A raised bed can provide better soil conditions for strawberry growth.
Sequoia strawberries (Fragaria “Sequoia”) produce large, sweet berries on highly productive plants. They are winter-hardy in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 3 through 9. These short-day strawberries begin producing in winter in mild, frost-free, climates, and can continue to fruit through spring and summer if cool temperatures persist. Overly wet soil causes strawberry roots to rot, but planting them in a 12-inch raised garden bed supplies better drainage and helps them grow well. Plant sequoia strawberries in midfall to late fall from bare root plants or nursery-grown transplants.
Cover the bed with a 2-inch layer of organic mulch, such as straw or bark. Mulch conserves moisture, prevents weed growth and keeps the developing fruit clean. Don’t cover the strawberry crowns with the mulch.
Water sequoia strawberries approximately once a week or before the top 6 inches of soil dries out. Provide about 1 inch of water at each irrigation. Avoid overhead watering that soaks the foliage because this leaves strawberries more vulnerable to disease and fungi.
Apply one-quarter pound of ammonium nitrate fertilizer per 50 square foot raised bed. Apply six weeks after planting or sooner if the plants are of a light green color or show other signs of weak growth. Sprinkle the fertilizer on the soil between plants. Water in the fertilizer.
Dig a planting hole slightly deeper than the root system, and place 1 teaspoon of ammonium sulfate fertilizer in the bottom. Cover the fertilizer with a thin layer of soil. Place the sequoia strawberry plant in the hole so its crown, where the stems join the root system, sits just above the soil surface. Space the plants 8 to 15 inches apart in all directions.
Monitor the plants for mites and aphids. Rinse these pests off the strawberries with a sharp spray of water, or spray the plants once weekly with a ready-to-use insecticidal soap until the pests are destroyed. Remove slugs and snails by hand or set out slug bait around the perimeter of the raised bed to kill the pests.
Pull any weeds that invade the raised bed immediately so they don’t establish roots. Cut off the strawberry runners, which are the vine-like stems that spread out from the center of the sequoia strawberry. Cut the runners as soon as they form; otherwise the strawberries fruit poorly and crowd the bed. Disinfect pruning shears in a solution of 1 part bleach to 9 parts water before pruning runners.
Add 1 pound of organic matter, such as compost, for each square foot of raised bed. Turn the organic matter into the soil in the raised bed with a spade.
Sequoia strawberries (Fragaria “Sequoia”) produce large, sweet berries on highly productive plants. They are winter-hardy in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 3 through 9. These short-day strawberries begin producing in winter in mild, frost-free, climates, and can continue to fruit through spring …