QUICK REFERENCE PLANTING GUIDE
1. Light/Sun Exposure - Full to partial sun.
2. USDA Hardiness Zones - 4 to 10.
3. Planting Distance - In-ground 12 inches apart in rows 12 inches apart.
4. Mature Height/Spread - 6 to 8 inches the first year with each plant lightly filling in a one square foot area and throwing out runners (new baby plants) in multiple directions. By the second year, each plant is thickly filling in the original one square foot area and expanding outward.
5. Bloom Time - Early summer with intermittent fruit through fall.
6. Planting Instructions - Proper planting depth is important. For planting in "POUCHES” see “Quick Reference”. For in-ground planting see “Continuing Care”.
Note: Your plants were shipped to you in a dormant state and will burst into growth after planting. This is their normal appearance upon shipment. While you may get fruit the first season, the more bountiful early and late summer crops will be heavier after the first year in the ground. Strawberries can be a bit slow to produce depending on when they were planted and the individual growing conditions.
GET THE MOST ENJOYMENT
Our Strawberry Pouches will allow you to grow your strawberry plants in any sunny spot in your garden, on your patio, porch, deck, or balcony. The manufacturer tells us that these are the 'World's Strongest Flower Pouches'. Each green pouch has ten pre-cut planting holes and can be re-used from year to year. They are perfect for those who have limited space and want to enjoy fresh strawberries simply by walking out onto their porch, deck, or patio to gather fresh berries. Because the strawberry pouches hang, the strawberries are easy to locate and pick. The quality of the fruit is also generally better than fruit from the garden because the fruit does not touch the soil. Hang the planted pouches in full to part sun on walls, fences, decks, lamp posts, around the swimming pool, on porches or balconies and show off your matched set of hanging strawberry pouches. They will provide an ornamental look throughout the summer with cascading emerald foliage contrasting against the white blossoms and developing red fruit.
QUICK REFERENCE FOR PLANTING THE POUCHES
1. Set the pouch on newspaper or plastic in case soil falls out on the floor or ground. This mat will also allow you to capture any soil that spills while filling the pouches. Open the bag of custom potting mix and begin filling the pouches.
2. Fill the pouch with soil up to the first set of pre-cut holes, (starting from bottom) insert one plant into each hole, spreading the roots out and angling them up leaving the crown of the plant sticking out of the hole.
3. Continue adding soil up to the next set of pre-cut holes and inserting plants until you reach the top. Be sure to water the pouch after each layer of plants and soil.
4. When you get to the top we recommend planting 2 or 3 plants in this larger opening. There will still be extra plants which can be put in a garden bed, utilized as a decorative ground cover, or used to fill another planter.
5. Firm the soil around the plants with your fingers and add any soil as needed. Water thoroughly. Some potting mix may spill out until completely moistened so care must be taken to water gently. Check soil moisture frequently as container plantings tend to dry out more frequently than plants in the ground.
6. Cottage Farms' Bud-N-Flower Booster for Fruits and Vegetables can be applied every 2-3 weeks for optimum growth and fruit production.
Although these plants will perform well in average garden soils of all types, we recommend having your soil tested periodically by the local County Extension Office. These tests can determine if the soil needs any amendments to enhance your plants' growth and performance. See below for our recommended practice to improve your soil without any additional testing:
1. Spade or till the soil to a depth of 12-18 inches.
2. To provide nutrients and improve drainage, add organic matter to your soil by mixing in a 2 to 4-inch layer of dehydrated manure, garden compost, shredded leaves, and/or peat moss.
3. After active growth begins, periodically feed with Cottage Farms' water soluble Carefree Bud-N-Flower Booster for Fruits and Vegetables. Plants in containers need more frequent watering and feeding, especially when in active growth and bloom.
Watering - Your plants require 1" of rainfall (or equivalent watering) each week when planted in the ground. Do not allow plants in containers to dry out. In a container that is exposed to full sun, water it well at least once every other day, and possibly every day, during periods of intense summer heat.
Planting in ground - When planting in ground, proper depth of a plant is important. Create a shallow hole 12 inches wide and spread the Strawberry roots almost flat, adjusting the height of the crown, carefully keeping it just above ground level. Cover with soil so the bed is level and then water thoroughly.
Mulching - Apply a 2-4 inch layer of shredded bark, compost or other organic mulch around your plants to promote moisture retention, maintain even soil temperatures, and to discourage weed growth.
Weeding - Keep the area around your plants free of weeds. Weeds compete with all plants for food, water and light. Walk around the garden periodically and pull weeds, including the roots, as soon as you see them.
Pruning - In the first year, your strawberries will produce flowers that will result in a few berries. For best results, keep the blooms pinched off the first year so your plants develop a stronger root system to produce better fruit the following years.
Special Note: Trim off the long, vine-like “runners” that hold the blossoms as this will promote better fruiting. Your plants put all their energy into producing these runners instead of fruit. After pinching off these “runners”, plant them and they will grow into mature plants. Continue to pinch off any “runners” each growing season.
Feeding - Discontinue feeding after September 1st so your plants can harden off for winter dormancy. Resume fertilizing when new growth appears in spring and feed every 2-3 weeks.
Winterizing - Strawberries require little if any winter protection. When temperatures fall below freezing, move your container into an unheated garage or a cool basement and lightly water them once every 7-10 days to keep the soil from drying out.
For in-ground plants apply a winter mulch of evergreen boughs, straw, or leaves to in-ground plantings to prevent lifting of the plant's roots during alternating periods of freezing and thawing.
In spring, remove mulch from in-ground plantings. Also, bring containerized plants back out into the garden sunlight where they will immediately begin to repeat their yearly garden performance.
CAUTION: Not all plant material is edible. Though most plants are harmless, some contain toxic substances which can cause headaches, nausea, dizziness, or other discomforts. As a general rule, only known food products should be eaten. In case of ingestion, please contact your local poison control center at once and advise them of the plant ingested. Keep out of reach of children.