The Strawberry Guardian, Fragaria x ananassa ‘Guardian’, produces very large, firm berries and the yields are excellent. Guardian has resistance to most strawberry diseases. One of the most important aspects of a healthy strawberry patch is location — a minimum of six hours of sunlight a day. Although you can get a harvestable crop with as little as six hours of direct sunlight per day, the largest harvests and best quality berries come from those plants that get the advantage of full sun. They are perennial, winter hardy, and will thrive in full sunshine, as long as the soil is fertile and well drained. Healthy plants will produce an abundance of berries for three to four years, after which they should be replaced. Your strawberry bed should have good drainage and be well tilled with rich organic matter such as manure or compost to give your strawberry plants a good start, with amendments again in the spring. Keep your plants well watered until they are established (but don’t overdo) and up to fruiting time. Strawberries can also be planted in tubs, containers and hanging baskets.
In addition to being low in fat and calories, strawberries are naturally high in fiber, vitamin C, folate, potassium and antioxidants, making them a sweet choice that advances heart health, reduces the risk of certain types of cancer, and gives a boost to total body (and mind) wellness. NOTE: When making a strawberry bed in an established garden, be sure to locate it away from any spot where you have grown peppers, tomatoes, eggplant or potatoes. These plants can harbor verticillium wilt, which is devastating to strawberries.