When to Plant Strawberries

When to Plant Strawberries
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When to Plant Strawberries

What You Need to Know About Growing Strawberries

There is nothing more delicious than a juicy ripe strawberry picked right from the garden and eaten while still warm from the sun. The only close second is strawberry jam on your toast in the middle of winter when the taste of summer is doubly appreciated.

You do not have to have a garden to enjoy strawberries. Today’s varieties can be grown in a container or pot, or even in a hanging grow bag! Park Seed offers their famous Whopper Strawberries along with the hanging grow bags to plant them in, so you can grow huge, luscious strawberries even on a patio or balcony.

Types of Strawberries

There are two kinds of strawberries — the single crop strawberries and the everbearing strawberries. The single crop will provide a huge harvest in early summer and then will be done until next year. The everbearing strawberries produce throughout the summer but will provide fewer strawberries at a time. 

Both types of strawberries will live and produce for years. Some are particularly suited for the southern heat, while others are cold tolerant to Zone 3 with a little protection. 

When and How to Plant Strawberries

How to plant strawberries is basically the same for both varieties. The optimal time to plant strawberries is in the spring, as early as several weeks before the last frost date. When you order strawberries, they usually come as bareroot plants in the spring. This means they have no soil but rather dampened moss or other water-holding material. 

The importance of this is that you should have your planting site ready so the strawberries can be planted as soon as possible. If you cannot plant immediately, make sure to keep the roots from drying out by adding water to the packing material to keep it moist until you can plant them where they will grow.

Keep in mind that the strawberries will be in the same location for more than one growing season. You want the soil to have a good amount of compost or organic material as well as sand worked into it. Your soil should drain well as strawberries do not like sitting in water. Remove any weeds or grass that is visible.

Strawberries have what is called the crown. The roots will grow out from the crown and down into the soil. The leaves, and eventually the strawberries, will form from the crown as well. 

When you are ready to plant, check the roots for any damaged or broken roots and trim those roots into healthy sections. Your plants should have very minimal damage. Make a slight mound of soil and drape the roots evenly over the mound, keeping the crown uncovered. 

Cover the roots with additional soil until only the crown is exposed. It will not take long for your strawberry plants to develop leaves from the crown. Mulch will help keep the plants, and eventually the berries, clean from soil that could be splashed up during rainfall or watering. Mulch will also minimize the weeds.

Space your plants according to the instructions that come with your variety of strawberries. Strawberries spread by throwing out runners, where each runner will have a baby plant at the end of the runner.

When the plant comes in contact with the soil, it will develop its own roots. At that point, the baby strawberry can be left where it is or moved to a different location. This is how you can increase the size of your strawberry patch once the bed is filled and how you can make it as wide as you want. 

Remember that you must be able to reach the strawberries to pick them, so do not allow your strawberry bed to become too wide for you to reach the fruit without stepping on plants. Since everbearing plants will produce throughout the summer, most gardeners remove all runners and prevent the mother plant from having to compete for nutrients. 

If you have as many strawberries as you want, simply fill some pots with soil and place the baby plants on the soil. Once rooted, cut the baby from the mother plant and you will have strawberry plants to gift to others or to start a new bed in your garden or a container garden right on your patio! 

By planting your strawberries in early spring, you will be able to pick a few for your breakfast each morning or for dessert after your evening meal in no time.