Going green and organic makes the most sense when it comes to home-grown strawberries. It might take a bit more effort on your part but is absolutely worth the while when harvesting those succulent and wholesome berries.

Today we share a few pointers on how to ensure you harvest the most beautiful organic strawberries.

Probably the easiest way to have control over weeds is to plant your strawberries in containers. The plants have small root systems which makes them ideal for container gardening. Ensure your containers are placed where the plants will get plenty of sunshine – at least 5 to 6 hours per day. Potted strawberries will dry out quickly, so check on your plants daily to make certain that the ground is moist. And remember to also keep away those pesky birds.

When growing your strawberries in patches, keeping insects away can become a true struggle as they are attracted to the sweet aroma of the plants. The first line of defense is to confuse the bugs by planting some herbs among your strawberries. Try planting mint, basil, garlic, chives and onions.

If you have a nematode (roundworm) problem, planting marigolds will do the trick. Nematodes are attracted to the roots of the marigold plants and invade them. Marigold roots contain a natural nematicides that kill the nematodes and prevent them from breeding, reducing their numbers. Also plant other flowers among the strawberries that will attract beneficial insects such as green lacewings, ladybirds and spiders that like nothing more than to sip on the less welcome pests.

You can also make your own organic insecticide spray by mixing 4 tables spoons of dish soap with 4 litre of water. Spray the plants leaves top and bottom to keep those pesky bugs away.

To keep slugs and snails off your plants, you can place copper wire around the perimeter of your berry patches. The copper causes a harmless shock-like reaction when they come into contact with it, causing them to move away.

If you do decide to use agricultural fabric to protect your strawberry patches, remember to ensure that the fabric allows enough sunlight to penetrate. Also open the beds about two hours per day to allow bees a chance to pollinate them.

Strawberry plants also make an attractive as well as edible ground cover as they are evergreen plants that will survive for a few years if cared for properly. They keep the earth moist and spread runners that will soon develop a carpet under shrubs and plants, and their flowers will attract pollinators to your garden. However, don’t count on a big harvest when using strawberry plants for ground cover. You could also use wild strawberry plants as they are equally decorative and easy to grow.

Happy gardening