There is nothing more disappointing than biting into a bright red strawberry, expecting a burst of sweet flavor, only to be met with a sour, watery taste. What a waste!
So this begs the questions, "What happened? And why are some strawberry fruit sweet and others sour?"
Well many varieties are just sweeter-tasting than others, but the most causes for sour or watery strawberries are due to the fact that they have been given less than ideal growing conditions.
7 Tips To Growing Sweet Strawberries
1. Check your soil. Strawberries like well-drained, fertile soil that is slightly acidic. The best soil for strawberries tends to be compost-enriched, sandy soil. Strawberries grown in this type of soil will yield more and be sweeter.
2. Use raised beds. Raised beds tend to drain better and that along with good soil will ensure a sweeter fruit.
3. Check your location. Strawberries should be planted where they will get at least eight hours of full sunlight. Getting enough heat and light is crucial to sweet fruit production.
4. Give them space. Strawberries like to have enough space to grow and spread out. They should have at least 12 inches (30 cm) in between each plant. If strawberries get overcrowded, they tend to produce smaller, sour fruit.
5. Plant in the fall. If you can, plant your strawberry beds in the fall rather than the spring. That way they will have time to get a good root system in place before they start the large task of growing and producing fruit. If you live in a cold weather climate, just make sure to liberally mulch your strawberry plants so they can withstand the winter successfully.
6. Make sure you plants are healthy. Another cause for sour strawberries is disease. Mildew, rot, and other problems will be a drain on energy resources and the plant can't keep up properly.
7. Don't allow strawberry plants to set fruit the first year. Remove any flowers to force more energy into producing stronger daughter plants. Keep about 4 daughter plants (runners) from each mother plant, and prune off the rest. Large, healthy daughter plants will yield sweeter fruit.