Fertilizing your strawberries
The first step in any fertilization program is to give the roots of the newly set-out plant ready
access to a generous supply of phosphorus to encourage development of a good root system. All commercial
fertilizers are labeled by the percentages of nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), and potassium (K). After
planting, nitrogen is more important and should be lightly and frequently applied, for example, every
4 weeks, to maintain healthy, productive plants.
Strawberries are not heavy nutrient feeders. Begin
with a starter fertilizer when you plant. At each planting
spot, open a hole 6 to 7 inches deep with a trowel,
place 1 teaspoon of slow-release fertilizer,
ammonium phosphate, or ammonium sulfate in the bottom
of the hole, and cover the fertilizer with about 1 inch
of soil. Place the plant on top and firm the soil around
the plant. Use approximately 2 pounds of 10-20-20 or
4 pounds of 5-10-10 per 100 sq. feet.
Add slow-release fertilizer in February, just before
putting on plastic mulch. About 2 inches to the side
of each plant, make a hole 3 to 4 inches deep and put
1 heaping teaspoon of the fertilizer in the hole and
fill it back with soil. Add fertilizer again in the summer
if the plantings are to be carried over another year.
- Begin with a starter fertilizer when
you plant. Do not use a starter fertilizer if you added
ammonium fertilizer to augment soil solarization.
- Add slow-release fertilizer in February just before
putting on plastic mulch. It should be high in ammonium
- Add fertilizer again in the summer if the plantings
are to be carried over another year.