls, and if the simple needs of the strawberries are not met, they will not grow strong, abundant, and healthy like you want them to. 

This means ensuring good watering patterns and general maintenance. But how much water do strawberry plants need, and what happens if this isn’t met? 

How Much Water Do They Need? 

In a ‘regular environment,’ strawberries require roughly 1-2 inches of water per week.

A regular environment refers to that which is moderate in terms of climate, receives average rainfall, and does not drop below freezing. 

These are considered the perfect conditions for optimal plant growth but obviously need amending for environments where the temperatures get hotter, more rain and moisture, and the weather can drop colder. 

Does Plant Size Affect Watering? 

Smaller/younger strawberry plants require slightly more watering in the early days, mainly because the roots need as much water as possible to grow and thrive. 

However, if you are planting an existing larger plant – such as one from another garden or a garden center – you should water it more due to its size.

However, for a general plant in the early stages of its rooted development, you should stick to 1-2 inches weekly. 

How To Tell If They Need Water? 

There are a number of ways to tell if your strawberries are parched and need water. 

The Finger Method

While consistent, regular watering is considered best for strawberry plants, the best way to check whether they need watering or not is the finger method.

This means probing the soil with your finger to test softness, moisture, and sponginess. 

If the soil is bone dry, and your finger cannot penetrate the soil, then your plant will be in desperate need of watering.

Alternatively, your plant is sufficiently watered if the soil is sodden and rich with water.

The latter might be the case if there has been a lot of rain recently; in this case, it will not need more water for a day or two. 

Check Foliage

If you are not watering your strawberry plants enough, you will probably notice that it doesn’t have enough leaves or foliage surrounding the stems. 

This is a sign that your plant is drying up and is desperate for watering. The plant will also produce fewer strawberries during this period, as it cannot spare the energy to grow. 

Plant Age

Another factor that affects the watering level needed is the age of the plant in question.

The very nature of younger plants means that they are better at holding onto water and require less watering. 

However, older plants do not retain water as thoroughly and will require more frequent watering to accommodate for this and keep them healthy. 

How Much Water Do Strawberries Need?

What Are The Signs Of Overwatering? 

When it comes to growing plants, overwatering can be a big problem, especially in hot climates where people might think they need to overcompensate. 

This can be as much of a problem as underwatering, and there are many signs you can look out for to see if this is the case with your strawberry plant. 

Wilting

If your strawberry plants have been overwatered, then one of the main signs you will see is the leaves and stems wilting. 

This can often be mistaken for them needing watering, leading to the gardener watering them even further – something that can cause problems like root rot and smaller fruit harvests. 

Color Of Leaves

Overwatering can also lead to the edges of leaves turning brown – another sign that can have the same appearance as underwatering.

This means you must be vigilant and check the exact nature of the damage before drowning the plant in even more water. 

You can do this by checking the soil with your fingers. If the soil feels moist, but the leaves are browning, then chances are you have overwatered it.

This can often happen after a large deluge of rainwater, and if this is the case, you should let it dry up a little more and absorb the existing water before adding more. 

What Else Facilitates Good Strawberry Growth? 

As well as devising a proper watering schedule, there are other things you can do to ensure a good harvest of healthy strawberries. 

Use Mulch

Adding mulch under the strawberry plants can be good in warmer climates and helps keep the plants moist and safe from drying out. 

Some popular options include Wood Smith USA 100% Natural Cedar Shavings, straw, shredded leaves, and pine needles. Whatever mulch you choose, please ensure it is free of weeds and disease.

However, this should be avoided in colder climates as the moisture from the mulch can enable mold to grow. 

Frequent Soil Checks

Regularly checking the soil is the best way to ensure a good strawberry harvest.

Ensuring you have well-fertilized and optimal soil is also crucial for your strawberry’s health.

 You can also add a layer of compost like Ribbon Organics OMRI Certified Organic Compost or other organic matter to help improve soil fertility. Fertilizing the soil regularly is also important.

*For our detailed and tested organic fertilizer recommendations, please see the article Best Organic Fertilizers for Strawberries: Boost Your Crop Yield Naturally.

Strawberries have shallow roots, so they can easily be over or underwhelmed by water levels. 

By checking the soil with your fingers, you can properly gauge the moisture levels and act accordingly with your watering. 

Final Thoughts

And there we have it: everything you need to know about strawberries and how much water they need to remain healthy, abundant, and strong. 

It’s true that strawberries are a popular garden fruit that can be relatively easy to grow in most environments.

However, to make this dream a reality, you need to follow the above-mentioned steps, especially if you want rich, widespread strawberry plants that will keep coming back again and again. 

So if you want to grow better strawberries, then be sure to follow the above-mentioned guide. Something tells me you won’t be disappointed!

Further Recommendations:

Video: How Much Water Does It take to Grow a Strawberry?

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