How To Keep Strawberries Off The Ground

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How To Keep Strawberries Off The Ground?

There are numerous reasons why you should keep your strawberries off the ground. Although you can plant them in the soil directly, you also need to ensure they don’t touch the ground soil or be exposed to wet conditions.

They risk being exposed to fungal infections if they’re near moist soil for too long. If you don’t want diseased strawberries, we recommend keeping them off the ground.

Thankfully, there are a lot of affordable methods to help you keep your fruits away from the ground. Another added benefit is that if your strawberries are higher up, insects on the ground won’t be able to get to them.

How Can You Keep Strawberries Off The Ground?

There are several ways you can keep strawberries off the ground. In this article, we’ll look at some of the easiest methods for beginner growers to save their fruits.

While you might need to buy a few additional items, you shouldn’t have to spend too much. For example, you can use small laundry baskets, planters, raised garden beds and support frames or even cover your soil with other materials like mulch or straw.

Grow Them in Raised Garden beds

Raised garden beds like the rectangular metal raised garden bed from Best Choice are a popular gardening method involving growing plants in soil elevated above ground level.

These beds are typically constructed using wood, stone, or concrete blocks and can be designed in various shapes and sizes.

Raised garden beds offer several benefits, including better drainage, improved soil quality, and easier access for planting, weeding, and harvesting.

They also help to reduce the risk of soil-borne diseases and pests and can extend the growing season by warming the soil earlier in the spring.

Raised garden beds can be an attractive and functional addition to any landscape, providing a convenient and productive space for growing a wide range of plants, from vegetables and herbs to flowers and shrubs.

*For our top recommended raised garden beds for seniors, please see 5 Best Raised Garden Beds for Seniors: Comfortable and Easy-to-Use Options

Grow Them In Planters

There are different types of planters available to grow your strawberries in. Some of these are specifically designed for small berries. They don’t need to be large either and can be placed in any garden.

You can put your planters in a position that allows your strawberries to hang over the sides. One popular planter is the Mr. Stacky 5-Tier Strawberry Planter Pot. This planter is great for growing strawberries, herbs, succulents, flowers, peppers, lettuce, and much more in a one-square-foot vertical space.

It has additional side openings to ensure there is plenty of space for each of your strawberries as they grow.

Support Frames

How To Keep Strawberries Off The Ground?

A strawberry support frame is one of the best methods for beginners and veterans. These come in different materials, such as plastic and metal.

A popular and wallet-friendly support frame option is the Iceyyyy Strawberry Plant Support, Growing Rack and Frame

These support frames are simply racks with ground stakes that you can use to keep your strawberry plants elevated.

These aren’t particularly large, with a rough diameter of 12 inches, and they’ll keep your strawberries 3 or 4 inches above the ground. Plastic racks are more affordable, but we recommend metal if you want something more durable.

Use Laundry Baskets

Do you have a small laundry basket you haven’t found a use for? It might be too small to keep items in, but it’s not too small for your strawberries. By using a small laundry basket, you can turn it into a strawberry cage to keep your berries safe.

The Evou Set of 4 Lightweight Plastic Bushel Round Laundry Baskets is a great and economical solution for raising strawberries.

All you need to do is do a little bit of DIY. Cut the base off your small laundry basket and drop them over your strawberry plant. Your strawberries will rest on your basket sides.

Remember to use a basket with holes to ensure they have plenty of airflow; this is a great method to keep them safe.

Put A Thick Fabric Below Them

Covering strawberries with thick fabrics is a simple method to keep them off the soil. Usually, mulch and plastic sheets are the more popular choices. We recommend removing any weeds below them first.

You must cut a large X shape to put the fabric down. It’s best to let the strawberry plant grow through it. However, you can also drape it over plants already growing fruit.

You need to weigh the edges to ensure it doesn’t fly away. While this doesn’t stop the strawberries from falling on the ground, the mulch will stop it from reaching the soil itself.

You shouldn’t have any issues stopping water from getting to them, and it will be more difficult for bugs to reach them.

Place Straw Underneath Them

We’ll place this separately from the plastic mulch because straw has different effects. Not only does straw protect your strawberries from the ground, but it can stop slugs and snails from getting them.

Slugs and snails will stay away because they might get punctured by straw. If they’re scratched, they’ll die. You don’t need a special straw, either.

If you have any pets with bedding, you can use their straw to place underneath the strawberries. Straw is generally waterproof, so you don’t have to worry about them getting too wet, either.

Why Should You Keep Strawberries Off The Ground?

You should keep your strawberries off the ground because they can get infected with fungal infections when wet. You’ll also find that insects are more attracted to them on the ground and more likely to eat at them.

If some insects get to them, you could have a small selection coming to your garden. Immediately remove your strawberries from the plant if they are infected with rot.

When they rot, you’ll notice that your berries look gray and have a velvet coat. You won’t be able to eat them and don’t want to let them fall to the ground, or insects will quickly look for them.

How To Keep Strawberries From Rotting On The Ground

To prevent strawberries from rotting on the ground, follow these steps:

  • Place a layer of straw under the plants to create a barrier.
  • Harvest ripe strawberries promptly and discard any spoiled ones.
  • Avoid overwatering, as excess moisture can lead to rotting.
  • Keep the area clean and free from debris.
  • Consider using raised beds or containers for better drainage.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What Is The Best Mulch For Strawberries?

A: Straw mulch is the best for strawberries as it protects them from slugs and snails and protects them from damp surfaces. They’re known to steady the temperature of the soil, so your strawberries are protected.

Q: When Should I Put Straw Under My Strawberries?

A: It’s best to put straw under your strawberries starting late May. You only need a few inches so your fruit doesn’t lie on the ground. We recommend using barley straw as it’s softer than other types.

Q: How To Keep Strawberries From Touching The Ground

To prevent strawberries from touching the ground, try using a straw mulch. Place a straw beneath the plants to elevate them and protect the berries from rotting or getting contaminated. Additionally, regular pruning and proper spacing between plants can also help keep strawberries off the ground, ensuring cleaner and healthier fruit.

Q: How to keep strawberries off the ground DIY

A: There are a few DIY methods you can use to keep strawberries off the ground:
Use a trellis: You can create a trellis using stakes and wire or string. Tie the strawberry plants to the trellis so that they grow vertically, growing strawberries off the ground.
Use a strawberry tower: You can create a strawberry tower by stacking pots on each other, with the strawberries growing from the sides. This will keep the fruit off the ground and make it easier to harvest.
Use straw or mulch: Placing a layer of straw or mulch around the strawberry plants can help keep the fruit off the ground and prevent rotting.
Use a raised bed: Growing strawberries in a raised bed can help keep the fruit off the ground and make it easier to harvest.
Use a hanging basket: You can grow strawberries in a hanging basket, keeping them from touching the ground and making them easier to harvest.

Final Thoughts

Keeping strawberries off the ground is a challenge for beginners, as they don’t realize how sensitive strawberries are. If you’ve been growing strawberries for some time, you don’t want your efforts to go to waste because of a bad batch of berries.

If insects find one that’s gone bad, you will likely only have more coming to your garden. So keep your strawberries elevated or the ground covered to stop this from happening. Happy Planting.

Further Recommendations:

Video: Keep Strawberries Off the Ground

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