Strawberry farming: Comprehensive guide on planting caring and harvesting

Strawberry farming

Strawberry farming: comprehensive guide on planting caring and harvesting

Strawberry (Fragaria vesca) is a fruit that is bright red in colour with a compelling aroma, sweet and juicy, or smooth texture. These fruits are mostly consumed while fresh, in foods or desserts, and also largely in drinks such as yogurt.

Although most farmers find it intimidating to get involved in strawberry farming, those who have attempted and started this practice have recorded huge incomes.

Strawberry fruits can either be sold locally or in international markets. There is a ready market in major towns, supermarkets, and milk industries to use in the production of yogurt.

Popular strawberry varieties in kenya

There are over seven popular and high-yielding varieties that have shown to perform well in Kenyan soils. Below are some of them

  • Douglas
  • Pajaro
  • Rabunda
  • Domail
  • Tioga selva
  • Tristar
  • Tribute
  • Chandler

Suitable ecological requirements for strawberry farming

For better results, strawberry farming perform reasonably when practised in a greenhouse other than outdoors.

Strawberries perform extremely well in areas where there are hot temperatures and do not tolerate cold temperatures and frost. Soil Ph should be 5 to 7. Well-drained soils are the most suitable.

Additionally, strawberry berries require 7 to 10 hours of direct sunlight as it helps to produce sweet fruits. Fruits grown in hotter temperatures are more sweeter than those that are grown in cold areas.

Best practices for planting strawberries

They can be planted using seeds and transplants which are mostly referred to as runners from the already existing plants.

However, it can be a daunting task to use strawberry seeds, and therefore the most suitable method is to plant using runners.

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Land preparation

First, you should prepare raised nurseries or use seedlings trays if readily available to grow and care for seedlings.

The land should be clean and clear of any weeds. Manual clearing of weeds can be practiced while also the application of relevant herbicides to completely kill and eliminate stubborn weeds is highly recommended.

Application of compost manure and DAP fertilizer to provide a sufficient supply of required nutrients to plants.

Preparation of planting holes. Remember they should be deep enough to support the root system without bending the plant.

When planting the required spacing must be between 4 feet to 4 1/2 feet rows while the spacing between each plant should be between 20 inches to 25 inches.

Roots are to be covered by soil while the crown and stem are left slightly above the soil surface.

Best practices for growing healthy strawberry plants


Weeds are huge competitors for nutrients, they should be removed manually as soon as they start to grow. However, weeding should be avoided during fruiting and flowering period to avoid disturbances, that can lead to low harvests.


Mulching largely helps in suppression of weeds, maintaining optimum temperature, and also by keeping the fruits clean without dirt. In addition, when mulching materials decomposes, it adds organic matter in the soil.


Watering is essential in strawberry farming as the plants need to be wet at all times. For good practice, drip irrigation method is recommended as it puts more water down the roots.


It largely helps to increase quality fruits production. Unnecessary flowers must be plucked out immediately they start appearing.

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Application of fertilizer

Application of fertilizer is important to increase production. However, for those who wish to go organic farming compost manure application works best.

Harvesting of strawberry fruits

Strawberry crops take about 70 days to reach maturity while fruits take 4 to 6 weeks after blossoming to ripen. When harvesting you should note that only red fruits should be picked as they do not ripen after harvesting.

Berry harvesting can go up to 3 weeks which can produce huge number of fruits depending on the variety and management practices engaged.

Strawberries are productive as for example, within an eighth acre of land 30 to 50 kg of fruits can be harvested on a weekly basis.

Utmost care should always be maintained while harvesting and packing, since strawberries are fragile and easily damaged.

The best times to start harvesting strawberries is during morning hours when they are still wet. This is because berries tend to mold quickly during mid hours of the day when there is hot weather.

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