When I began my own home garden, I was really excited. I planted loads of strawberries, crowding them in my single garden bed, fertilized the lush plants, and waited patiently for berries to form, but nothing happened.
In fact, my plants began to look sickly, and soon, they were dying!
Could it be the distance I had planted the strawberry plants at? Indeed it was!
How Far Apart to Plant Strawberries
Plant June-bearing strawberries 18-24 inches apart and ensure the rows are four feet apart. For everbearing strawberries, the distance between rows is one foot, and each plant should be 10-12 inches from the neighboring plant. There should be a two-foot-wide path between different beds.
How to Plant Strawberries at the Right Distance
I had been planting my strawberries way too close to each other, and as a result, they were crowding each other, stealing valuable nutrients from each other, and starving as a result.
So, here’s how you can ensure that the strawberry plants you grow follow the proper distance:
Step One: Determine Your Strawberry Type
Your seed or seedling supplier should give you information on the type of strawberry you have purchased.
June-bearing strawberries need to be planted 18-24 inches apart, while everbearing strawberries should be planted 10-12 inches apart. This will tell you your garden’s layout.
Step Two: Prepare Your Garden Bed
If you have June-bearing strawberries, make rows that are four feet apart. For everbearing strawberries, ensure the rows are one foot apart.
I like to create a footpath at least two feet wide between every two rows to help give the plants some breathing room and to ensure an overzealous runner doesn’t bridge into the next bed.
This is also handy for giving me space to move between beds and harvest when the time is right.
Step Three: Measure Planting Spots
Now I have the rows laid out, I can measure the distance between the plants.
Initially, I had a measuring tape, and I carefully measured the distance in each row, placing a marker every 18-24 inches for the June-bearing strawberries and every 10-12 inches for the everbearing type.
I have now cut a board that I marked the distance on, and as a bonus, I can kneel on this board when I am planting.
So I simply place the board with one end where the first plant goes, plant that strawberry, and then I plant the second strawberry at the other end. This has made my planting process very streamlined.
I have two boards, one labeled June-bearing, which is exactly 20 inches wide as this seems to be my golden spot for June-bearing planting; and I have one labeled everbearing, which is just over 10 inches wide.
Step Four: Start Planting
Having prepared everything, it is time to plant. I carefully soak the strawberry roots in some water for a few hours before I plant them, then I dig a hollow that is about two inches deep.
The hollow’s size depends on the berry plant’s root size. When I place the berries into the hollow, I want to be able to cover the roots up to the crown of the plant, which should be level with the ground.
I have also experimented with mounding up the soil before I make the planting hollows, which helps to keep the roots more aerated, preventing your berries from drowning.
This works well, but it isn’t necessary if you carefully water your berry patch.
Step Five: Police the Runners
A strawberry plant produces runners that creep along ground level, forming roots as far as they grow. These can begin to encroach on the neighboring strawberry plants.
It is a good idea to transplant these runners if they become too extensive.
Strawberries like to have a bit of space around them, and having an extensive network of runners will sap energy from the plant, leading to fewer berries forming.
Be sure to keep a distance of 10-12 inches between everbearing plants, and once the runners start forming, you should ensure the different runners don’t begin to encroach on each other’s planting space.
The same applies to June-bearing plants, where the distance should be 20-24 inches.
Frequently Asked Questions about How Far Apart to Plant Strawberries
Can you plant strawberries close together?
Strawberries like some space, and you shouldn’t plant strawberries closer than 10 inches apart if the variety of strawberry is an everbearing or day-neutral type. For June-bearing berries, you should increase this distance to at least 20 inches to ensure good growth and maximum fruit production.
What happens when you overcrowd strawberries?
When strawberries are planted too close together, it can cause bacterial infections since there is limited airflow between the plants. Closely planted strawberries can easily develop a range of diseases, which can reduce fruit production and even lead to plant death. Since planting strawberries too close together means there will be insufficient nutrients in the soil for the amount of roots per foot of soil, fruit size will be influenced, and there may be less fruit produced.
If you have a 4×8 raised bed, how many strawberries can I grow in it?
Depending on whether you are planting June-bearing or everbearing strawberries, you would be able to plant one strawberry plant for every foot of soil. If the strawberry plant produces many runners, increase this to a foot and a half of clearance right around each plant.
The Final Distance
Be sure to plant your strawberries well apart. Rather err on the side of caution if you don’t know the specific cultivar of the strawberry you are planting.
A good guide is to keep a distance of 20 inches between plants. This gives you sufficient space for watering and fertilizing.
It will also prevent or limit the spread of disease and infestations. You will also harvest larger berries when you give them ample space to grow.
Follow the golden rule: Prepare the bed, measure, plant, and monitor.
Taking care of houseplants and gardening are my greatest passions. I am transforming my apartment into an urban jungle and am growing veggies in my indoor and outdoor garden year-round.