Fertilize Strawberries: How To Make Natural Fertilizer Yourself

Last updated on October 23rd, 2023 at 08:30 pm

When it comes to strawberries, the amateur gardener wants to harvest large, sweet and juicy fruit. To achieve this goal, strawberry plants need a lot of sun, loose soil and the right nutrients. Although there are special strawberry fertilizers in specialized stores, the plant food can also be made quite easily yourself.

Home remedies as fertilizer

Home remedies suitable for fertilizing strawberries. Strawberry fertilizers that you can make yourself include the following.

  • Coffee grounds
  • Nettle liquid manure

Fertilize Strawberries: How To Make Natural Fertilizer Yourself

Other natural strawberry fertilizers include:

  • Manure
  • Leaf compost
  • Coffee grounds

The fact that coffee grounds are an ideal fertilizer for many plants is no secret to amateur gardeners. However, it is less well known that it also makes an excellent strawberry fertilizer. Coffee grounds contain nitrogen (N), potassium (K) and phosphorus (P), all three elements also found in a store-bought N-K-P fertilizer. Since coffee also contains acid, coffee grounds can also be used to lower the pH of the soil. This pleases strawberry plants, as they prefer a slightly acidic soil. In addition, the coffee grounds attract earthworms, which loosen the soil. This in turn pleases the strawberry plants, which thrive best in loose soil.

Tip: aphids and ants do not like coffee grounds. It is therefore also a preventive measure against these pests.

Despite its extremely good properties, coffee grounds alone as a fertilizer for strawberry plants are often not enough to achieve a high-yield harvest. Therefore, to add more nitrogen to the plants, you should mix the coffee grounds with the nitrogen-rich horn meal. A 1:1 mix ratio is optimal. Fertilize each strawberry plant with about 35 grams of the coffee grounds and horn meal mixture after planting. Simply sprinkle the fertilizer around the plant and work it into the soil. In order for the fertilizer to take full effect quickly, keep the soil evenly moist. Depending on the variety, the strawberries get 40 grams of the mixture after harvest and 15 grams in the spring.

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Tip: Pay attention to the dosage, because too much coffee grounds is harmful to the plants.

Nettle liquid manure

Nettle liquid manure is a home remedy that can also be used as a strawberry fertilizer. However, it should not be used too often, because eventually its taste can “transfer” to the strawberries. Making nettle liquid manure is simple.

You will need:

  • protective gloves
  • knife or scissors
  • wooden spoon or stick (long-handled)
  • appropriately sized container made of wood, stone, plastic or glass
  • fine-meshed net to cover the vessel

The home remedy can be made in different quantities. The mixing ratio is one kilogram of nettle liquid manure to ten liters of water.

To prepare the nettle liquid manure, proceed as follows:

  • Harvest nettle with scissors or knife.
  • place the chopped nettle in the container
  • fill the jar with water and stir it
  • place the container in a warm and sunny place
  • cover with a net against vermin
  • Stir once a day
Fertilize Strawberries: How To Make Natural Fertilizer Yourself

The nettle liquid manure is ready when no more bubbles form. Depending on the weather, this can take between one and three weeks. Now it must be sieved and diluted. For young strawberry plants, half a liter of nettle manure to 20 liters of water is suitable.

Manure and leaf compost

Although you rarely have manure right outside your house or barn door, it is a good alternative to store-bought fertilizer. However, for strawberries, this is used as a preparation for the soil, because fresh manure is harmful to the plants. The ideal time to fertilize with horse manure is one to two months before planting the strawberries. It is best to mix the horse manure into the excavated soil, so the nutrient-rich organic fertilizer is evenly distributed throughout the bed. In doing so, approximately five liters of manure are applied to one square meter of soil. If horse manure is not available, you can also use leaf compost. The incorporation of leaf compost is the same as that of manure.

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Fertilize Strawberries: How To Make Natural Fertilizer Yourself

Tip: Garden compost is not well tolerated by strawberry plants, because it is too high in salt and lime.


Controversial: Ash

Whether ash is suitable as a strawberry fertilizer is controversial. While some cite wood ash as a special tip for a high-yield crop, others warn against using wood ash from the grill or fireplace for strawberry plants at all. The problem lies in the fact that with barbecue coals, you don’t know the origin of the wood. In the case of firewood, the proportion of heavy metals in the wood ash cannot be determined without a precise analysis. Thus, there is a risk of enriching the soil with toxic substances, which are then ingested through strawberries. Proponents of ash put in the foreground that the ash is rich in potassium and other important trace elements. Should you want to use ash as a strawberry fertilizer, you should only use ash from sustainable woody crops and apply a maximum of 30 grams per square meter.

Tip: Often ash is called an organic fertilizer. Nevertheless, you should be extremely careful when fertilizing with it, especially for strawberries.


About the right time for fertilizing strawberry plants, there is a wide variety of information. They range from once a year to several times a year. The different indications are due to the different strawberry varieties. Therefore, fertilizing depends on the variety of strawberry.

Once-bearing varieties

Single-bearing strawberry varieties are always fertilized after the last harvest in midsummer or early fall. This is because these varieties set their flower buds in the fall and need plenty of energy and nutrients to do so.

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more than once bearing varieties

Ever-bearing varieties, also called remontant, develop flowers and fruit continuously. In order for the strawberries to have enough strength to do this, they need to be supplied with nutrients throughout the season. Therefore, you should fertilize these plants about every two weeks with an organic fertilizer or leaf compost.

Tip: The supply of nutrients of ever-bearing varieties should be weakly dosed, otherwise there is a risk of overfertilization, and the plants will no longer develop flowers.

Sometimes in the ever-bearing varieties, a distinction is made between multiple-bearing and ever-bearing. In this case, a distinction is made between the so-called monthly strawberries and strawberry varieties that produce fruit twice a season.


  • James Jones

    Meet James Jones, a passionate gardening writer whose words bloom with the wisdom of an experienced horticulturist. With a deep-rooted love for all things green, James has dedicated his life to sharing the art and science of gardening with the world. James's words have found their way into countless publications, and his gardening insights have inspired a new generation of green thumbs. His commitment to sustainability and environmental stewardship shines through in every article he crafts.

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