Strawberries are among the easiest fruits for home gardeners to grow. These berries are perennials that return to the garden year after year, they are perfect for small spaces, and you can grow them for a fraction of their supermarket cost. If you want to start a crop of your own quickly and simply, try growing strawberries in raised beds. This article has all the info you’ll need to get started. It’s a complete guide to raised bed strawberry growing – from planting to harvest.
Why growing strawberries in raised beds is a great idea:
Raised garden beds are the perfect fit for strawberries. They offer the good drainage strawberry plants require, and they make it easy to control the quality of the soil your berries are grown in. In addition, raised garden beds make it easy to care for the plants. Protecting the berries from birds is far simpler than when growing strawberries in the ground, and there’s no bending required to harvest the fruits.
- Making sure the plants receive ample water is a piece of cake
- Weeding is kept at a minimum
- It’s easier to monitor the plants for signs of diseases
- The fast-spreading plants are kept contained
What types of raised beds are best for growing strawberries?
After you’ve decided to plant your berries in a raised garden, the next step is to decide what type of raised bed to use. Truth be told, the most important thing is to locate your strawberry patch in the full sun; what the bed is made of is of secondary importance. The good news is there are lots of choices. Which one to select depends on your budget, your sense of aesthetics, and how much space you have.
Here are some different options for strawberry raised beds:
- Untreated cedar, redwood, or locust is best. Avoid pressure treated lumber.
- Elevated wooden or plastic beds. Raised up on legs, these are great choices for the patio, porch, or deck.
- I like these beds from Birdies Raised Beds, but there are lots of other metal raised bed options, too
- Bricks, rocks, or concrete. These materials create a more permanent growing space than some other options
- Raised bed DIY kits. There’s no shortage of options on the market, but here are some of my favorites.
- Geo-textile fabrics. These low-cost, fabric raised beds are great options, too.
A standard 4’ X 8’ raised bed provides enough berries for my family of 3. We eat some of the berries fresh, use some to make jam, and freeze any that we can’t eat fast enough. Larger beds provide more berries, obviously, while a smaller 4’ X 4’ or 6’ X 2’ bed is perfect if you’d just like a handful of berries for your cereal each morning. There is no required minimum or maximum bed size, really. It’s whatever suits your space and your needs. You can even grow strawberries in pots.
What to fill the raised beds with
Aside from ensuring your strawberry patch is in full sun, another important factor in your success is filling the raised bed with the best soil possible. There are many different choices, and I’ve experimented with several over the years when growing strawberries in raised beds. Here are three options for filling your new strawberry garden: