Strawberries get bigger and juicer when fed one ingredient hailed 'best fertiliser'

strawberry plant
You only need a small amount of coffee grounds as too much can harm them -Credit:Getty

Strawberries are a popular plant to have in your garden as they are easy to grow - even in the UK - as long as they are fed the right fertiliser.

While some may grow the plant successfully, it can be frustrating if it is not producing fruit. A common mistake many gardeners make is not giving the crop plant the right nutrients, with the soil pH levels also important to check.

If this is you, one of the best ways to give strawberries a natural boost, as well as improve their soil structure, is making a homemade fertiliser. And all you need is some coffee grounds.

This is thanks to its slightly acidic nature as well as it containing nitrogen - and you can buy coffee grounds in any supermarket for just a few pounds.

Nicole Metzger, a farmer who owns Metzger Acres, has revealed that getting the soil right for strawberries can be “finicky” but once you have the right organic ingredients it's easy.

She explained: “Strawberry plants prefer slightly acidic soil, ranging around 5.3 pH to 6.5 pH. The pH of your soil can be tricky to get right in a vegetable garden because different plants prefer different acidity levels.”

What are the benefits of coffee grounds for strawberries?

Coffee grounds for plants
Coffee grounds make one of the “best fertilisers” -Credit:Getty

Nitrogen is an essential nutrient for strawberries as not only does it help the plant to grow, but it helps the plant to produce fruit, thus, promoting more crop growth, reports the Express.

According to Nicole, this makes it one of the “best fertilisers” for strawberries when used “properly”.

She said: “Coffee grounds do not contain harmful chemicals that some commercial fertilisers contain. Chemical fertilisers can be too potent if applied incorrectly, resulting in damaged plants, or plants receiving too much of the wrong nutrients.

“Another benefit of using coffee grounds as fertiliser for your strawberries is that coffee is a natural pest control. Several insects and rodents dislike the smell and taste of the coffee grounds and will steer clear of your plants!

“Mosquitoes, rats and mice, ants, snails, wasps, and others cannot stand the smell of coffee grounds.”

That's not where the benefits end though as these grounds can also help improve soil drainage, reducing the chance of the soil becoming waterlogged as well as reducing the risk of the strawberries getting diseases such as root rot.

How can I use coffee grounds as a fertiliser for strawberries?

Ground coffee,  measuring coffee,  mocha pot
You need half a cup of coffee grounds -Credit:Getty

To make a homemade strawberry fertiliser, simply mix half a cup of coffee with a gallon of water and leave the solution to sit in a container for 24 to 48 hours, making sure to mix it occasionally. After this, pour the solution around the soil of your strawberry plants.

Nicole said: “This will allow the nutrients to disperse throughout the water, creating an all-natural liquid fertiliser.”

Nicole explained: “Letting the grounds soak in the water for a day or two will create a wonderful, nutrient-rich liquid fertilizer for your strawberry patch!”

You can also sprinkle the coffee grounds directly onto the soil of your strawberries and then give your plants a deep watering.

Nicole said: “Once watered in, the nutrients will soak into the soil and fertilize the strawberry plants.

“This works well because strawberry plants have shallow roots and the coffee grounds can easily reach the root systems to be absorbed by the plants.”

Are there any downsides of coffee grounds for strawberries?

strawberry plant
You only need a small amount of coffee grounds as too much can harm them -Credit:Getty

Nicole warns you only need a small amount of coffee grounds as too much can harm them.

The expert explains: “As with anything, too much of a good thing can become a bad thing. The high acidity and nitrogen content of coffee grounds can be beneficial if your garden soil is lacking in these things.

“However, if your soil is already extremely nutrient dense, adding too much nitrogen can actually stunt the growth of the fruiting part of the plant.”

Before feeding strawberries, or any plant, a homemade fertiliser, you should make sure to test the soil and only feed the plant a small amount of the fertiliser to test it out at first.

If your strawberry plant has been overfed, signs to watch out for are:

  • Excessive leaf growth

  • Weak spindly stems unable to support the weight of the fruit growing on it

Are coffee grounds toxic to pets?

dog in garden
It can be toxic for cats and dogs -Credit:Getty

Yes. Coffee grounds can be toxic to pets so it's best not try out this method if you have cats or dogs running around your garden.

Nicole cautions: “If you have curious dogs and cats around your strawberry patch, it might be best to avoid using coffee grounds. A moderate amount of caffeine can be toxic to small dogs and cats, causing serious health implications.”

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