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