wikiHow to Prepare the Soil for Strawberries

Preparing and setting up a strawberry patch require time and attention to detail in order to produce the best crop. Most people would agree that the results are well worth it as 25 strawberry plants can supply enough fruit for 4 people over a growing season.


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    Plan ahead to find the best place for your strawberry bed. Observe your possible locations over a few months time and pick the sunniest spot with the best water drainage. Avoid planting strawberries in an area that is excessively windy. Too much wind blows away beneficial insects.
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    Choose the best strawberry varieties for your temperature zone. Your garden catalog will have a zone map included that you can consult, or you can talk to the people at your local garden center to find what grows best in your climate.
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    Test the pH level of your garden area. A pH level of 6.0 to 6.5 is the best soil for growing strawberries, but a range of 5.5 to 7.0 is also acceptable.
    • You can check the pH level yourself by purchasing a kit at any garden supply center. Put soil into the provided container, add a measured amount of the provided testing chemical and compare the resultant color to the kit's color chart to determine your soil's pH level.
    • Alternatively, you can take or mail a sample of your soil to a local county extension office. They will test the soil and provide recommendations on how to adjust your soil for the best results when growing strawberries. They can also recommend the best strawberries for your area saving you some real disappointment in the future.
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    Dig up the entire strawberry patch area to the depth of your spade at least 1 month before planting time. Break up any large clumps of soil and remove any weeds or stones. Watch for harmful grubs and other insects, and remove them. If you need to adjust the pH, now is the time to apply the lime. Mix it into the soil thoroughly.
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    Incorporate as much organic matter from your compost pile into the strawberry patch soil at least a month before planting time. Work in several handfuls of bone meal per square yard (meter) at the same time.
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    Add in a good organic fertilizer 1 week before planting. Aged cow or horse manure are good choices and readily available at garden centers.
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    Don't mulch the ground before planting. Allow the soil to have as much exposure to sunlight as you can so that the ground is warm enough from planting.


  • Strawberries are a good crop to grow in raised beds. This allows you to easily control weeds and moisture levels. Raised beds also keep the plants above a late frost line, saving the tender seedlings.


  • Strawberries should not be planted in garden areas where potatoes, tomatoes, eggplant, raspberries and peppers (either sweet or hot) have been grown. A serious disease called verticillium wilt can be passed to the strawberry plants.
  • Don't plan a strawberry patch where grass or sod was grown in the past 2years if at all possible. Sod and grass attract wire worms and grubs which are destructive to the strawberries.

Things You'll Need

  • Garden catalog
  • Spade
  • Lime
  • Compost
  • Organic fertilizer
  • Soil testing kit

Article Info

Categories: Compost Mulch and Soil Preparation