Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Strawberry planting time

Bare root strawberry planting is generally done in early spring meaning April in our area. Container transplants can be planted now into May and even later.

Strawberries are a productive and rewarding fruit crop for our area. They will come into production in a year or less and can be used as an attractive groundcover as well as in pots. Locate them in an area with full sun protected from wind and amend soil before planting.

One of the most rewarding types of strawberries to grow are Junebearers because berries have the fragrance and intense flavor often missing from store bought fruit. The downside of these types is that if spring frost damages blossoms little or no crop will be produced until the following year. Recommended varieties are Honeyoye, Guardian, Kent, Cabot, Mesabi and Jewel. These are generally grown as matted rows.

Everbearing types produce two main spring and fall crops per season with a few berries in between. They are hardy and reliable. Recommended varieties are Quinault, Ogallala (for clay) and Fort Larimie (best on sandy soil).

Day Neutral types flower and fruit on six week cycles over the summer but generally yield less than other types. They can be grown as annuals and removed as you would annual flowers. They are sensitive to drying out and heat. Varieties include Tristar, Tribute and Fern.

Both Everbearers and Day Neutral types are generally grown in individual "hills" even though they may end up being more on the level. Raised mounds are helpful as strawberries are very subject to root diseases and require good drainage. Remove runners to preserve separate plants.

Why not plant some of each type to hedge your bets and gain some of the advantages of each?

Photo credit: All Carl Wilson


  1. If I plant the strawberries in a raised bed (6-8" minimum) will that take care of the drainage for the roots? That would be my guess, anyway. The neighborhood cats always make sure that anything I plant in a "mound" becomes un-mounded very quickly. :-)

    p.s. Love your blog!

  2. We planted strawberries in 2009, and I've heard that we need to plan to move them at some point, because they'll stop producing and gradually die out. What's the timeline on that? We have them in a raised bed, so they won't "naturally" migrate via their runners to a new spot.

    1. 5 years. If they send out runners, put the runners in pots and let them root. You can replace the old plants with the new ones from the runners. Watch for the plants that are hardiest and produce the best, as the new plant will basically be a "clone" of the parent.

  3. In Albuquerque, I have had 1)small fruit, 2) critters getting past the defenses, and three non-bearing issues. I grow some Ft. Laramie, some Junebearers, and just allow them to self propagate after their season. It would appear that lack of humidity affects yield?