Strawberry plants make an excellent addition to the home garden. 30 plants will provide enough strawberries for a family of four. The attractive plants can be grown as a groundcover or landscape ornamental, or in a traditional bed.
There are three types of strawberry plants: June bearing, ever-bearing and day neutral. June bearing strawberries produce a large, concentrated crop in late spring. You’ll get more berries per season from June bearing strawberries, and the entire crop will ripen over a three week period.
Ever-bearing strawberries produce one crop in spring and another in fall. Day Neutral plants are capable of producing fruit throughout most of the growing season.
Selecting a Strawberry Type
June Bearing strawberries produce a large, concentrated crop in late spring. You’ll get more berries per season from June bearing strawberries, and the entire crop will ripen over a three week period.
Ever Bearing strawberries produce one crop in spring and another in fall.
Day Neutral plants are capable of producing fruit throughout most of the growing season.
Site Selection & Preparation
Strawberries need full sun to produce the best crop.
Strawberries will not tolerate drought or standing water. Be sure that the site you select is well-drained. Beds should be placed beyond the root zone of large trees so that the tree will not compete with the strawberries for moisture. Choose a location that will be easy to irrigate or water during dry spells. The site selected should be free from weeds, grubs and soil-borne diseases.
Strawberries are planted in the spring as soon as the soil can be worked. If the plants must be stored before they are planted, choose a cool location out of direct sunlight and keep the roots moist, but not soggy. If possible, plant on a cool, cloudy day to reduce stress on the transplants.
Follow these guidelines to prepare your plants:
- Prune damaged roots
- Trim excessively long roots to 4-5 inches in length.
- Remove all flowers, runners and old leaves.
- Place the transplants in a container with a small amount of water in the bottom and keep them out of direct sunlight.
- Plants should be set with the roots pointing downward and forming a small fan. If plants are set too shallow the crown may dry out, and if too deep the crown may rot. Set the plants just deep enough so the midpoint of the crown is even with the soil surface. After setting in, firm the soil around the plant and water thoroughly.
Watering & Fertilizing
- Strawberries perform best when adequate water is provided. Always water early in the day so tat foliage has a chance to dry before nightfall. This practice will help prevent leaf diseases.
- Because optimum fruit, root and plant development occurs at relatively cool soil temperatures, a mulch is recommended to help keep the soil temperatures down. Additionally, a mulch will help to preserve soil moisture, control weeds and keep fruit clean.
- Strawberries require regular feeding to produce a good crop. They should be fertilized at time of planting and early in the spring in subsequent years. Apply a second feeding shortly after harvest. Never apply fertilizer to strawberries late in the growing season, as this predisposes the plants to winter injury.