The raised bed is often only used for annual crops. However, it is a back-friendly alternative to planting perennial plants such as strawberries in it. The strawberries benefit from planting in raised beds and produce higher yields.
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If you are planning to grow strawberry plants in raised beds, then you should make some changes to standard raised beds for vegetables when it comes to layering. Strawberry plants benefit from a slightly acidic pH level, which you can achieve with proper use of organic materials. Instead of normal compost, you can preferably use leaf compost, and leaves can also be used for mulching as an alternative or supplement to straw.
Instructions for assembly:
- 1st layer: coarse branches, twigs, coarse vegetable leftovers such as root stumps
- 2nd layer: finer branches and coarser material for composting
- 3rd layer: green waste and leaves
- 4th layer: not fully decomposed compost
- 5th layer: Mixture of mature compost, some sand and garden soil
Cover the second and third layers with some garden soil, this will prevent the layers from mixing as quickly. For covering you can use the sod that you cut out before you set up the raised bed.
In principle, you can plant all varieties in raised beds, but some varieties have proven themselves in this location. You can only choose one variety, but it is an advantage if you plant different varieties. This gives you a larger window of time for the plants to flower, allowing you to harvest longer. Yields are also higher when different pollinator varieties are present.
Selection of strawberry varieties for raised beds:
- Lambada (early)
- Mara de Bois (carried several times)
- Kitty Nova (medium early)
- Merosa (several times pregnant)
- Pegasus (late)
- Rügen (strawberry of the month)
- Senga Sengana selection (mid-early)
When growing strawberries in raised beds, a culture change also applies after three to five years at the latest. Even the rich soil at this location is then usually exhausted and a culture at the same location also promotes diseases such as mold on the fruits.
The advantage of growing in raised beds is that you only have to change the soil. If you are planning a new system after three years, it is sufficient to remove and rebuild the top three layers. For a longer cultivation period, however, it is recommended that you create the entire raised bed from scratch.
You don’t have to dispose of the old soil from raised beds, you can simply add it to the compost. This will recycle it, and any organic matter that has not rotted in the bed can completely rot in the compost heap.
In principle, you can also plant strawberries in raised beds from spring to autumn. However, planting in spring from April to early May is ideal. If you plant the strawberry plants early, with a bit of luck you will have the first fruits in the same year of planting.
The advantage of raised beds is that they warm up quickly, but this also promotes drought in midsummer. If planted in spring, the plants will benefit from the higher temperatures that the soil in the raised bed has and will have taken root well by summer. As a result, they are no longer so sensitive to drought.
When planting, make sure you keep a distance of about 50 x 25 cm. This gives the plants enough space to develop and it also gives you the opportunity to plant more vegetables as a mixed culture, especially in the first few years.
- Soak the strawberries in the pot for an hour
- Take plants out of the pot
- Carefully loosen the root ball
- Dig a planting hole
- Plant strawberries up to the heart of the plant
- Apply a thin layer of straw mulch
If you have bare-root plants, you can do without watering. However, when growing, be careful not to kink the roots, as this will make the plants take longer to root as they need to realign themselves.
Occasionally it happens that the plants in raised beds are torn out by birds. Until the plants are rooted, you should protect them with a net. If your garden is generally a meeting point for birds, you should also cover the plants with a net when the fruit is ripe, because the fruit is also a treat for birds.