Best Compost for Strawberries for a Bountiful Harvest

by Alex Kountry
Updated on

The key to a sweeter, more plentiful harvest often starts with good soil. Therefore, preparing the soil before planting is important to grow big, tasty strawberries. Besides, strawberries prefer soft, rich, and fertilized soil, so prepare the bed by tilling and amending it with organic matter before planting. The good thing is that the best compost for strawberries is made up of these organic matter and fertilized soil, so your work will be easy.

Here is the best compost for strawberries.

1. Charlie's Compost 10lb

Last update on 2023-01-06 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Charlie's compost performs what it claims, making it one of the best compost for strawberries. The compost comprises chicken manure, hay, clay, microorganisms, cornstalks, straw, and forest products.

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Using this compost will depend on how good or bad your soil is. My garden had insufficient organic matter, so I applied around 3 inches of compost before planting the strawberries. Otherwise, if your soil contains enough organic matter, a 1- to 2-inch layer should be enough.

The compost contains lots of beneficial microbes that strawberries need. Within a few weeks of using it, I saw the results I was looking for.

Pros

  • Odorless Compost
  • Easy to spread
  • Usually drains well
  • It comes with Beneficial microbes that strawberries require.

Cons

  • Using too much of this compost can harm your potted strawberries.

2. Gro-sure Purpose Compost, 11200018

Gro-sure 11200018 Purpose Compost, Dark
  • Features 4 months of plant feed to boost your plants for the majority of the growing season.
  • Contains West+ Technology to reduce peat quantity.
  • Suitable for beds, boards, pots, containers and other areas in your garden.
  • 10L will fill 1 28cm Pot
  • Pack features a helpful carry handle for easy moment around the garden.

Last update on 2023-01-06 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Gro-Sure Purpose Compost is a high-performance compost with four months of feed. The compost features a patented West+ wood fiber technology which helps reduce peat quantity for superior strawberry plant health and growth. Though I used it in my potted strawberries, you can conveniently use it in hanging baskets, beds, borders, and other parts of your garden.

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Its excellent moisture retention is quite outstanding for me. This gives you the best chance of success regarding strawberry plant health and growth results. Additionally, the compost required around 50% less watering and was 50% lighter than regular multi-purpose compost. It also has a convenient carry-handle package for easy movement.

Pros

  • A lightweight, well-draining compost
  • Offers excellent aeration and moisture retention
  • It has four months of plant feed.
  • Usually drains well

Cons

  • It is expensive.

3. Fishnure Odorless Organic Humus Compost Fish Manure

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Fishnure 8 Pound Odorless Organic Humus Compost Fish Manure Fertilizer - OMRI Listed - with Living...
  • ORGANIC NATURAL FERTILIZER: Organic, living fertilizer and soil conditioning humus compost made from fish manure...
  • KEY BENEFITS: Increased yield, aeration, water holding capacity, soil fertility, and organic matter.
  • HIGH CONCENTRATION: 1 pound treats up to 60 square feet, allowing you to cover large spans of area with an 8-pound...
  • LONG-LASTING: Organic matter is bound to the microscopic clay particles in humus compost and won't decompose...
  • ODORLESS: Humus compost has no fishy smell and instead has the smell of freshly tilled soil, keeping your shed or...

Last update on 2023-01-06 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Fishnure Organic Humus Compost is an excellent fertilizer for your strawberry plants. I loved this compost as it's odorless, which helped with garden soil amendment without emitting any unwanted odors. Also, a single package of the product can serve you for a long time and allow you to cover a lot of ground.

Image Source: fishnure.com

This compost creates a humus that enriches the soil for strawberries. It includes microbes that help in the decomposition and a lot of nutrients, so you can use it to feed strawberry plants of all kinds for a long time.

Additionally, the compost is designed to drain efficiently so that the strawberry roots do not have to stand in water while retaining moisture and offering aeration for healthy growth.

Pros

  • Organic and odorless compost
  • Easy to spread
  • Usually drains well
  • Boost soil micronutrient levels

Cons

  • Pricey

4. Ribbon Organics Compost, OMRI Certified

Ribbon Organics OMRI Certified Organic Compost Size: 7.9 Gallons, 32-35 Pound Bag
  • Improves soil structure & aeration
  • Promotes water retention
  • OMRI Certified for Organic Use
  • Safe for use at any concentration
  • Pairs wonderfully with worm castings & other soil builders

Last update on 2023-01-28 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The Ribbon is an organic, high-quality compost with microscopic particles that promotes aeration and water retention, is odorless, and promotes strawberry growth. This is the best product for you if you are looking for a natural organic product that will provide enough compost nutrients to your soil and strengthen its stability.

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Due to its diverse nutritional profile, we can describe this compost as the key to growing healthy, disease-resistant strawberry plants and high-yielding crops. It is made of organic components that promote strawberry plant growth, such as composted scrub, herbs, horse bedding, grass clippings, garden leaves, cleared firewood, and wood chips.

I have been using the potting soil mix on my strawberry plants and other garden plants for a while now, and the results are quite pleasing.

Pros

  • Organic Compost
  • Usually drains well
  • Meets OMRI standards
  • It helps the plant retain moisture between waterings.

Cons

  • It is expensive.

5. R&M Premium Organic Compost

R&M Organics Premium Organic Compost
  • Every Bag Sold A Tree Is Planted
  • 100% Organic
  • No Bad Odor
  • Moisture Retaining
  • All-Purpose Fertilizer

Last update on 2023-01-04 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The R&M Premium Organic Compost is designed to retain moisture which is ideal for strawberries. It is made from aged cow manure that has been dried for weeks, removing the unpleasant odor and keeping your garden smelling fresh.

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This R&M Organics product is a solid pick if you're looking for an OMRI-certified and reasonably-priced compost for vegetable gardens. The product is nicely wrapped with organic material. Besides, I love how easy it was to use.

According to the manufacturer, each package sold allows planting a new tree. So the fact that buying it contributes to a greener planet makes me happier.

Pros

  • Quite easy to spread
  • It comes with an affordable price tag.
  • OMRI certified
  • Organic Compost

Cons

  • Not ideal for planting strawberries on hanging baskets

Factors to Consider Before Buying the Best Compost for Strawberries

1. Nutrient Content

Strawberries require soil with a balanced nutrient content to grow and produce fruit. Therefore, look for compost with balanced nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium macronutrients and trace minerals like iron, zinc, and copper.

2. Planting Site

Where do you intend to plant your strawberries? Keep in mind that whether grown in beds or containers, they should receive at least 8 hours of direct sunlight daily. Without sunlight, fruit production can be scarce, and strawberries can be small and flavorless.

Planting Site

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On the other hand, consider whether it is designed specifically for indoor or outdoor use when buying the best soil mix. Paying attention to these details will ensure great results, especially on drainage.

3. Organic Matter

Organic matter is “plant-based” and shouldn’t be confused with the word “organic” that may appear on some soil mixes. When a soil mix is labeled organic, it means it passes USDA guidelines for chemical-free manufacture. The Organic Materials Review Institute (OMRI) has also certified it as containing solely natural (no synthetic or chemical) ingredients.

Like many other garden plants, Strawberry plants usually do well in organic matter, such as aged cow manure, compost, bark, and dried leaves. These components biodegrade, which means they break down and contribute micronutrients to the soil.

4. pH Level

Before buying the best compost for strawberries, consider the soil pH level. Strawberries usually do well on slightly acidic soil with a pH between 5.5 and 6.8. The pH scale is from 0-14, with seven being neutral. Numbers less than seven become increasingly acidic, whereas numbers greater than 7 become increasingly alkaline.

Grow Strawberries in a Pot

Image Source: allaboutgardening.com

Soil rich in organic matter, such as vegetable-based composite or dried leaves, is more acidic, whereas clay soil is more alkaline. Therefore, before applying any soil mix, we recommend testing the soil.

If the soil is excessively acidic, you can add ground limestone to raise the pH; on the other hand, if it is overly alkaline, you can add peat moss to lower the pH. The amount required usually depends on the pH level of the existing soil. Luckily, the pH of most commercial soil mixes falls within the ideal range for growing strawberries.

5. Drainage

When shopping for the best compost for strawberries, consider its drainage capability. Strawberry roots usually don’t like standing water; thus, soggy soil is not the best option. Conversely, the roots do not want to be entirely dry, so the soil should drain fast while still maintaining some moisture.

Ingredients in the soil mix, such as perlite and coco coir, usually promote drainage and absorb a small amount of water before slowly releasing it, preventing the plant roots from becoming too dry between waterings. We recommend using pots with drainage holes at the bottom when growing strawberries in containers.

How to Prepare the Compost for Strawberries

i). Preparing Compost for Pot Strawberries

Preparing Compost for Pot Strawberries

Image Source: strawberryplants.org

1. Choose the right pot

Choose a pot with bottom drainage holes. Also, the pots should have a diameter of 20 to 30 cm.

2. Half-fill the pot with potting soil

Strawberries thrive in multi-purpose potting soil with a pH between 5.5 and 6.5. You can determine the pH level with a soil test kit. If you fill the pot more than halfway, you won’t have enough room for the remaining ingredients.

3. Add compost and pearlite to the soil

 Fill the pot the remainder of the way with equal parts compost and pearlite, then firmly mix everything with your hand or a shovel. The compost will add nutrients to the soil, and the pearlite will help the soil retain moisture without becoming soggy, which is great for strawberries.

4. Place the strawberry plants in each pot

Place the strawberry plants in pots and cover them with enough soil to cover the roots. The plant’s crown should be level with the soil surface; otherwise, the plants would rot.

5. Water the newly planted strawberries

 Water the plants thoroughly to help settle the soil around the roots. Each week, give the plants around 1 inch (2.5 cm) of water and keep the soil moist.

ii). Preparing Compost for Growing Strawberries on the Ground

Preparing Compost for Growing Strawberries on the Groundz

Image Source: gardeningtips.in

  1. Choose a location with well-draining soil and sunlight for your strawberry patch. Strawberries need at least 8 hours of sunlight per day to grow properly.

  2. Test the soil pH. Strawberries prefer a soil pH between 6.0 and 6.5. If the pH is quite low or quite high, you can change it by adding lime to raise the pH or sulfur to lower it.

  3. Remove any weeds or debris from the planting area.

  4. Spread the compost over the soil. The amount of compost you will need will depend on the size of your strawberry patch and the condition of your soil. Generally, a layer of Compost 2-4 inches thick is enough.

  5. Work the compost into the top 8-12 inches of soil using a garden fork or tiller. This helps to incorporate the compost into the soil and improve soil structure and fertility.

  6. Form rows for planting. Mounds are good for areas with poor drainage, while rows are better for well-draining soil.

  7. Plant your strawberries according to the specific variety you have chosen. Follow the recommended spacing guidelines for your combination, as different types have different spacing requirements.

  8. Water the soil after planting to help the plants establish roots and get off to a good start.

Frequently Asked Questions on the Best Compost Strawberries

1. Do Strawberries Thrive Better in Pots or the Ground?

Strawberry plants usually produce fruit for three years or more. And so, growing strawberries in the ground is the most convenient method for long-term, permanent growth. Although growing in pots is possible, it may reduce the plant’s lifetime. For a single growing season, flower bags, window boxes, and hanging baskets are enough.

2. What Type of Manure is Ideal for Strawberries?

You will require organic fertilizers to sustain productivity and nitrogen levels. For instance, a blood meal is a great option because it contains 13% nitrogen. Other natural nitrogen sources include soy meal, fish meal, and alfalfa meal. Feather meal is also a great source of nitrogen, although its release rates are quite slow.

3. When Should You Stop Feeding Strawberries with Compost?

It would be best if you fed strawberries once per year after the last harvest. Spring fertilization is not recommended since it can result in mushy berries and excessive growth, increasing disease incidence.

4. What is the Key to Successful Growing Strawberries?

Strawberries thrive in sandy, well-draining soil. Applying the best compost for strawberries ensures that their shallow roots are always moist. This way, you can expect great results.

5. Should I feed Strawberries When They Are Fruiting?

We recommend feeding strawberries in pots or hanging baskets every two weeks during the growing season using a balanced fertilizer. To encourage fruiting, switch to a high-potash liquid fertilizer after flowering begins.

Featured Image Source: strawberryplants.org

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About the author

Alex Kountry

Alex Kountry is the founder of HayFarmGuy and has been a backyard farmer for over 10 years. Since then he has decided to write helpful articles that will help you become a better backyard farmer and know what to do. He also loves to play tennis and read books

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