The season of strawberries from your own garden is always far too short. That is why we want the perennials to be bright red, interspersed with fruits through and through. So that the crop yield never stops during this time, enough building blocks should be provided in good time. Artificial fertilizer is not necessary, because some home remedies provide optimal nutrients for aromatic fruit production. Which ones are they?

The nutrient expectation of the strawberry plant

In their original form, strawberry plants are pure forest dwellers. There they are rooted in a soil rich in humus, but poor in minerals. Grown garden strawberries are still fond of a meager supply of minerals, although they have to produce far more and larger fruits. For the size of the berries, an adequate water supply is crucial anyway.

Fertilize minerally or organically?

Without an external supply of nutrients, the garden strawberry does not thrive as productively as it is desired and expected. However, the fertilizer must be carefully chosen and, above all, correctly dosed. The strawberry is a humble consumer who does not get along well with an oversupply.

Because of its low-mineral origin, the strawberry does not make an oversupply of nutrient salts. Therefore, purely mineral and mixed fertilizers should be kept completely away from it. The best way to get the nutrients it needs from an organic berry fertilizer.

Many home remedies that occur occasionally and free of charge in the household are wonderfully suitable for organic fertilization of the Fragaria. However, it is important to ensure that these are not too salty.

Bark humus and deciduous humus

Compost is badly “the biological fertilizer”. The gardener usually makes it himself from plant residues and kitchen waste and distributes it generously to his plants when it is ripe. Most of the plants that thrive in the garden benefit noticeably from this nutrient-rich diet, but strawberry plants do not. Conventional garden compost is far too salty for them.

It looks different with pure bark or leaf compost. Although these do not offer a high concentration of nutrients, they improve the soil structure so that strawberry plants feel comfortable in it. These two types of compost are worked well into the soil and loosen it up well. These are the best prerequisites for the development of the roots and thus for the supply of the strawberries.

Horse manure

If you can go to a horse stable not far away, there is another home remedy waiting for you that is suitable for biological fertilization: horse manure. It is a good substitute for commercially available berry fertilizers, but has to be treated differently during application. Fresh manure must not come into direct contact with the plants as it can burn them. Here the right time is crucial for the health of the plants.

  • ideal fertilizer before planting the strawberry plants
  • Apply to the intended bed about two months in advance
  • work into the ground
  • 5 liters of horse manure per square meter

Wood ash

Ash is a natural product that remains as a residue after burning wood and other organic substances. It is rich in potassium and trace elements that can ensure a pleasant strawberry harvest. Nothing speaks against the biological fertilization with ash as long as it is pure. This is the case, for example, if you burn dry branches in your garden.

Ashes from grilling can contain heavy metals. This also applies to residues from firewood, the origin of which you do not know. If polluted ashes are scattered on the strawberry patch, these undesirable substances are also absorbed by the plants. After all, they get into our body through the delicious fruits.

Ash as a household remedy for strawberry fertilization is therefore only an option if it comes from uncontaminated wood from sustainable cultivation. Even then, the dosage of 30 grams per square meter should not be exceeded.

Nettle manure

Nettle manure is an almost universally applicable home remedy that can also serve as a nutrient supplier for strawberry plants. So that the intensive liquid manure does not noticeably affect the taste of the fruit, it should only be used in moderation. Since nettles grow wild everywhere in this country, nettle manure is available free of charge year after year. You only need to be patient until the liquid manure has matured and is ready for use. How to make this slurry yourself:

  1. Go in search of nettle plants that grow away from car exhaust. Bring a large bag, secateurs and definitely protective gloves.
  2. Collect about 1 kg of fresh nettle shoots, each without flowers or seed heads.
  3. At home, use the scissors to cut the nettles into smaller pieces and then put them in a large bucket.
  4. Fill the vessel with 10 liters of water and cover it with a fine-meshed net or grid. These keep pests and small animals away.
  5. Put the mixture in a place where it gets plenty of sun and warmth. Make sure, however, that it stands a little apart, as the fermentation will give off unpleasant odors.
  6. Stir the nettle manure every day. When no more bubbles rise, the liquid manure has ripened. Depending on the weather, this process can be completed after a few days or last two to three weeks.
  7. Dilute the home remedy with water before using it to fertilize your plants. For very young plants, there are 20 liters of water for every 500 ml of liquid manure. Older strawberry plants can be watered with twice the concentration.
Tip:  You don’t have to use the liquid manure as a fertilizer immediately after fermentation. Nettle manure can be stored for a whole season and consumed in portions as required.

Coffee grounds

Coffee powder that has already left its aromatic substances in a cup of coffee is still far too valuable to land in the trash can. Coffee grounds are ideal for organic fertilization of strawberry plants because they contain plenty of:

  • Potassium
  • Phosphor
  • and nitrogen

The acidic coffee grounds also lower the pH value of the soil and attract earthworms, which work to loosen the soil. Both slightly acidic and loosened soil, love strawberry plants. Only the usual household amount could prove to be too small to fully cover the requirements of all strawberry plants. In this case, you can mix the coffee grounds 1: 1 with horn flour or get more coffee grounds from a nearby café. You need the following amounts of dried coffee grounds per plant:

  • approx. 35 grams when planting
  • approx. 40 grams after harvest
  • approx. 15 grams in spring
Tip:  Work the coffee grounds into the soil and then water them extensively.

Fertilize single-bearing strawberries

Single-bearing strawberry varieties already plant their flower buds in autumn of the previous year, for which they draw plenty of nutrients from the earth. Fertilization in the current year therefore has no effect on the amount of the upcoming harvest.

  • the optimal time is after the harvest
  • Apply fertilizer in early autumn at the latest
  • benefits the harvest of the following year

Time to carry strawberries forever

So-called remontant strawberry varieties bloom continuously from spring to autumn. During this period there should be sufficient nutrients for them.

  • Provide with fertilizer every two weeks
  • dose weakly and thus avoid harmful overdosing
  • Incorporate fertilizer into the moist soil

Fertilize potted strawberries

Strawberry plants that thrive in a pot also need nutrients every two weeks. The easiest way to administer this is to dissolve it in irrigation water. Incidentally, conventional potting soil is unsuitable for these fruit-bearing plants because it contains too much mineral salts. It is better to put their roots in herbal soil that has been enriched with a bit of deciduous humus.

A good start to berry life
Strawberry plants need a balanced and regular supply of nutrients not only during the vegetation phase. Your start in the garden should also be well prepared with targeted nutrient enrichment.

For this purpose, suitable compost or horse manure is usually worked into the bed weeks before planting. Just as important as this nutrient supply, however, is a deep loosening of the soil. The roots of the strawberry go up to 60 cm deep in search of useful nutrients.

Strawberry plants can grow splendidly and still produce only a few fruits. So that the harvest quantity and fruit quality are also correct, the fertilization must be precisely adapted to your needs. The ideal fertilizer dose is low in mineral salts and modestly dosed. Home remedies such as coffee grounds, leaf compost & Co. are ideally suited for this berry plant and are free of charge.

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