There is always room for strawberries

When planning this year’s garden, be sure to include some strawberries in it. They are low in calories, high in vitamin C and antioxidants, and provide seasonal interest in gardens and containers.

Best of all, you don’t need a lot of space to grow this delicious fruit. There are three types of strawberries: June or spring, perennial and day neutral. Choose the variety of strawberry that best suits your location and harvesting needs.

Strawberries grown in June produce a berry crop in late spring and early summer, depending on where you garden. They give the highest yields, but in the shortest time. Plant now and enjoy the abundant harvest next year.

Perennial strawberries usually produce two berries a year. You will enjoy fresh strawberries early and late in the season, while during the day neutral plants bring berries during the growing season.

Delizz, a sun-neutral strawberry, was the first strawberry to be chosen as the winner of All-America Selections. Like the flower and vegetable winners, this one has been tested nationwide and selected for the home garden based on its performance. This 2016 winner is a compact plant that is perfect for hanging baskets, containers or garden beds. It can be started from seed or transplant and produces sweet fruit in the first year and throughout the season, even in warm weather.

Increase the ornamental appeal of traditional ground plantations with star-shaped or cascading beds. Raised beds make it easier to plant, weed and harvest. You will find a variety of stepped beds that you can buy or make yourself.

Use strawberries as mulch in sunny, well-drained areas for abundant harvesting. Their attractive leaves, white flowers, red fruits and bright red autumn color give the landscape sparkle and provide fresh fruit for meals.

Or you can grow them in a container, window box, or hanging basket on the porch, balcony, or deck. They will be at hand and easy to harvest.

Mix some steady or day-neutral strawberries with the flowers to make an edible and ornamental plant. The harvest will be smaller if it is grown in a mixed pot, but it will be adorned with flowers, fruits and autumn colors, and the fruit will be a pleasant delicacy.

Increase the harvest by growing the strawberries in their own pots. Fill a hanging basket and watch the runners fall over the rim and decorate even more.

Try filling a traditional strawberry pot — a pot with planting holes at the top and sides — with plants that produce more fruit, and remove the conveyor belts as needed. With this DIY sprinkler, every plant looks its best from head to toe. Place soil on the bottom of the tank. Transfer some perforated PVC to the planter. Slide the plants through the hole from inside the pot. Fill the remaining space with soil. Gently rub and water to remove airbags. During irrigation, water passes through the pipe and escapes through the holes, providing moisture from head to toe for all plants.

Check the tanks daily and water them thoroughly and often enough to keep the soil slightly moist. Reduce maintenance and increase success by applying a low-nitrogen, slow-release fertilizer to the soil when planting it into the soil, or spraying the soil surface as needed. This type of fertilizer promotes growth without disturbing flowering and fruit production.

Start identifying the spaces now to enrich your landscape, patio and balcony with strawberries. Then order seeds or plants early for the largest selection.

Before you notice it, you’ll enjoy your garden’s fresh strawberries as a breakfast cereal, salad or as a snack at the end of the day.

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