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8 Best Fertilizers for Strawberries – A Buyers Guide

8 Best Fertilizers for Strawberries – A Buyers Guide

Strawberries were first grown as a garden fruit in the 18th century. Today they have become a common accessory fruit in the home garden. 

Strawberries are the first fruit you’ll enjoy in spring and indeed one of the yummiest fruit in the berry garden. They can be used in almost everything, including jams, pies, and ice cream. 

Strawberries are loved by everyone for their bright color, fresh aroma, juicy and sweet flavor. But to grow the best strawberry, you need to put some effort into finding the correct plant food for them. 

The right fertilizer can help you experience the best berry season, so continue reading to choose one of the best fertilizers for strawberries

 

 

Best Fertilizers for Strawberries

 

Berry-tone by Espoma Organic – Best Overall Strawberry Fertilizer

The best type of fertilizer is the one designed specifically for the type of plant you are growing. The Berry-tone is dedicated to all types of berries and is the best choice for homegrown strawberries. 

Every ingredient in this fertilizer is included to complement the growing condition of berries like strawberries. The fertilizer analysis for this fertilizer is 4-3-4, and it is 100% organic.

It’s slow-release plant food, so the nutrients are available for a long period. The perfect soil for strawberries is the one with a slightly acidic pH

This fertilizer can make your soil acidic to create a perfect growing environment. 

For a healthy strawberry yield, use the Berry-tone twice every year (early and late spring) with a gap of 45-60 days after the first application. 

Avoid using this fertilizer in the fall or when the soil’s frozen. 

 

Pros

  • Comes with a resealable bag that can be opened easily 
  • Top choice for organic production of strawberries 
  • Formulated using the Bio-tone soil microbes
  • Guaranteed to provide more growth and bigger strawberries
  • Contains alfalfa meal, bone meal, feather meal, etc. 

 

Cons

  • Gardeners do not prefer using it for indoor plants because of the strong scent 
  • It is not a water-soluble fertilizer so cannot be used in hydroponic systems

Buy this fertilizer now from Amazon

 

Citrus and Fruit Formula by EarthPods – Best Capsule Strawberry Fertilizer

EarthPods aims to create planet-responsible fertilizers to minimize the environmental impact. 

This fertilizer is specially designed for busy gardeners that need mess-free feeding for fruits and berries growing in the garden. 

It will help you in increasing flower and fruit production on your strawberry plant. However, this plant food can also encourage root and foliage growth on your berry plant. 

Although these capsules are very small in size compared to other fertilizers like spikes, they are jam-packed with trace minerals, organic nutrients, and humates. 

All these are activated after coming in contact with water. 

In short, this is a premium quality fertilizer for all fruits growing indoors or outdoors. It’s highly recommended for the organic gardening of strawberries. 

To feed this magical pill to your strawberry plant, simply push the earthpod or capsule in the soil near the base of the plant and water the soil thoroughly. 

You will never have to worry about overfeeding your plants with these earthpods because the nutrients are released slowly. 

I prefer using these capsules for all my potted berries because the nutrients are released closer to the root zone, meaning it’s an efficient way to ensure no nutrients are wasted.

The fertilizer box can be easily stored since it’s compact and small in size.  A single strawberry plant needs two earthpods on average. 

 

Pros

  • Takes less time to feed multiple plants 
  • Does not require measurements 
  • Has no strong odor
  • A unique blend of more than 70 natural ingredients derived from fruit and vegetable scraps
  • No mess created since no liquid or powdered fertilizer is included
  • Best suited for potted berries 
  • Can be used for multiple applications since one box contains 100 earthpods
  • Pet and children friendly 
  • Works for hydroponic feeding 

 

Cons

  • The manufacturer does not provide clear instructions for the number of pods required for different plant varieties 
  • Can be expensive if you are aiming to feed a large number of strawberry plants

Take a better look at this amazing product here.

 

Sweet Berry Mineral Supplement by Botanicare – Best Supplement Strawberry Fertilizer 

Botanicare caters to the needs of the hydroponic gardeners and is serving the industry since 1996. 

This is an all-natural supplement for all types of berries. It is formulated using carbohydrates and other minerals. 

This product was initially designed for hydroponic gardening of berries; however, you can still use it as a regular liquid fertilizer for soil application.

Adding this to the fertilization schedule of your strawberry plant will maintain an optimum metabolism. It will also enhance the flavor and scent of the strawberries and also add a touch of freshness to the fruits. 

This supplement can be used during any stage of strawberry growth because it’s created using different amino and organic acids.

Since it’s a supplement, I would recommend using it in a small quantity with any other strawberry fertilizer to prevent toxicity. Make sure not to apply it very often.

Using this supplement in the vegetative stage helps you avoid soft stem and leggy growth. 

Once flowering starts, this supplement helps the plant in a smooth transition. Lastly, in the fruiting stage, it maintains a perfect balance of respiration and photosynthesis. 

 

Pros

  • Enhances the aroma and flavor of the fruit
  • Suitable for any growth stage, in fact, it supports the transition from one growth stage to another 
  • Contributes to the increase in the number of buds, flowers, and fruits on a single plant
  • A rich blend of carbohydrates (fructose, glucose, etc.) required for strawberry growth
  • It helps in maintaining the plant metabolism, produce strong stems with short internodes
  • Prevents leggy growth 

 

Cons

  • Overuse of this supplement can be toxic for humans
  • It’s expensive for some gardeners 

Buy this product from this Amazon store here.

 

Berry Food by True Organic Store – Best Organic Strawberry Fertilizer

With the NPK of 5-4-4, this fertilizer is a rich blend of plant nutrients. This perfect ratio of macronutrients helps the strawberry plant in producing lush green foliage, strong roots, and plenty of fruit. 

Feeding your strawberries with this fertilizer early in the growing season gives your plant all the extra strength and nutrients needed to produce more fruits. 

The main feature that differentiates this berry fertilizer from other conventional fertilizers is the effort to replicate and restore the natural ecosystem of nutrients and microorganisms within the soil. 

This berry plant food also contains extra calcium (6%) and sulfur (1%). Other farm-grade ingredients like fish bone meal, soybean meal, shell meal, etc., also contribute to the popularity of this fertilizer. 

Each ingredient adds value to this fertilizer. The Seabird guano in this fertilizer adds slow-release nitrogen and phosphorus. The shell meal (shrimp and crab) is responsible for supplying nitrogen and calcium. 

The sulfur will help in lowering soil pH and ensures the nutrients are available throughout the soil.

For a maximum yield of strawberries, feed your plants every month in the growing season. 

 

Pros

  • Organic mixture of all nutrients needed for all berry varieties  
  • Helps you grow large, tasty strawberries every season 
  • Contains beneficial ingredients for the soil, plant, and the microbes in the soil
  • Replicates the natural soil ecosystem
  • Suitable for strawberries growing in pots or in-ground
  • Certified by OMRI
  • No sludge or fillers
  • Can be used for other acid-loving plants in your garden 

 

Cons

  • Not for gardeners with a tight budget 
  • Cannot be mixed with water before application, should be applied in dry form

Read more about this strawberry fertilizer here.

 

Fruit and Citrus Plant Food Spikes by Miracle-Gro – Best for Budget Strawberry Fertilizer

Just like capsules, spikes are another smart way to add nutrition to your plants without creating any mess.  

These tiny fertilizer spikes are hammered directly into the soil to encourage more fruit and foliage growth on the strawberry plant. 

You only need to feed your plant once every season since the spikes release the nutrients slowly. 

Most gardeners prefer fertilizer spikes over regular fertilizers because they are designed to release the nutrients close to the roots. 

Before putting the spikes in the ground, make sure the soil’s moist. The spike should not be inserted very close to the base of the strawberry plant. 

A good practice is to insert them 2 ft. away from the center of the strawberry plant. 

If you have more than one plant, make sure the spikes are spaced 3 ft apart to avoid over-fertilization. The fertilizer analysis for these spikes is 10-15-15. 

 

Pros

  • Maintains rich soil for several months
  • Can be used for other fruit or palm trees
  • Comes with a cap for easy hammering
  • Rich in ingredients that feed the microorganisms living in the soil
  • Continuously releases nutrients in the soil

 

Cons

  • Too strong for young plants
  • Customers received broken spikes 
  • Not for small potted strawberries 

You can learn more about these fertilizer spikes here

 

Natural All Purpose Plant Food by Nature’s Care – Best Water Soluble Strawberry Fertilizer 

Nature’s Care might sound like a new name in the industry, but surprisingly it comes from the makers of Miracle-Gro.

This is a gentle fertilizer for strawberries with an NPK of 10-3-6. Like many other fertilizers in this list, this one is also OMRI certified.

This is basically a liquid fertilizer, and it dissolves easily without forming any clumps. 

The manufacturer recommends using this product every 1 or 2 weeks for maximum yield. It can be used with the garden feeder from Miracle-Gro or a water can.

If you struggle with mixing this fertilizer in water, it is best to mix the powder in lukewarm water before adding it to the garden feeder or watering can. 

 

Pros

  • Safe to use for organic gardening
  • Easy to follow instructions for new gardeners
  • No significant odor
  • Suitable for outdoor, indoor, and in-ground plants
  • Comes with a spoon for easy and precise measurement according to the instructions

 

Cons

  • Not for hydroponic 
  • Customers have complained about it not dissolving in water
  • The bag cannot be resealed so you will have to transfer it to another container for proper storage

Learn more about this amazing fertilizer here.

 

Berry Plant Food by EcoScraps – Best Eco-friendly Strawberry Fertilizer

This brand creates fertilizers and plant food from waste products. This berry fertilizer is not only organic but also leaves a positive impact on our planet. 

The NPK analysis of this fertilizer is 4-5-4. Bone meal, feather meal, sulfate of potash, and blood meal also play an important role in the creation of this berry food. 

Buying this fertilizer will reduce waste in the landfills and promotes sustainable gardening. 

As it’s a slow-release organic fertilizer, the chances of overfeeding your houseplants with this are almost zero. 

Therefore I would highly recommend this fertilizer for new gardeners or those struggling with application rates.

This fertilizer works best when it’s mixed well into the soil.

 

Pros

  • Created from recycled food products
  • Easy and mess-free application 
  • Formulated for uniform distribution of nutrients 
  • Free from manure 
  • Works on all types of new, established, and container varieties of berries
  • It will not alter the soil pH
  • Suits the growing needs of both indoor and outdoor berries

 

Cons

  • Can lead to mold growth if you don’t mix it properly
  • Can attract flies 
  • Has a strong, unpleasant smell

 

Curious about this product? Tap this link to learn more.

 

Acid Mix Fertilizer by Down to Earth – Best Acid-based Strawberry Fertilizer

This is one of the greatest fertilizers for acid-loving houseplants like strawberries. It can be basically used for any plant in your garden that requires low pH to flourish. 

The NPK ratio for this acid mix is 4-3-6. 

It not only helps in creating a perfect soil for acid lovers but also promotes strong root growth. 

This fertilizer should be applied twice in the growing season. Initially, when the foliage starts growing later when the plant starts blooming. 

It contains cottonseed meal, kelp meal, fishbone meal, and non-plant ingredients like humic acids. 

You can also apply it in autumn to prepare the strawberries for extreme winter temperatures. 

You can add this fertilizer to new planting holes or the soil near the established plants. But make sure it’s mixed well into the top 3-6 inches of the soil. 

For clear understanding, the manufacturer has printed application rates at the back of the box. 

 

Pros

  • Promotes flower, fruit, and foliage growth on any acid-loving plant 
  • Can be used for evergreens or other vegetables that need acidity in their soil
  • The box can be composted and recycled in the end 
  • It can help the plant withstand harsh winter 
  • Requires only two application 
  • Can be applied to flowers, trees, or shrubs

 

Cons

  • Gardeners reported mold development on the soil after few days of application
  • Expensive, if you have a large collection of berries in your garden 

Take a look at this incredible fertilizer here.

 

Strawberry Fertilizers Buying Guide

 

Organic Fertilizer

The only thing that’s better than growing your own strawberries is growing them organically. Truly organic fertilizers are hard to find, but they are the key element in organic gardening. 

I would recommend choosing an organic fertilizer that contains blood meal, feather meal, and fish meal because they are natural sources of nitrogen. 

These fertilizers are formulated for long-term results, so they not only increase the nutrient efficiency of the soil but also increase the organic matter in the soil. 

Some gardeners believe they also improve soil fertility. 

Organic fertilizers do not contain high percentages of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. But this can be a disadvantage or advantage depending on the plant requirements. 

Winner: Berry Food by True Organic Store

 

Granular Fertilizer

Granular fertilizers have the advantage of easy application because they don’t need to be diluted in water. You spread the granules near the root zone. 

This type gives you more control for fertilization. Most of them are activated by water, so post-fertilization watering is an extra step with the granular fertilizers. 

They cannot be applied with foliar application. You should avoid leaving any granules on the leaves of the strawberry plant. 

Winner: Citrus and Fruit Formula by EarthPods 

 

Liquid Fertilizer

These fertilizers require mixing before application. You should follow the dilution rates mentioned by the manufacturer. 

You don’t need to water the plants after using a liquid fertilizer. You can apply them through the leaves or the soil. 

Winner: Natural All Purpose Plant Food by Nature’s Care

 

When to Fertilize Strawberries

The easiest way to treat the soil for nutrient deficiencies is by taking a soil test. This test will give you a clear idea of the nutritional value of the soil in your garden. 

The best time to feed strawberries is after harvest. Potassium and phosphorus can be added at any time of the season as they do not lead to soft berries.

For newly planted berry plants, fertilize them a month after the plantation. The established strawberry plant that is older than one year should be fertilized once a year only.

The thumb rule is to fertilize strawberries with a nitrogen-rich fertilizer in early spring and late fall. 

Your strawberry plant needs nitrogen feeding in the following cases:

  • The leaves are light green 
  • The strawberry plant or shrub is not showing vigorous growth in the active growth season
  • There was heavy rainfall or more than usual rainfall 
  • If you planted the strawberries in sandy soil

 

Nitrogen

This nutrient is most needed for green, leafy plants, but it’s equally important for the foliage and root growth of fruit-bearing plants like strawberries. 

The absorption of nitrogen depends on the soil pH, moisture content, and temperature. 

Lack of nitrogen will result in small fruits. On the other hand, excess nitrogen can delay fruit ripening. 

 

Phosphorus

This nutrient will help in transferring energy from one part of the strawberry plant to another. This is important for several tasks in plant growth, especially early root growth. 

 

Potassium

This nutrient is important for controlling moisture content in the plant cells. It also activates the enzymes and improves photosynthesis. It will transport sugars in fruit-bearing plant systems. 

It is important to achieve the right soil consistency to help the plant absorb nutrients. Strawberries need a loamy soil texture

The soil should be acidic with a soil pH between 5.5 and 6.9. 

Whatever fertilizer you choose should be applied at the base of the plant, and make sure you water the soil deeply. At least 1 inch of soil should be moist. 

 

Fertilizing Different Strawberry Varieties

Following are the most famous strawberry varieties for home gardening.

 

June bearers

As the name indicates, this variety will produce fruit in June. Feeding after the harvest will prepare the plant for the next harvest season and dormancy. 

If you want lots of strawberries, you should definitely try the June bearer. They can produce a large number of strawberries in just two to three weeks. 

 

Ever bearers

Ever bearers produce smaller strawberries compared to June bearers. With these, you will get tiny strawberries at the start and end of the growing season.  

Add fertilizer after each harvest, usually in summer and fall. 

 

Day-neutral

This variety produces delicious strawberries from June to mid-fall. This is my favorite variety because it continues producing fruit until the plant is destroyed by cold temperatures or frost

You will find ripe strawberries on this plant almost every day. The only drawback of this type is that it produces a fewer number of strawberries compared to the other two. 

These strawberries should be fertilized in June, July, and August. 

 

Facts about Feeding Strawberries

  • You need 2 lbs. of fertilizer for every 100 sq ft of the strawberry crop area. 
  • Fertilizing with a strong dose of nitrogen in early spring should be avoided as it will result in soft berries. Soft berries can also lead to fruit rots that will reduce your strawberry yield. 
  • Your strawberry plant needs more nitrogen in autumn when the runners start appearing. 
  • Nutritional needs of strawberries will vary depending on the soil, location, growing medium, and season.
  • It’s crucial to heed the instructions by the manufacturer to achieve the best results from the fertilizer.
  • Strawberries have a shallow root system; therefore, their roots are found only in the top 6 inches of the soil. To have optimum growth, mix the plant food well in these 6 inches of soil. 
  • Adding manure or compost at pre-planting soil preparation will reduce the quantity and frequency of fertilizers required for strawberries.

 

Conclusion

The best fertilizer for strawberries is the one that increases the number of berries per plant and improves the quality of the fruit. 

The fertilization time and frequency depend on the type of strawberry you are growing. 

All the fertilizers mentioned in this guide are designed to maximize fruit yield. Buy any of them and fill your garden with these tiny red jewels.