Fresh, juicy red strawberries cost big bucks at the store.
For a small investment in time, you can have homegrown berries every year.
Oregon Hood, Shuksan, Totem, Benton, Tillamook, Puget Reliance. Fort Laramie, Ozark Beauty and Quinault, Albion, Seascape, Selva, Tribute and Tristar.
Colorado Guardian, Kent, Honeoye, Redchief, Delite, Jewel, Mesabi, A.C. Wendy, Cabot and Bloomiden, Ogallala, Fort Laramie, Tribute, Tristar and Fern
Minnesota Honeoye, Cavandish, Ogallala
New York Earliglow, Allstar, Honeoye, Jewel, Blomidon,Fletcher, Catskill, Sparkle, Geneva,Ozark Beauty, Tribute, AllStar
Hew Hampshire – Annapolis, Cavandish, Allstar, Jewel, Sparkle
Nebraska Earliglow, Early Red, Chandler, Honeoye, Jewel, Surecrop, Dunlap, Red Chief, Guardian, Robinson, Sparkle, Bounty
Virginia Allstar, Earliglow, Flavorfest, Jewel, San Andreas, Seascape
California – Douglas, Pajaro , Chandler, Oso Grande, Sequoia, Selva , Muir, Irvine
Texas Albion, Benicia, Camino Real, Chandler, Camerosa, Douglas, Festival, Oso Grande, Radiance, Sanandreas, Seascape, Sequoia
Florida Sweet Charlie, Strawberry Festival, Treasure, Winter Dawn, Florida Radiance
Day-neutral varieties can bear fruit three months after planting, and June-bearing will fruit the next spring.
Berries can ripen a month after flowering. Pick after plants have dried in the morning. Harvest about every three days.
Harvest will be about four to six weeks long depending on the variety. .
Where should I plant my strawberries?
Raised beds are great for strawberries for soil drainage, soil warming, weed control and easy harvesting.
In beds with plastic or mulch, put plants 8 to 14 inches apart.
A single bed measuring 3 feet by 15 feet can contain 30 plants.
Avoid filling the bed with only ordinary garden or top soil, because the surface will crust over and the bed will dry out faster.
Add potting mix, garden compost, composted manure and a bit of sand. Mix 1 part organic matter (peat moss, compost, etc.) to 1 part sand or perlite to 2 parts soil.
Select a day-neutral variety and plant 4 berries in a 12 inch diameter pot. Replace new plants each year for best harvest.
Remove all runners and baby plants.
Use potting soil. Add slow-release fertilizer if desired.
The potted strawberries may require more water and fertilizer than an in ground or bedded plant.
Strawberries in pots will warm more than in the ground, which can be bad for fruit production. In hot weather, shade the pot and spray very lightly several times a day to lower the plant temperature
Planting will take two years.
Year One – test the soil to find out what nutrients need to be added.
Fertilize with manure or with one pound of 10-10-10 for every 150 square feet.
Work organic material (compost, sawdust, peat moss, etc.) into the top four inches of soil with a rototiller or shovel.
Year Two – In the spring, create raised mounds of soil about 1 to 1.5 feet tall if you soil isn’t well drained or the water table isn’t at least 14 inches below the surface.
Adding organic matter to the top inch or two is a good idea.
Provide 1 inch of water a week. Water in the morning to prevent leaf diseases.
Fertilize with 5 pounds of 10-10-10 per 100 feet of row when renovating the bed. Don’t fertilize before a harvest or in late fall.
Mulch between rows to conserve moisture. Don’t bury the plants with mulch during the growing season.
Temperatures below 20 degrees may damage plants. Mulch in November in Northern states.
Clean straw or corn stalks are a good choice. Leaves are not .
Add two to three inches of mulch.
If you take care of your strawberries, you can look forward to tons of berries.
A well selected and properly grown plant can produce about a pound of berries a season.