How Often to Water Strawberries? (& The RIGHT Way to Do It)

chenell
By: Chenell - Lead Writer and Gardening Advocate
Published:

It’s important to water your strawberries regularly to keep them healthy and producing delicious berries. How often you need to water them depends on a variety of factors, including the weather, the type of soil they’re planted in, and how much rain the area gets.

How Often to Water Strawberry Plants?

Strawberries grow best in moist soil, but not overly wet soil. They have really shallow roots, so if the surface of the soil is dry, it’s likely the roots of the strawberry is dry as well.

In general, strawberry plants should get around 1-2 inches of water per week. But because conditions vary day to day, you should also water your strawberries whenever the top inch or so of soil feels dry to the touch.

If you’re not sure whether your strawberry plant needs water, the best way to tell is to stick your finger into the soil. They should be watered whenever the soil feels dry about an inch down.

Whether you grow strawberry plants in garden beds, pots or grow bags, or are starting seedlings indoors, they are going to have a different watering frequency. Let’s take a look at each scenario to growing strawberries.

How Often to Water Strawberries in Pots or Grow Bags

You can absolutely grow strawberries in pots and containers, or even grow bags. I have some growing in one of the window boxes at the moment so I can watch it produce delicious strawberries.

With pots and grow bags, they have much better drainage than an in ground garden, so they usually needs more frequent watering, especially during fruit bearing periods. Use the same methods for seeing if your plants need water, but know that you will probably need to water them more like twice a week than once.

During periods of warm weather, you should be checking your plants in the early morning every day.

The Best Method for Watering Strawberry Plants

You can also cheat the system and use a drip irrigation system, which essentially can take most of the guesswork out of when to water strawberry plants.

You essentially hook the system up to your hose and it automatically drips out water regularly throughout the day on a timer that you can set. This helps keep the soil moist, but not overly wet creating a soggy soil.

The drip irrigation method also allows you to change the watering frequency based on whether the plants are in a fruit bearing season, or not.

If you’ve ever used a soaker hose, that is essentially what this is mimicking, but more sustainably.

How Many Times Do You Water Strawberries a Week?

Do you water strawberries everyday, or how frequently should I be watering them? A good rule of thumb is to water them 2 times per week, or 3-4 times per week during the peak summer days.

Watering strawberries is important, but you also don’t want to overwater your new strawberry plants.

Can I Overwater Strawberries?

Yes, overwatering strawberries is an easy thing to do. Overwatering can lead to problems like root rot, fungal infections, and increased pest pressure.

Strawberry plants can be a lot more susceptible to overwatering and will end up getting harmed faster than a tomato plant would if it were overwatered.

Using something like a drip irrigation system along with a good quality potting mix can make it much harder to overwater the plants.

How Do You Know When Strawberries Need Water?

Because they are shallow rooted plants, strawberry roots can easily get dried out faster than other plants.

This is why it’s important when growing strawberry plants to make sure they’re getting enough water. Here are a couple of ways to tell if your plants need more water.

Look for Wilting Leaves

When strawberry plants need water they will usually tell you. Of course the plant won’t speak, but actions are louder than words anyways, right? 😉

If the leaves are wilting and the soil is dry, you should give your plant some water that day as it’s likely due to the plants roots drying out.

Strawberry leaves are one of the first things to show signs of drying out. So its leaves will often look like this and that’s a sign to you that you need to give that plant a drink.

Test the Soil With Your Finger

You can also check the top inch or so of the soil surface. If it’s dry and you don’t feel water an inch down, go ahead and water it. Remember, that with their shorter roots, any dryness on top is likely to translate into dry roots.

If you can feel any kind of soil moisture, it’s probably best to wait a day so you don’t overwater your strawberry.

Use a Moisture Meter

A moisture meter is a great way to find out if your plants soil is dry or needs some additional moisture added.

You can place the meter into the soil a few inches from the stem of the plant, and it will let you know if the soil is moist, dry, or wet.

  • If it’s wet, don’t water the plant
  • If it’s moist, don’t water the plant
  • If it’s dry, go ahead and water the plant

Most of the time using a moisture meter is unnecessary, but when you’re just starting out with growing tender plants like berries, it can be a great way to get your bearings around how much water a plant needs.

Do Strawberries Grow Best in Sun or Shade?

Strawberry plants love being placed in an area that gets 6-8 hours of direct sunlight per day, or “full sun”. While they can do well in some shade, your yields of tasty berries will increase if they get more sun.

Do Strawberries Need a Fertilizer?

You can use a concentrated organic fertilizer to help the plants bear fruit during peak fruit bearing season.

Strawberries like to grow in a slightly acidic soil, but also eat up a lot of nutrients in the growing process (companion planting can help with that!). Fertilizer can help replenish some of the potassium, nitrogen and phosphorus they use up while growing delicious berries.

Because they have such shallow roots, they can only access the nutrients at the very top layers of the ground. This means they can use up those nutrients quite quickly, and often need a little help to grow into a strong strawberry plant.

Watering Your Strawberry Plants

Because strawberries can be finicky with watering, it’s often advised to use a vertical strawberry planter to take advantage of hydroponics, and not have to worry about whether or not your plants are getting enough to drink.

I plan on setting this up in my grow room soon, so I’ll post an update as soon as I do and help you set one up.

chenell

AUTHOR

Hi - I'm Chenell! I'm on a mission to learn how to grow my own food, and help other people do the same.

I lived in the city for almost a decade, but after moving to the suburbs, I started making my Iowa blood proud and growing all kinds of food 🌽 I started this website to help keep track of the journey while teaching others the mistakes and things I'm learning along the way. You can follow along with the journey and learn more here.

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.