6 Best Soils for Strawberries In 2023 – Reviews & Top Picks
Strawberries are a delicious fruit beloved by many. It is also a popular plant to grow at home. It is relatively low maintenance and produces a lot of delicious fruit. All of these reasons make strawberries a popular plant to buy as starters or to try and start as seeds. The key to getting large, ripe, and healthy fruit is to raise a thriving strawberry plant from adolescence through adulthood. One of the keys to getting healthy strawberry plants is to choose the correct soil.
Here are the 6 best soils for strawberries this year. These soils are formulated perfectly for fostering healthy starts, continual growth, and large berries. Don’t forget to check out our brief growing guide at the end to help put your soil choice to good use.
A Glance at Our Winners in 2023
|Best Overall||FoxFarm Strawberry Fields Flowering Garden Potting Soil||
|Best Value||Miracle-Gro Moisture Control Potting Mix||
|Best Fertilized Soil||SUN GRO HORTICULTURE Black Gold 1302040 8-Quart All Organic Potting So||
|Best Organic||FoxFarm Happy Frog pH Adjusted Organic Plant Garden Potting Soil Mix||
|Best Draining||Espoma Organic Potting Soil Mix||
The 6 Best Soils for Strawberries
1. FoxFarm Strawberry Fields Flowering Garden Potting Soil – Best Overall
|Weight:||40 lbs. per bag|
|Volume:||1.5 cubic feet|
FoxFarm Strawberry Fields Flowering Garden Potting Soil is the best overall soil for strawberries today. This large bag of non-organic soil is perfect for cultivating large juicy strawberries. The formula for this soil mix is specifically designed to foster the growth of larger fruits and vegetables. FoxFarm Strawberry Fields is specially designed for plants, like strawberries, to grow to their maximum potential. Strawberry is featured right there in the name.
This is a four-pack of bags that contain 1.5 cubic feet of dirt each. That gives you 6 cubic feet of soil total, which is more than enough for a large garden. If you are planting more than just strawberries, feel free to use the excess dirt to fuel your whole garden.
Contrary to popular belief, you do not always want organic soil for your fruits and berries. Organic soil can have microorganisms living inside of it. Things like bacteria, nematodes, gnats, and worms can be hiding inside organic bags of soil, and that is not always a good thing, especially if you are trying to cultivate fruit. That is why we chose nonorganic soil as our number one selection.
2. Miracle-Gro Moisture Control Potting Mix – Best Value
If you are looking for an all-around great choice for a small strawberry pot, you need to consider Miracle-Gro Moisture Control Potting Mix. This soil is great for strawberries because it automatically controls the amount of water that is being leached into the soil.
Using proprietary moisture absorbing crystals, this soil regulates itself to help prevent overwatering and underwatering. Strawberries generally like moist well-draining soil, but they can be vulnerable to watering deficiencies like any other plant. This soil will help avoid those issues and will keep your strawberries happy year-round.
These bags are relatively small, measuring just 8 quarts, but they are very affordable. These bags are perfect for a small strawberry pot or dirt patch that you can mix in natural soil with the Miracle-Gro. This soil also contains plant food that will slowly leech into the pot over the course of six months. This should cut down on the need for fertilizers during the early growing period. Miracle-Gro also claims that this soil helps plants grow twice as big as the competition.
The only downside is that these bags are quite small, and if you plan on doing a large garden, you are going to need a lot more dirt than these packs provide.
3. SUN GRO HORTICULTURE Black Gold 1302040 8-Quart All Organic Potting Soil – Best Fertilized Soil
If you are looking for an organic soil with fertilizer built in that is perfect for starting strawberries look no further. SUN GRO HORTICULTURE Black Gold is a great product that is designed to help plants get off the ground. This soil mixture will be great for anyone trying to start strawberries from seeds, seedlings, or starters.
It contains a plethora of nutrients inside the bag that give it a leg up over other organic soils. SUN GRO HORTICULTURE Black Gold includes Canadian sphagnum peat moss, composted bark, worm castings, horticultural grade perlite, pumice, cinders, and generic organic grade fertilizer. The result is a powerful blend that is guaranteed to help your young plants grow better.
These are small bags that can be mixed with cheaper, more generic dirt for a healthy blend perfect for large plots. Or you can use this bag to fill a small container all on its own. This product is a little more expensive than some competing products, but it is also one of the most nutrient dense on the market.
4. FoxFarm FX14047 Happy Frog pH Adjusted Organic Plant Garden Potting Soil Mix Bag – Best Organic
|Weight:||60 lbs. per bag|
|Volume:||2 cubic feet|
If you are looking for fresh organic soil to fill your garden and feed the strawberries, you definitely want to look at FoxFarm FX14047 Happy Frog pH Adjusted Organic Plant Garden Potting Soil. This massive six-pack of dirt is 100% organic and is made by the same people behind our number one choice, Strawberry Fields soil. The great thing about this pack is you get a full 12 cubic feet of dirt which are more than enough to cover a whole garden.
Not only that, but it is also specially adjusted for optimal pH balance, which is great for strawberries in particular. Strawberries are happiest with soil that has a pH balance of right around 6, which is a little lower than most generic soils. FoxFarm FX14047 Happy Frog pH Adjusted Organic Plant Garden Potting Soil has altered the natural pH balance to get as close to 6 as possible, which makes the soil hold more nutrients and will benefit strawberries while keeping it all organic.
The downsides to this soil are this pack is a little too large for someone looking to grow a single strawberry plant. It is also a little expensive, according to people who have managed to track down FoxFarm soil at local stores rather than online.
5. Espoma Organic Potting Soil Mix – All-Natural Potting Mix – Best Draining
Strawberries require well-draining soil in order to thrive. Some soils, especially organic soils, can be lumpy and dense, which traps water inside the pot. A buildup of water in the pot or in the soil is not ideal for people looking to grow large healthy strawberries. Espoma Organic Potting Soil Mix – All-Natural Potting Mix is not only all-natural organic potting soil mix, but it is also very loamy, well-draining, and packed with nutrients that are perfect for strawberries.
This soil mixture contains natural ingredients such as sphagnum peat moss, humus, perlite, earthworm castings, alfalfa meal, kelp meal, and feather meal. It also contains a unique mixture of endomycorrhizal and ectomycorrhiza, which helps stimulate root growth.
The mixture of a specialized root enhancing enzyme and the well-draining nature of this organic soil makes it an ideal mixture for growing strawberries at home.
With any 100% organic soil, you run a risk of getting cross-contamination. Organic soil can include gnats, flies, worms, mold, and microscopic organisms. This is a feature of organic soil that you should be aware of before buying, and that has been reported in this particular soil in the past.
6. Espoma Organic Berry-Tone 4-3-4 Natural & Organic Fertilizer and Plant Food for All Berries – Best Fertilizer for Natural Soil and Dirt Patches
Not everyone wants to use premixed soil for their strawberries. Some people want to use a traditional dirt patch instead. Dirt patches have the benefit of utilizing native and local soil for your plants which is very helpful in areas where strawberries grow naturally. If you want to use the natural dirt in your yard, you should consider getting some specialty plant food made specifically for berries. That way, you can add the nutrients you need for your strawberries without disturbing the natural soil in your dirt patch.
For that, we recommend Espoma Organic Berry-Tone 4-3-4 Natural & Organic Fertilizer and Plant Food for All Berries. This plant food is made in the United States and is specially formulated for berry-bearing plants. This bag is designed to be fed to your berry plants twice per year. It requires no mixing, no fussing, and no alterations. It is ready to be added to your garden right out of the bag.
The instructions on the back are clear and easy to understand, and the entire contents are listed for you to go over before adding it. It contains phosphates, sulfur, nitrogen, and calcium, all of which are great for strawberries. Calcium especially helps with the pH balance of the soil that strawberries love.
Strawberry Growing Guide
Choose a Variety
There are multiple varieties of strawberry and multiple subspecies. You should choose a strawberry species that is known to grow well in your area. A local extension office or garden center should be able to help in this regard. There are three main types of strawberries, June-bearing, everbearing and day-neutral strawberries. Each type produces fruit at different times and is better suited for different climates. There are dozens of varieties of strawberries within each of these three overarching categories. If you are curious, you can look up a list of recommended varieties by state for the best results.
Choose a Location
After choosing a variety of strawberries, you want to select a suitable location. Strawberries grow best in natural dirt patches or raised beds. Strawberries should be planted outside. Be sure your strawberries are planted in an area with adequate sunlight and watering consideration. Use one of the best six soil mixes to add to the beds or dirt patch for optimal results.
Choose a Soil
Next, use our helpful reviews and top picks to select a soil, fertilizer, or soil-fertilizer combination that sounds like it best meets your needs. Whether you are on a budget, looking to plant a single strawberry plant, or kit out an entire garden, there is a soil mixture on this list that will be perfect for your individual gardening needs.
Know Your Planting Season
Strawberries need to be planted at different times depending on your location. Far northern areas will plant their strawberries in late spring. Middle regions will plant their strawberries in early spring. Far southern regions with hot climates will want to plant their strawberries in late fall or early winter. If you plant your strawberries at the wrong time, you will reduce your chances of getting a good crop of edible berries.
Keep Them Well Lit and Well-Watered
Strawberries love moist soil, lots of rain and sun. The place where you plant them should receive at least 8 hours of sunlight per day and be in a spot where they can be watered consistently. You do not want to overwater your strawberries, but you also don’t want to let them get too hot and dry in the sun. Strawberry plants that wither or wilt will not produce good fruit when the time comes.
When to Harvest
You should harvest your strawberries when they are red, shiny, and full. It is advised to wait two days after the berries look like they have reached maturity before harvesting. When you harvest, be sure to leave a part of the stem and the green cap on the berry. Store the berries in a cool, dry place for a couple of days and then refrigerate.
Take note that many strawberry plants will take at least one year, sometimes two years, from seedlings to reach maturity to the point where they will bear ripe and consistent fruit. If your plant did not fruit the first season, you might have to wait for another to see results.
With six excellent choices of soil mixtures that are perfect for young strawberry plants and our brief growing guide you should have no problem getting your strawberry plants up and running. Select a soil that sounds right for your garden while considering the size of the bag, the fertilizer type, and the price. After that, use these soil mixes to get your strawberries started in the right direction. Before long, you will have a vibrant, verdant, and thriving strawberry garden that produces ample amounts of delicious red fruit.
- Related Read: The 28 Best Strawberry Varieties for a Home Garden
Featured Image Credit: ignartonosbg, Pixabay