Helpful tips for growing strawberries with kids in your backyard garden and the truth behind if it’s worth it or not.
Are you considering growing strawberries this year?
Growing Strawberries with Kids
So my dear readers, as many of you know, I love to garden with my kids for many, many reasons. We are more than willing to share our successes and failures with others – which means that at many play dates with the kiddos, we end up talking about our gardens.
A friend recently told me how excited she was to start her very first garden and all that was going to be in it was strawberries….
Is it worth it?
Maybe it is just me – but strawberries are a pain in the butt and I would NOT recommend only planting them for the backyard gardener. I fear that you and your kids will be very disappointed and give up gardening altogether.
First off – the strawberry plants take up a lot of space based on the amount of fruit they produce. You will need a LOT of plants for a small family.
Then, they do best mulched with straw ($$$) and need frequent watering ($)
Most strawberries also need to be rotated, picking in the second year for the best harvest.
Last, the slugs and bugs LOVE strawberries. There is a reason they are hard to find organically in the stores.
Which brings us back to the question – is it worth planting strawberries?
In my opinion, besides having said all of the above, YES!
Just don’t believe all the flowery garden articles like this one that have you salivating at the thought of harvesting bowls of strawberries every morning for your breakfast with just a minimal amount of work.
Growing strawberries takes time and effort and space – like all other plant, but a little bit more.
We go out every morning and remove (and yes kill) slugs as we don’t use pesticides (not super fun, but something you must do) and have the plants mulched in straw…. but oh, to let your kids pick strawberries right of the plant and pop them into their mouths worth the time, worth the money, worth the effort.
You can even make these adorable Strawberry Garden Markers to go in your garden as you grow your strawberries.
Strawberry Inspired Activities for Kids
Want more strawberry ideas? Try this Strawberry STEM Challenge for Kids or this Edible America Flag!
Or head to the kitchen with these delicious Orange Strawberry Jam Muffins or these book inspired Strawberry Yogurt Popsicles.
I love growing strawberries – we have them in a fruit bed which once the fruits start to appear we cover with a net stopping the birds getting them. But my favourite way to grow is in a hanging basket by the kitchen door. My parents did it when I was a kid and I remember the moment that I could reach them without help and eat them straight from the basket it was bliss.
The strawberry bed is one of the favourite beds in the school garden.
Once you've tasted a 'real' strawberry, you can never put a store-bought one in your mouth again. They grow really well in my yard, but then the roly-polys eat them. Solution: Our library had these gigundy, awkward CD racks with three long teirs on each side, each teir about four inches deep. We got newer, space-saving racks, and these went on city auction. Nobody else wanted the behemoths, so I got all six for $11! I am so excited to fill them with strawberries and stand in my yard laughing at the pillbugs. Now, the deer, on the other hand…
I've tried to grow strawberries but it was a disaster. I've found a few farms nearby where I buy fresh ones.
I am so glad I'm not the only one with strawberry failures. The only reason I am still trying is because the u-pick farms are all HUGE chemical users. There is a reason why strawberries are on the dirty dozen lists AND it is hard to find them organic anywhere – it is darn near impossible to grow enough of them (for me at least!)
YEAH on all accounts for this comment – so glad your school gardens!!! What do you do to protect them from birds and bugs and how many plants do you have???
AWESOME! Hope the new racks work for you. Our strawberries taste a lot like the store ones =( but it is just the varieties that do well in our area. I would LOVE to be able to grow the yummy little alpine strawberries!
That's a great idea!
there are some varieties that can grow in hanging baskets. Helps the bug and rot issue
Do which kinds? And what zones they are better for?
Strawberries just do not survive me. We've tried twice, and haven't gotten ANYTHING off of them.
I am SO glad that I am not alone!!! There IS a reason that many farmers use fertilizers and chemicals to mass produce these fruits. I'll keep trucking along and maybe one year I'll get the hang of it. We get points for trying – right?
I have grown strawberries since a kid. I was shocked to hear people think it is hard. Maybe a climate difference. I intermix overbearing and junebearing so in June we have a plethora of strawberries and the everbering makes sure we always have some in summer and fall to pick and eat. I live in Kansas
It is just a small plot, but the plants grow wild in the area you have them. It does take two years for them to really kick off just like asparagus.