Growing Strawberries can be rewarding as it tastes great and also sells for high bucks! Here’s all the information you need on how to do Strawberry Farming in India!
Growing Strawberries can be very profitable in the long run as the fruit sells on quite a high side in the season. In India, strawberry cultivation is popular in Himachal Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Delhi, Haryana, Punjab, Mahabaleshwar, and Ooty. It requires a temperate climate, however, some of the cultivars can grow in the sub-tropical climate as well. Let’s have a look at how to do Strawberry Farming in India!
Have a look at the best varieties of Strawberries in India here
Best Strawberry Planting Time in India
The ideal time of planting Strawberries in India in hilly areas and northern states is during September and October. Planting them too early may lead to low yield and quality of fruits. Thanks to the tropical climate of India, most gardeners prefer growing strawberries in the greenhouse, instead of growing outdoors for better growth and fruit quality.
Strawberry Farming in India
To cultivate strawberries, plow the land deeply and thoroughly. While tilting, add organic matter like manure and neem cake. In strawberry cultivation in India, people use different systems of farming like row, hill, space-row, and plastic mulch systems.
Strawberry has a fibrous root system, that is the majority of its roots remain in the topsoil. Use a well-draining and humus-rich soil for the best growth. Also, strawberry grows best in slightly acidic soil with a pH of 5.0-6.5.
Pro Tip: Rotating the strawberry crop with leguminous crops like beans every year will boost production.
The more sunlight it gets, the better it will for growth, flowers, and fruiting. Make sure it gets direct light for a minimum of 5-6 hours every day.
Strawberry is a shallow-rooted plant and therefore needs frequent watering. You can also use a sprinkler system for irrigation. The best method to follow is to water the plant only when the topsoil goes a little dry.
Pests and Diseases
Strawberries are prone to the diseases like black root rot, leaf spot, and, grey mold. Grow resistant varieties that are less prone to these issues. Also, avoid sprinkling water on the leaves, fruits, or flowers, as it increases the chances of fungal infection.
Be careful of cutworms and red spider mites. Using a strong jet of water, organic insecticidal soap, or neem oil solution will take care of them.
Taking Care of Strawberry
- Pluck out flower stems in the initial stages after planting. This makes the plant more adaptable to drought and heat.
- Strawberries’ roots need protection from cold, hence use a mulch of either plastic or straw to keep the temperature even.
- Keep the area weed-free.
The plant starts bearing fruits from the second year onwards. In the northern states like Mahabaleshwar, Nainital, Uttarakhand, and Kashmir, you can start harvesting the plant from May to June, when strawberries start ripening from late February till April.
Harvest the fruits that are firm with deep red color. You can store them in the refrigerator for up to 10 days.