9 Best Strawberry Fertilizers + When To Fertilize Strawberries

Choosing the best strawberry fertilizers to use in your garden can make all the difference between growing a fresh, firm, and delicious crop and producing the kind of sub-par strawberries that are barely fit for consumption.

Still, if you’re new to growing these succulent summertime favorites, working out exactly which type of fertilizer to use -and when to use it- can be a challenge.

To help you out, we’ve rounded up the 9 best strawberry fertilizers around so that you can determine which one is right for you.

Best Organic Fertilizer For Strawberries

As you’ll see below, we’ve focused our top nine picks almost exclusively on natural and organic fertilizers. There’s a simple reason for this, strawberries love organic matter and respond really well to rich soil with a high organic level.

For the most part, these organic fertilizers come in three main varieties:

Liquid Strawberry Fertilizer

Liquid fertilizers take all of the essential nutrients needed for healthy strawberry growth and add them to a water-based solution which you can use on your crop as a fast-acting method to feed your plants. The benefits are that liquid strawberry fertilizer is generally easier to apply, absorbs quickly, and overall means that properly fertilizing your strawberry plants takes very little effort.

On the downside, however, liquid fertilizer will wash out of the soil with watering or rainfall which simply means you will need to apply it more often. Liquid fertilizer is perfect for use when your plants look tired and need a boost, or during the peak season when you want to take a more pro-active approach and regularly feed and water your strawberries.

Granules

Granular fertilizer can be placed directly into the soil around your plants. You can sprinkle by hand or use one of the many products that feature a shake-feed style bottle cap.

The great advantage of granules is the slow release of nutrients over a long period of time. The granules dissolve in contact with rainwater or when you decide to water your plants. Washing a small part of their nutrient into the soil. The disadvantage with this product is that you will need to water the crop to activate the fertilizer and dilute it into the soil

Some granular fertilizers can be dissolved in a watering can and used similar to a liquid feed.

Powder

Powder fertilizers tend to be very similar to liquid variants and operate in much the same way. The only difference is that rather than buying a pre-packaged liquid concentrate, you mix the nutrient-containing powder with water to create your own solution.

This can be helpful to give you more freedom and control over exactly how much fertilizer you use, though it does come with the risk that using too much could actually do your crops more harm than good.

Organic Vs Inorganic Fertilizer: What’s the Difference?

So far, so good then, but what actually separates an organic strawberry fertilizer from an inorganic one? Both contain all the nutrients your strawberries will need, albeit in different ways.

  • Inorganic fertilizers are man-made substances, often using chemicals to make up the nutrient compounds required by plants
  • Organic fertilizer is exactly that, made from 100% natural materials from plants or animals, which means they will safely go back to the earth without causing any problems in your garden or backyard.

Strawberry Fertilizer N-P-K

If you spend enough time researching strawberry fertilizer you’ll inevitably come across the initials N-P-K which stands for

  • Nitrogen (N)
  • Phosphorus (P)
  • Potassium (K).

These are the three essential macronutrients that plants need to grow and thrive. When you’re choosing a fertilizer, you’ll note that each one has its own NPK rating in the form of three numbers such as 10-5-10 or 20-5-5. This tells you how much of each nutrient make up the overall formula.

A 10-5-10 rating, for example, tells you that your fertilizer has equal amounts of nitrogen (10%) and potassium (10%) both of which are twice as much as the phosphorus (5%) content. A 20-5-5 rating tells you that the fertilizer has four times as much nitrogen as it does phosphorus or potassium.

It is possible to optimize your fertilizer application by using high nitrogen fertilizer in spring for healthy vegetation, a high potassium fertilizer in fall to protect it against disease and give it more durability, or a high phosphorus ratio in the blooming season for better flowers and fruit.

However, this is really difficult to get the timing right for each plant and avoid producing too much foliage when you really want fruit. So we recommend sticking with one of the proven fertilizer products on our list and follow the manufacturer’s guidance. These are tried and tested and have been found the give the best possible results.


Strawberry Fertilizer Reviews

When it comes to fertilization, no single formula or compound is perfect for every situation. Some of us like to use a single general fertilizer on our plants, vegetables, and fruit. Whilst others prefer a very specific product for a single purpose, such as a specialist fertilizer for strawberries or fruits. With this in mind, I have selected what I believe is a broad variety of excellent products for you to use when fertilizing your strawberries at home.

My criteria include the quality of the fertilizer ingredients, its overall performance as well as the level of customer satisfaction taken from thousands of customer reviews across all major retail platforms, and of course the product’s ease of use.


1. Espoma Organic Berry-Tone Strawberry Plant Food, 4-3-4

q? encoding=UTF8&ASIN=B07KV692TG&Format= SL450 &ID=AsinImage&MarketPlace=US&ServiceVersion=20070822&WS=1&tag=theyardandgar 20&language=en US

Earning rave reviews among happy fruit-growers for the way it helps to produce an abundance of berries, the Espoma Organic Berry-Tone Strawberry Plant Food comes with an NPK rating of 4-3-4, making it a great year-round fertilizer. As well as using this on my strawberries I use it as a fertilizer for blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries.

The slow-release formula typically works better for berries, providing a slow-but-steady stream of vital nutrients so that your strawberries can grow thick, large, and full of flavor rather than burning as a result of receiving too much, too quickly.

I have used this product for several years on my soft fruit plants and get great results every season. Espoma’s premium-quality strawberry food comes in a substantial 4lb bag and requires at most about one cup per plant for an entire season. As you can imagine, this makes it a great value-for-money option which, when combined with the tremendous results the majority of Espoma users report, help make it very worthy of being named the best all-round strawberry fertilizer currently on the market.

Check latest price on Amazon

How To Use It: Apply early spring and late fall I like to use at a rate of 5lb per 100 sq ft of strawberry beds or 1-4-1/2 cup per plant. Sprinkle the fertilizer around the base of the plant and lightly rank into the soil.

Pros

  • Excellent value for money
  • Very easy to apply to soil
  • Works equally as well for blueberries and raspberries.

Cons

  • It’s organic so it does smell a bit, well…kinda organic

2. Miracle-Gro Performance Organics Plant Nutrition 7-6-9

q? encoding=UTF8&ASIN=B07YM6NLKC&Format= SL450 &ID=AsinImage&MarketPlace=US&ServiceVersion=20070822&WS=1&tag=theyardandgar 20&language=en US

Miracle-Gro has long enjoyed a reputation as an innovator of some of the most successful fertilizers on the market. So, whether you’re planting trees and shrubs, growing your garden lawn, or aiming to get your bed of roses to bloom, you’ll find a Miracle-Gro fertilizer that will help you produce the results you want.

So it’s no surprise to find that they also come close to the top of the list when it comes to choosing the best strawberry fertilizer. Their Miracle-Gro Performance Organics Edibles Plant Nutrition is a granular formula that doesn’t need to be mixed with water in order to use. This not only saves you valuable time tending to your plants but also means that the vital nutrients can be placed firmly into the soil and fed directly into the soil.

It’s important to appreciate this is from Miracle-Gro’s Organics range so all ingredients are natural so you can use this product safely on all edibles. I have used this product on trial for a selection of fruit and vegetables and it will be no surprise to you that Miracle-Gro has developed a product that delivers great results. You can find it on Amazon here.

How To Use It: Sprinkle the granules around the base of the plant. Recommended to refeed every 6 weeks throughout the growing season.

Pros

  • Fast-acting results and Organic
  • Granular shake and feed is very convenient to use
  • Produces strong results

Cons

  • Requires regular re-applying every 4-6 weeks
  • Premium price compared to other products

3. Down to Earth All Natural Acid Mix Fertilizer 4-3-6

q? encoding=UTF8&ASIN=B07PL2Z7PZ&Format= SL450 &ID=AsinImage&MarketPlace=US&ServiceVersion=20070822&WS=1&tag=theyardandgar 20&language=en US

The Down to Earth All Natural Acid Mix Fertilizer is an excellent choice if you find that your soil lacks the right acid level to encourage healthy strawberry growth, using a 4-3-6 NPK rating to acidify the soil while providing nutrients right the year-round. This product contains bat guano, feather meal, and blood meal, plus 2.5% humic acids.

One of my favorite companies in terms of the overall quality, honestly, and natural approach to fertilization. No list would be complete without these guys and as always making the top 3. I have never met the people at Down to Earth, but you can tell these guys must be good people, right! I have about 6 of their products in my garden garage right now, I’m a big fan.

In the early part of the year, a little bit of this Acid Mix will ensure your plants get everything they need to blossom and produce large, healthy fruit. A great way to feed and deliver a soil amendment at the same time. Use this on all berries for outstanding results. Check the latest price on Amazon.com

Later, as summer ends and the days start getting shorter and cooler, the fertilizer will help to strengthen and protect your plants against the harsh winter weather.

How To Use It: Apply at a rate of 3lb for every 100 linear feet. So a 30 foot strip of plants will require 1lb of fertilizer. Mix into the top 3 inches of soil.

Pros

  • A great choice for grounds that lack the right pH level for strawberry growth
  • Fully natural, organic ingredients
  • Works especially well with other types of berries, making it a good all-round fruit garden product.

Cons

  • Can make the soil too acidic if too much is used, be sure to check soil pH
  • It’s totally organic so can be a touch smelly only use outdoors

4. Jobe’s Organics Fruit & Citrus Fertilizer, 3-5-5

q? encoding=UTF8&ASIN=B003UO25EW&Format= SL450 &ID=AsinImage&MarketPlace=US&ServiceVersion=20070822&WS=1&tag=theyardandgar 20&language=en US

As you’ll have no doubt gathered by the name, Jobe’s Organics Fruit & Citrus Fertilizer comes from a formula that is specifically designed to help fruit plants to blossom. Rather than relying on synthetic chemicals, this 100% organic fertilizer is built around the brand’s patented Jobe Biozome, a microorganism that works hard to create the optimum soil conditions for healthy growth.

This product is exceptional for use on citrus fruit but also an excellent choice for fertilizing cherries, apples, citrus, and berries, the 3-5-5 nutrient ratio is perfect for soft fruiting types like strawberries and blueberries. The only reason this product is not at the top is down to the lack of a soil acidifier within the ingredients. Now if your soil is already between 5.4-6.5 pH then this is a perfect fertilizer for your berry fruits.

How To Use It: Apply every 6 weeks, use half a tablespoon per strawberry plant throughout the growing season

Customer reviews: According to the majority of user reviews, we’ve come across, this unique formula works exceptionally well and really comes into its own when used on plants which were previously struggling. You can buy it here online.

Pros

  • Specially designed formula optimized for fruit growth
  • Good value for money product
  • Effective granular formula

Cons

  • Has an unpleasant aroma to it so only use outdoors

5. Jobe’s Organic All Purpose Granular Fertilizer 4-4-4

q? encoding=UTF8&ASIN=B003SHEDQY&Format= SL450 &ID=AsinImage&MarketPlace=US&ServiceVersion=20070822&WS=1&tag=theyardandgar 20&language=en US

If you like the idea of the Jobe’s Biozome microorganism and the peace of mind that comes from the solid reputation of the Jobe’s brand, but you’re not so keen on the 3-5-5 NPK content of our previous option, you may prefer Jobe’s Organics 09526 Organic All Purpose Granular Fertilizer instead.

Featuring equal parts nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium, this 4-4-4 slow-release fertilizer is a great all-rounder that works just as well on your strawberries as it does on your vegetable patch and other garden areas such as your lawn.

As such, this particular Jobe’s fertilizer may well prove to be your best friend if you’re looking to grow your strawberries without having to spend extra money on a separate fertilizer for the rest of your garden. Check the latest price here.

How To Use It: Apply every 6 weeks, use half a tablespoon per strawberry plant throughout the growing season

Pros

  • Fast-acting, granular-based solution
  • 100% organic ingredients
  • Excellent for protecting against bugs and insects.

Cons

  • Strong odor.

6. Vitax Organic Strawberry Plant Liquid Fertiliser 4-2-6

q? encoding=UTF8&ASIN=B003MPGQ08&Format= SL450 &ID=AsinImage&MarketPlace=GB&ServiceVersion=20070822&WS=1&tag=theyardandgar 21&language=en GB

One of the few options on the market designed specifically for strawberries, Vitax Ltd Organic Strawberry Feed Liquid Fertiliser earns high praise among users for producing a vast crop of big, healthy strawberries thanks to the all-natural ingredients and substantial nitrogen content.

Meanwhile, the higher-than-average levels of potassium get to work on increasing fruit sugars and acidity, creating a sweeter, juicer, and all-round tastier strawberry.

Combine that with the easy-to-apply liquid formula and good value for money, and what you’ve got here is a great option for anyone who’s serious about growing the most delicious fruits around. Buy it on Amazon.co.uk

How To Use It: Dilute one capful of organic liquid strawberry fertilizer with one gallon of water. Feed every 4-6 weeks.

Pros

  • Optimized formula for growing strawberries
  • Works just as well on other soft fruits
  • Low cost makes it a great budget-friendly option.

Cons

  • Only Available in the UK

7. Miracle-Gro Shake ‘N Feed, Fruits and Vegetables 10-10-10

q? encoding=UTF8&ASIN=B01NCL2THZ&Format= SL450 &ID=AsinImage&MarketPlace=US&ServiceVersion=20070822&WS=1&tag=theyardandgar 20&language=en US

We saw Miracle-Gro’s fast-acting formula earlier, but if you’d prefer a slow-release fertilizer that takes its time to properly create the healthiest environment for your strawberry plants, then you may find that the Miracle-Gro Shake ‘N Feed is much more to your liking.

This slow-release granular formula can be applied straight into the soil so that plants get more direct feed than they would with a liquid spray. As you would expect with all Miracle-Gro products they are high quality albeit priced at the premium end of the market.

We also like that it comes specially fortified with added calcium to create stronger, healthier, longer-lasting crops. Check Micracle-Gro’s latest price.

How To Use It: Sprinkle the granules around the base of the plant. Recommended to refeed every 6 weeks throughout the growing season.

Pros

  • Very easy to use shake and feed approach
  • Only needs reapplying once every 90 days, meaning less effort to maintain your crops
  • Prevents the kinds of disorders commonly found in edible plants caused by lack of calcium.

Cons

  • Can be easy to over-apply so take care with dosage

8. FoxFarm Acid Loving Plant Fertilizer 4-5-3

q? encoding=UTF8&ASIN=B084GWKRPL&Format= SL450 &ID=AsinImage&MarketPlace=US&ServiceVersion=20070822&WS=1&tag=theyardandgar 20&language=en US

Much like the Acid Mix we looked at earlier, the FoxFarm Happy Frog Acid Loving Plant Fertilizer is a great option for ensuring that your soil has the optimum pH level for growing strawberries.

While this makes it a better choice as a soil amendment option than an all-round fertilizer, the 4-5-3 NPK rating does still promise health growth.

This 100% organic slow-release solution takes some time to produce results but creates an all-around healthier soil ensuring that your plants will continue to grow and sprout fruit for a long time to come. Check the latest price here.

How To Use It: Apply 1/2 cup of fertilizer around the base of each plant and mix into the soil. Apply every month through growing season.

Pros

  • The slow-release formula promotes long-term growth
  • Soil microbes help with plant health
  • Low cost for a 4 lbs bag.

Cons

  • Low potassium content can affect the taste of your strawberries.

9. Down To Earth Organic Starter Fertilizer Mix 3-3-3

q? encoding=UTF8&ASIN=B074WHHCHG&Format= SL450 &ID=AsinImage&MarketPlace=US&ServiceVersion=20070822&WS=1&tag=theyardandgar 20&language=en US

The Down To Earth Organic Starter Fertilizer is another great option for anyone looking to try their hand at growing strawberries without spending a great deal on fertilizer. Okay so it doesn’t have a big picture of a juicy strawberry on the front of the packaging, but this 3-3-3 is a great option for most fruit and vegetables. It’s delicate enough to use in a kind of heavy-handed way. Use it as you would chicken manure, throughout the entire growing season.

A high-quality, low-cost option, this 5 lbs bag contains 3-3-3 which means you’ll need to use no more than two tablespoons per gallon for new plants or 2-4 tablespoons for transplanting ones that are already established.

Combined with the low price tag, the easy application, and most importantly excellent results most users claim to get with it this is a great way to get your strawberry garden underway with minimal investment from plug plant right through to the end of the season. Find it on Amazon.com here.

How To Use It:

Pros

  • Great general-purpose fertilizer for use on plug plants and mature plants
  • Protects against bugs and insects
  • High quality, natural ingredients.

Cons

  • Nothing of note

Guide To Feeding Strawberries

So, you’ve poured through our top nine picks and chosen the strawberry fertilizer that’s best suited to you, your plants, and your garden environment. The only question now is how do you use that fertilizer to get the best results? As with growing just about anything, the key to successful strawberry planting is all a matter of timing.

When To Fertilize Strawberries

There are three primary types of strawberries, each of which are best fertilized at different times.

June-Bearer Strawberries

The most popular type of strawberries, June-bearers are the ones you’ll normally find at your local grocery store or supermarket.

They produce one crop each year, and you don’t need to be a genius to work out in which month June-bearers are ripe for picking.

The best time to harvest June-bearers is right after you’ve harvested the group. This helps the plants to regrow throughout the fall and winter months and produce another healthy crop of plump, tasty fruit in time for the following spring.

Day-neutral

Although day-neutral strawberry plants don’t produce as many berries as June-bearers, they’re nonetheless pretty relentless, and will keep on going until the winter cold eventually kills them off…at least for the time being.

Once the weather warms up again, they’ll bounce back to life providing they receive the right amount of fertilizer at the right time, namely the summer months of June, July, and August.

Ever-Bearers

Ever-bearer plants deliver a decent crop of small berries in early summer and early fall. Much like June-bearers, they do best when fertilized after each crop.

How Often To Fertilize Strawberries

As well as at the times stated above, it goes without saying that you’ll always want to fertilize your soil before introducing any new plants to the ground

That way, you ensure that your plant has all the nutrients it needs to start to grow without being so overwhelmed.

After that, you’ll find that while some really good quality fertilizers ensure that you only need to fertilize the ground once per season, though it’s always worthwhile checking on the instructions as some do need regular reapplying.

Ideal Strawberry Soil Mix

As perennials, strawberries prefer really loamy-rich soil in order to grow well and yield good fruits. They thrive in a soil mix that contains plenty of organic matter which is well supplemented with nutrients from organic fertilizers such as bone meal, kelp meal,  potash, and good bacteria such as archaeans and ectomycorrhizae.

Along with the fertilizer, you’ll find that your plants do best when you add in some peat moss, compost, and perhaps even some manure prior to planting. All of which will help retain moisture and provide a really good aerated nutrient-rich soil.

When I have complete control over the soil type, for example when I am growing in strawberry planters or pots, I tend to use a compost-rich mix, which comprises 1/3 topsoil, 1/3 garden compost, and 1/6 mushroom compost, 1/6 vermiculite. Just don’t go overboard with the mushroom compost, it’s amazing for retaining moisture and adding nutrients, but it can also be high in lime.

To avoid disease and growth disorders, it’s best to plant them separately from other fruits and vegetables, especially potatoes, tomatoes, and other soft fruits.

Do Strawberries Like Acidic Soil?

Strawberries prefer soil that is slightly acidic but take care not to overdo it, as this can ruin the whole plant. Most berries enjoy soil on the acidic end of the pH scale and you can amend your soil using granulated sulfur or ammonium sulfate. Amending soil towards the acid scale can be a delicate process so make sure you follow the guidance of the sulfur manufacturer. My preferred soil acidified is Espoma’s and you can find it here on Amazon if you want to check it out.

Soil pH For Strawberries

As a general rule, you want to be aiming for an acid level of around 5.4 and 6.5 pH. If your soil doesn’t quite reach that level, a good acid-based fertilizer such as FoxFarm Happy Frog Acid Loving Plant Fertilizer can help to improve the acidity and therefore the overall growth of your fruit.

Final Thoughts On Fertilizing Strawberries

So, by now you’ve learned everything you need to know to successfully fertilize your strawberries. If you’re still not sure which one of our top nine picks to spend your hard-earned money on, allow us to leave you today with a few suggestions.

If you prefer the easy and simplicity of a pre-made liquid solution, you’ll find a lot to like about Vitax Ltd Organic Strawberry Feed Liquid Fertiliser which not only applies effortlessly but has a tendency to produce big, flavorsome fruit all at a wallet-friendly price.

If the pH level of your soil isn’t quite right and you need a quality fertilizer that can also up the acidity, look no further than the excellent Down to Earth All Natural Acid Mix Fertilizer.

If, on the other hand, you’re simply looking for the best all-round fertilizer, one that produces the best results at the best price for all three different types of strawberries, then look no further than our best-buy pick, the Espoma Organic Berry-Tone Strawberry Plant Food.

FAQ Best Fertilizer For Strawberries

Leave a Comment