Strawberries are a beautiful addition to your garden and an attractive site in the yard, especially during fruit season.
Watering strawberry plants requires specific timing to prevent the soil from getting too dry or too soggy for the plants.
Watering timing is dependent on several factors, including soil type, whether you are growing the plants in a garden or a pot, and whether the plants are new or established.
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How Often Do You Water Strawberries?
When it’s time for them to bear fruit, strawberries normally need 1 to 1.5 inches (2.5-4 cm) of water weekly. In normal climates,1-2 inches (2.5-5 cm) of water daily is sufficient for these plants. In hot, dry weather conditions, the plants should be watered regularly to hinder drying out of leaves.
Strawberries are shallow-rooted plants, hence, they dry out rather quickly. When watering strawberries, the aim is to provide the plant with just enough moisture; otherwise, the soil gets soggy.
If your climate receives rainfall weekly, it may not be necessary for you to constantly water your plants. In drier climates, however, you’ll need to water them regularly to avoid dehydrating them.
You can easily determine whether or not your strawberries need watering by inserting a wooden stick into the soil. If the stick comes out clean, it shows the soil’s dry and requires watering.
If the wooden stick comes out with soil clinging to it, it shows the place is damp and may not require watering.
Growing Perfect Strawberries
There are many factors to consider when deciding how often you water your strawberries. Strawberries do well in full sun, so when choosing a site for planting, ensure they’ll get access to 8 hours of direct sun daily.
Plant them away from large trees; otherwise, the root systems will compete, and the large trees will siphon away moisture needed by the strawberries for development.
Strawberries thrive when planted in good soil drainage and surface drainage; otherwise, construct a raised bed to facilitate drainage.
These plants don’t do well in drought conditions, so choose a site that’s easily accessible for watering if there is no adequate rainfall.
Take a good look at the factors you should take note when it comes to watering your strawberry plants.
Whether or Not it has Rained Recently
If it has recently rained, the soil is soggy, so the plants won’t require regular watering. In drier conditions where there’s no probability of raining, increase your watering frequency to supplement what’s missing.
Strawberries require loamy, well-drained soils for growth, and planting them in raised beds and pots helps. The pots should have an 8-12 inches width to allow for shallow rooting and spreading as the plant grows.
The pots are wide and shallow to facilitate drainage, so you need to be careful when watering not to add too much water and harm the plants.
Strawberries require at least 6-8 hours of full sun daily, and they grow even better with prolonged exposure of up to 10 hours to fruit well into plum, tasty berries.
How often you water strawberries is also influenced by the amount of sun exposure they get.
If they grow under full sun and in the garden, they’ll require more irrigation every week than those growing in shaded areas or partial sun. Plants exposed to full sun lose water through plant intake and transpiration and hence require regular watering.
Type of Soil
Depending on the type of soil used for planting, you can tell when to water. Some soils are known for poor moisture retention and drainage, which means they lose moisture easily.
Strawberries growing in such soil conditions need more frequent watering than those in soils with a better moisture retention capacity. Sandy soil with fast drainage requires constant irrigation, while heavy, clay-based soil needs less watering.
Strawberries need water the most in their younger growth phase, during fruit-bearing seasons, and during extended periods of limited or no rainfall. When choosing a site for planting, ensure there is easy access to water for regular watering.
The plants need watering right after planting to keep the soil soaked, then after that, you can water every week. The soil needs to be consistently moist for healthy and juicy berries.
Strawberries do well in moist soil but don’t make it soggy, which subjects the plant to root rot.
Different varieties of strawberries are important considerations when determining how often the plants should be watered.
While the watering needs aren’t very varied, the plants have different fruit-bearing periods, requiring different watering frequencies for proper growth and healthy fruition.
How Often to Water Potted Strawberries
Plants in pots should be watered when the soil is dry to the touch, as they have much better drainage compared to those growing in the garden.
In case there are high temperatures, you may need to water your plants daily rather than on a normal weekly basis for gardened plants.
Potted strawberries make it easy to care for because you can easily control the watering. Raised beds and pots offer adequate drainage to keep the soil from getting soggy and quickly tell when the soil dries up.
Strawberries should be watered keenly from when the flower appears till when fruits ripen. That is usually in four weeks. If the plants are potted in containers, you need to water them daily.
Frequently Asked Questions about How Often to Water Strawberries
Can strawberries get too much or little water?
Strawberries are one of the plants that require adequate water in the right amounts. The plant isn’t very tolerable to too much water, and if soaked too much in the soil, the plant is damaged. Under-watering your strawberries is also harmful to the plants. When the soil dries up and gets parched, the plant is stressed, which causes stunted growth and poor yields during the fruit-bearing season.
Is moist soil good for strawberries?
Quality soil is good for your strawberry garden as strawberries prefer well-decayed organic matter in the soil. When growing strawberries, add organic matter to the soil and integrate to improve the soil’s drainage and water retention. Adding manure makes the soil loamy.
Which is the best way to water strawberries?
When watering, avoid overhead sprinklers and use the drip irrigation method instead. An alternative is a soaker hose which should be used approximately 5cm from the plant. Since strawberry plants are highly susceptible to root rot when left in soggy conditions, it’s vital to ensure they’re completely dry before pushing through with the watering.
The best time to water strawberries is in the early morning to allow the plant sufficient time to dry during the day. When watered early in the day, the foliage dries up before nightfall.
If the plants are in pot containers, check the moisture level daily, especially if it’s warm, as the potting mix dries out very quickly.
Daniel has been a plant enthusiast for over 20 years. He owns hundreds of houseplants and prepares for the chili growing seasons yearly with great anticipation. His favorite plants are plant species in the Araceae family, such as Monstera, Philodendron, and Anthurium. He also loves gardening and is growing hot peppers, tomatoes, and many more vegetables.