This is Part 1 of a series of posts about growing strawberries. In this post, we’ll look at some basic information about strawberries, when strawberries are in season, the different types of strawberries and when they produce fruit, and evaluating what type is right for your garden.
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Growing Strawberries: Basic Info about Strawberries
Strawberries are an all-time favorite for many, including us here at Cedar Homestead. It just made sense for us to have our own. Strawberries are unfortunately one of the most pesticide-contaminated fruits you can buy. We started out with blueberries and raspberries because the previous owners of our home already planted them. It was great coming to the property and already having fruit you can just pluck off our own plants.
Since moving in, we expanded to include our own strawberries and have 3 different varieties: Earliglow (harvest early season), Jewel (mid-season harvest), and Sparkle (mid-to-late season harvest). I purchased bare-root plants from JohnnySeeds.com, which provide 25 little plants per variety. This was a good start because each plant can self-propagate. Strawberry plants self-root what are known as “daughter plants”. “Daughter” plants are actually runners.
Strawberries are relatively easy to grow if you give them the right conditions. They don’t require anything special, and you can grow them in a number of different ways: in an in-ground garden, raised beds, containers, and window boxes (to name a few).
When are Strawberries in-Season
Strawberries are in-season from late May to early fall. When the plant bears fruit depends on the type of strawberry plant.
Growing Strawberries: Types of Strawberries
There are 3 different types to strawberries: June-bearing, Ever-bearing, and Day Neutral.
- They are named June-bearing, or June-bearer, since most of this type of strawberry bears fruit in the month of June.
- Sends out a lot of runners.
- Produces the largest crop out of the 3 types and the largest fruit, but for the shortest amount of time.
- Don’t be deceived by their name. They’re not exactly ever-bearing. They produce 2 crops – 1 in the early summer and 1 in early fall. Under the right conditions, there are some varieties of ever-bearing strawberries that can have three harvests.
- They put out less runners than June-bearing varieties.
- These are usually grown in areas where there isn’t a lot of space.
- Day neutral
- Produce fruit throughout the growing season.
- They can produce fruit their first year planted.
- Day neutral types produce smaller fruit in comparison to other types. Their fruit is usually about an inch in size.
- Plant this type of strawberry if you are limited on space.
- They are usually planted in areas where there isn’t a lot of space.
Strawberries are classified further according to when they produce fruit: Early Season, Midseason, and Late Season.
- Early Season varieties begin producing fruit in late spring.
- Midseason strawberries start producing fruit about 8 days after Early Season varieties.
- There are Early Midseason varieties that start producing fruit about 5 days after Early Season varieties.
- Another subcategory of Midseason is late midseason.
- Late Season strawberries start fruiting 14 days after Early Season.
What Strawberry Type is Right for You?
Before you start planting strawberries, there are a few things to take into consideration to choose the best for your garden.
If you want a constant harvest of strawberries throughout the growing season, plant various types. Each type flowers and fruits at different times throughout the growing season. Planting different types allows that.
You should also take into consideration what you want to do with the strawberries. Are you going to can or preserve them?
Another consideration should be the amount of space you have. Do you have a limited amount of space in your garden? Are you growing in a raised bed or a container? You may want to opt for a type of strawberry that doesn’t send out lots of runners.
Do you need a hardy one that will endure harsher winters?