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What to Plant After Strawberries — Exciting!

What to Plant After Strawberries — Exciting!

Who doesn’t love strawberries, right? And growing them in your own garden is just the best and easiest.

I certainly know that I adore my strawberry plants. The leaves look almost herbal, there are the pretty white-pink flowers, and then the actual strawberry fruit.

I’ve learned a bit about crop rotation but clearly didn’t know everything. The year I started crop rotating, I planted strawberries after I harvested all of my tomatoes.

Let’s just say I didn’t get any strawberries that year. Read on to find out why so you can avoid this grave mistake.


What to Plant After Strawberries?

After you have harvested all the strawberry fruits, you can either plant cover crops like bell beans, oats, barley, or common vetch that replenishes the soil with nutrients as it helps keeps weeds at bay, or you can plant broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, bok choy, and Brussel sprouts. 


What to Plant After You’ve Harvested Your Strawberries

I’ve found that it is best to rotate strawberries with cover crops, or green manures. These plants don’t produce a marketable crop; however, they do improve the soil quality since nitrogen is added back into the soil.

Other advantages of planting cover crops are that water runoff is reduced and the growth of weeds is suppressed.

Examples of these green manures I rotate with my strawberry plants are:

  • Oats
  • Bell beans
  • Barley
  • Common vetch

Sometimes I even mix all of these cover crops and rotate them with the strawberries. This results in a more diverse soil quality that will give the strawberries a boost instead of draining more nutrients away.

Other plants I also use in my rotation with the strawberry plants are broccoli, cauliflower, bok choy, Brussel sprouts, and cabbage.

These plants have antifungal properties that protect against mold that may take root and prey on strawberries.


Strawberry Crop Rotation Suggestions

Here are the rotations that I do with my strawberry plants, but these are merely suggestions for you.


Rotation Option 1

I start with harvesting my strawberry fruits and then removing the plants from the soil at the end of summer or the start of fall. I then plant either cauliflower or broccoli, which are winter crops.

This also means I don’t need to wait a full year before I can plant and harvest again.

When spring or summer arrives, I plant my new strawberries.


Rotation Option 2

The other rotation I like is to remove the old strawberry plants in late summer and then I plant my cover crop mix.

When summer arrives, I plant strawberries again.


What Not to Plant After Your Strawberries

If you do an X-Y-X rotation, meaning you plant strawberries (X) and then rotate them with another plant (Y) before planting strawberries (X) thereafter, then there are certain plants you should avoid.

Plants like peppers, eggplant, and tomatoes harbor soil pathogens such as Phytophthora, verticillium, and nematodes.

When you plant strawberries right after those crops have yielded, your strawberries have a high risk of being infected by one of these pathogens.

Infection means that your strawberries’ growth will be affected, and your strawberry plants may even die.


Why and When Should You Rotate Your Strawberries

I can continue to plant my strawberries year after year in the same garden bed or planter box for 3-5 years before I do need to practice regular crop rotation.

During this time, I need only fertilize appropriately, and I will harvest delicious berries. However, after that time, I need to give the soil a boost by planting a different grower or planting my strawberries in a different garden bed or container.

Crop rotation with strawberry plants, as well as other fruits and veggies, bring a lot of benefits:

  • It increases crop yield.
  • It improves the soil structure.
  • It reduces soil-borne diseases and pests.


Frequently Asked Questions about What to Plant After Strawberries


Do you need to rotate strawberries?

It is best to rotate your strawberries. You can grow strawberries in the same garden bed or planter box for 3-5 years. Thereafter, rotate your strawberries to rebalance the soil and reduce the risk of verticillium wilt negatively affecting your strawberries’ growth.


What can you not grow after strawberries?

Don’t grow eggplant, potatoes, tomatoes, or peppers after your strawberry plants have yielded their fruit. All these plants can be affected by the same soil-borne diseases as strawberries.


Can I plant potatoes after strawberries?

You shouldn’t plant potatoes or tomatoes after you’ve harvested your strawberries. Potatoes or tomatoes are crops that infect the soil with pathogens—verticillium wilt—that affects how your strawberries grow, and it may also kill the strawberry plants.


The Last Strawberry

Strawberries can only be kept in the same soil for a maximum of 5 years.

It is, however, best to start regularly rotating your strawberry plants with cover crops or cruciferous veggies like Brussel sprouts, cauliflower, and broccoli after 3 years.

Never plant tomatoes, peppers, potatoes, or eggplants in the same soil you’ve planted strawberries in as verticillium wilt may be present in the soil and this can kill your strawberry plants.

Happy strawberry rotating!