Thursday, June 11, 2009

Strawberry time

June bearing strawberries are coming into their prime (photo right). June bearers fruit over several weeks and ‘Guardian’ and ‘Honeoye’ are good varieties. June bearers are less hardy than ever-bearing types so plant in the warmer cities of the Front Range. You can also mulch crowns in winter after the ground freezes with straw for protection. Like so many other perennial crops, winter watering is useful in dry winters.

Ever-bearers are dependable types for this area and hardier than traditional June bearers. They have two major fruiting cycles with sporadic additional production through the growing season. ‘Fort Laramie’ and ‘Quinalt’ are two commonly available varieties.

Another type to try is the day-neutral berries. They fruit in six-week cycles through the growing season. ‘Tribute’ and ‘Tristar’ are recommended varieties.

Strawberries perform best when planted away from wind in full sun of 8 hours duration. They are sensitive to crown rots so plant in well drained soil with crowns just above the soil. A raised bed with or without hard sides is an excellent growing situation.

I now see many strawberry patches bearing fruit and rewarding gardeners in Denver.

Photo credit – Strawberry fruit on June 10, Carl Wilson


  1. I planted Honeoye this spring in a raised bed. They seem to be doing well so far. I read conflicting advice about allowing them to bear fruit so I plucked the blooms from half and I’m letting the other half fruit. In the fall, how deep should they be mulched (with straw) and when (generally) should it be removed? I was given some starts last October and kept them in a temporary bed (kiddie pool) for the winter. Come spring, nearly all had rotted under the straw mulch. They were not in ideal conditions as I wasn’t planning to get plants in the fall, but I don’t want my new ones to suffer the same fate. Any advice would be appreciated. Thank you.

  2. Good idea on experimenting with half the plants and letting the other half alone! Many gardeners try something on all plants and make conclusions never knowing what would have happened if they never touched the plants. Two to four inches of loosely applied straw is considered sufficient.