The first year
Adequate soil wetness is required for survival. Strawberries have weak roots and must be watered frequently after replanting. Between rain and irrigation, they require 1 inch of water per week. Runners from the mother plant grow roots and stockpile energy for fruit blossoms that form in the autumn for the following year’s harvest.
The first summer, the blossoms on June-bearing bushes should be removed. Allowing the plant to produce in its first year diminishes it for excessive flowering the following year. Be patient. This year, buy grapes. Have a feast next year, complete with ice cream.
Weeding is required to keep rivalry for sustenance and water at bay. When using a shovel, only scratch the top of the earth to remove plants. Chopping or working the earth promotes plant growth by bringing latent weed seed to the top to sprout. Plant stems should not be disturbed.
Mulching protects immature plants and established areas in the cold. Cold temperatures can destroy fruit blossoms and harm stems and tops.
Apply soil after plants have been subjected to several frosts — temps in the mid- to low-twenties, after development has ceased but before severe freezes are anticipated. This is common between Thanksgiving and Christmas. Wheat chaff or clippings make excellent fertilizer and are usually easily accessible.
When the plant foliage turn golden in the spring, eliminate some of the fertilizer. Keep the compost close by in case of a sudden cold. Later, remove just enough foliage to expose a few leaves, leaving the remainder to preserve moisture and keep the fruit off the earth.