How to Grow Tristar Strawberries
- 1). Work aged manure or compost into the garden bed, turning it into the top 10 to 12 inches of soil with the garden hoe. Do this after the last killing frost date in your area in spring.
- 2). Form the garden bed into rows that are about 6 inches high, 10 inches across at the top with around 4 feet between rows.
- 3). Cover the rows with black plastic, pressing the plastic to the ground so that it conforms to the row shape. The black plastic will help raise the temperature in the soil as well as keep moisture in, and weeds at bay.
- 4). Cut holes in the top of the plastic for planting the strawberries. The holes should be staggered, about 8 inches apart and offset from the center of the row about 4 inches. This ensures a high level of plant density, which Tristar varieties thrive on.
- 5). Make a small indent in the soil in each of the holes in the plastic, large enough to hold the strawberry plants without cramping the roots. Place each plant in a hole and gently cover with soil, leaving the crown free. Water well.
- 6). Apply a high-nitrogen fertilizer to the plants, about 1 tbsp. per plant, diluted. Side-dress the Tristars monthly during the growing season with high-nitrogen fertilizer.
- 7). Pinch off runners as they develop on the plants throughout the growing season. This may be a little work-intensive in the early days after planting, but the plants will produce fewer runners as the season goes on.
- 8). Remove early flowers that develop for the first six weeks after you plant the Tristars. This helps encourage larger fruiting by not letting the plants divert energy in the early stages into flowering.
- 9). Harvest the Tristar strawberries after they have ripened on the plant to achieve the best taste results. Ripe strawberries should be picked daily during the earlier days when berries are ripening and every second day to weekly as the ripening rate slows down later in the season. This ensures you get to the berries before birds and before any rot or mildew sets in if the fruit are left too long on the ground.