Do Strawberries Climb Trellis?

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Do Strawberries Climb Trellis? Vertical Strawberry Garden

One of the main draws to understanding if it is possible for strawberries to climb a trellis is if you are trying to grow strawberries in a small space or even for convenience. Let’s be honest, it’s much easier to maintain plants and pick their fruit when berries are growing at eye level rather than constantly having to bend over.  

hanging juicy strawberries

But do strawberries climb trellis? And if they can, is it even good for them? Let’s start by looking at the different varieties of your basic strawberry plants to see if any of them are climbing friendly. 

Varieties of Strawberries

To understand if strawberries climb a trellis or if they can be grown on a trellis, it is first important to understand different types of strawberry varieties. 

Breaking strawberries down into main categories, we find that they are mostly defined by when the strawberry plants bear their fruits. The most common types of strawberries include June-bearing strawberries, everbearing strawberries, and day-neutral strawberries

As you may have assumed from the name, June-bearing strawberry plants are ones that produce their fruit primarily in the month of June in most locations. Everbearing strawberries are unique because they are typically a harvest of strawberries ready in late spring to early summer, and another one late summer to early fall. Day-neutral strawberry varieties are a type of plants that are better able to tolerate the cold, and are more likely to enjoy being planted in shade or partial shade. 

June-bearing strawberries specifically include types of strawberries like Allstar, Cabot, Camarosa, Cavendish, Chandler, Earliglow, Honeoye, Jewel, and Sparkle. Everbearing strawberries include types like Fort Laramie, and Ozark Beauty. Day-neutral strawberries include Albion, Seascape, and Tristar. (Source) These are a few of the main types of strawberries available in most parts of North Americas. 

Characteristics of Regular Strawberries

When determining if strawberry plants are able to climb a trellis, it is first important that we take a step back and determine the characteristics of regular strawberry plants and if they are able to climb upwards. 

Ground Cover. The average garden strawberry plant is usually considered to be a type of ground cover plant. This is because it starts as a small young plant, then grows outward expanding its reach across the top of the ground. 

Shallow Root Systems. Strawberry plants in general typically have a fairly shallow root system. This means that their roots don’t usually reach several feet deep into the ground. Rather their roots stay pretty shallow and expand across the top of the ground. 

Long Runners. Strawberry plants are special because they have a natural propagating system. The main plant, or mother plant, sends out long runners. These runners will sprout what looks like a new little base plant along the runner, and if you look closely, you will notice that a new baby plant, or daughter plant, has formed on the runner. These daughter plants will eventually grow into its own new strawberry plant with a root system all its own. 

strawberry plants growing in soil

How to Make Strawberry Plants Climb a Trellis

When we are talking about a trellis for strawberries to climb, this is referring to a structure that is attached into the ground on both sides, but the rest of it is in the air.

Most regular strawberry plants will not naturally climb a trellis, because they are not a vine, and the runners they do have do not naturally attach to anything other than dirt. The plants have to be forced to do this, by coaxing the plants into it over time.

To coax a strawberry plant to climb a trellis, you will first need to plant the strawberry plants near the base of the trellis. As it grows and matures, the plant will send out runners. 

When the strawberry plant sends out runners, you will need to manually take these runners and tie them or wrap them around the trellis. Then as the plant grows, you will need to repeat this process to keep it attached to the trellis.  

Over time you may be able to end up with a strawberry plant that appears to have climbed the trellis. But this is likely to be a long and slow process. 

Challenges of Growing Strawberries to Climb Trellis

The main problem with trying to grow strawberries so that they climb a trellis is that they really aren’t intended to do this. When strawberry plants grow their runners, they are looking to start a new plant, which needs soil and a root system. This is difficult to do when it is hanging in the air. 

May Not Stay. Because the average strawberry plants aren’t going to naturally climb a trellis, it might be a challenge to get it to stay in place once you have it tied to the trellis. If it comes untied, it is highly likely to fall back to the ground where it is most happy. 

May Not Survive. When the strawberry plant sends out runners, it is trying to grow and expand. The runner will naturally look to grow roots and sustain itself, not depend on the mother plant forever. Because of this, it the strawberry plant on your trellis may not grow like you want or be able to sustain itself long term. 

red strawberries

Growing Conditions that Will Give the Best Results

Full Sun. Most varieties of strawberries prefer to have exposure to a sunny spot. Be sure to double check your specific type, but keep in mind the sun exposure when you are looking for a place to plant new plant for the best outcome. 

Partial Shade. There are a couple varieties of strawberry plants that can handle being planted in partial shade. If you are looking to plant your young plants in this space, make sure to double check that the variety of plant is able to survive in partial shade. 

Well-Drained Soil. Strawberry plants prefer to grow in areas that is well drained and does not have a lot of moisture sitting around. If possible, they do the best with a slight slope in the land. 

Acidic Soil. Most strawberry plants are happiest when they are planted in acidic soil. Depending on the soil at your location, you may want to consider adding some acid boosters to your soil before planting new strawberry plants. 

Soil Surface. It is very important that the soil surface where the strawberry plants are planted is free of weeds and grass that will compete with them and could ultimately choak them out. Be sure to weed around the plants regularly to help them grow. 

Organic Matter. Organic matter is living matter that is contained in the soil which will help the young strawberry plants survive. You can easily add to the organic matter by collecting and mixing in compost such as, eggshells, coffee grounds, decomposing wood, and manure. 

When to Plant Strawberries

The best time to plant strawberries is in the late spring or very early summer or in the fall. Ideally, you will want to plant them in the early spring, after the ground has thawed, and you no longer risk a freeze, but before all the plants are out in full bloom.

Or you can plant them after the prime growing season is done in the fall, but before the ground freezes.

Strawberries are a perennial plant, so they should continue to come up the following years. 

Growing Season to enjoy Ripe Strawberries

The growing season for strawberries will depend on what variety the strawberries are. As we mentioned above there are three main types of strawberries, the June-bearing, everbearing strawberries, and day-neutral strawberries. 

Early Spring for June-bearing Strawberries

June-bearing varieties like the name suggests produce their berries for harvest typically during the month of June. The exact time may very slightly depending on your location and climate, but in most states this holds true. 

All Summer Long

Everbearing and day-neutral strawberries on the other hand are types of strawberry plants that can produce their fruit throughout the whole summer. Everbearing strawberry plants usually have two main harvests during the summer, one in early summer, and the other in late summer or early fall. Usually they are done by late fall.

Day-neutral strawberries are a special type of plant because they can continually produce berries all summer long. 

ripe strawberry in hanging basket

Different Methods to Grow Strawberries

Although the option of growing strawberries up a trellis may not be the best option, there are several great alternative methods that can be used to grow strawberries. Let’s check out these different ideas to grow strawberries. 

Strawberry Tower

Planting strawberries in a tower is a great idea that will help you grow delicious strawberries in soil, without having to bend over. There are a few different types of towers that will help you grow strawberries in a vertical garden, which is an excellent choice if you are working with a little space.

The key is that the plants are growing in dirt, but in a tower like pot, wooden stand, or PVC pipe with holes. 

Hanging Basket

Growing strawberries in a hanging basket is one of my personal favorite ways to grow them, and is perfect if you have limited space. Simply fill a hanging basket with potting soil and add your plants.

One thing to note about this method of growing strawberries is that they will need to be watered often in order for them to thrive. Then at the end of the season you can either plant them in the ground, or bring them in for the winter. 

Raised Bed

A great way to plant strawberries for easy access is to grow them in a raised garden or flower bed. This is a good idea because it gives them space to expand, but also minimizes the weeds and competition they may encounter. 

Hydroponic Strawberries

Growing strawberry plants in a hydroponic system is another great way to easily grow them if you like to experiment with hydroponics. 

Garden Beds

Using a garden bed to grow your strawberries is another option. You can spread some straw around the plants to help minimize their exposure to weeds. If you choose to plant them in with vegetables be careful that they aren’t exposed to any fungal diseases.

Strawberry Jars

Strawberry jars are a special type of pot you can use to grow strawberries. This kind of pot is also often used for succulents. It is a clay pot, that usually has an opening at the top like normal, then it has several holes in the sides, allowing plants to grow both at the top and sides of the jar. 

Variety of Planters

There are many different varieties of planters that can be used to grow strawberries. You can find the just the shape to fit where you want it to go. 

growing strawberries

Regular Strawberries vs Wild Strawberries (Woodland Strawberries)

Regular strawberries are strawberry plants that are typically purchased at nurseries and garden centers.

Wild strawberry plants on the other hand are a type of wild plant that can be found in many different locations. These plants often grow in wooded areas, but can also be found it swamps, or even rocky areas.

Wild strawberries are similar in appearance to regular strawberries but are usually much smaller in size. 

How to Start New Strawberry Plants

There are two main ways you can start new strawberry plants. The first is from strawberry seeds, and the other is by propagating a baby plant from the mother plants long runners.

Strawberry Seeds

Strawberry seeds can be purchased or cut from the berry and used to start new plants. To grow them, you simply plant them in soil and water occasionally. Although it sounds easy, this can be a bit difficult. 

strawberry plants ready for potting

Baby Plants from Long Runners

The easiest way to propagate new strawberry plants is by growing new young plants from runners. When a mother plant sends out long runners, you can simply press that runner with a baby plant into the dirt. Make sure that the roots are in the dirt, and the leaves are sticking up. Over time it will grow its own root system and form a new young plant. 

New Young Plants 

The new young strawberry plant forms when that baby plant has had the root system pressed into the dirt, add a stick or wire to hold it in place, then cut the runner to disconnect it from the parent plant. This will encourage the strawberry plant to grow into its own new plant. 

As the new plant grows, it will eventually grow white flowers or yellow flowers, then the flowers will turn into a very small green strawberry. Over time the berry will grow and become beautiful juicy strawberries that you can enjoy. 

Do Strawberries Climb Trellis?

Now you know all about growing strawberries, you can now answer do strawberries climb trellis? The answer is, no they won’t climb a trellis on their own. They naturally grow out, covering the ground, not up. If you want to force them, you can tie them to a trellis, but this is not usually the best way to grow big juicy strawberries. 

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About the author

Hi! My name is Faith, I am the creator behind My Sweet and Saucy. I have so many different things that I enjoy doing, and this is my space to share them all with you. I really hope you enjoy it! Thank you so much for stopping by!

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