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strawberries

STRAWBERRIES

At a glance...

strawberries

Spacing:

Plant 12”-18” in the row, 3'-4' between rows, Depth is important. Roots should be planted straight down, not spread out, with the crown (where the roots meet the shoots) half under and half above the soil line.

PH: 6.5-7 (typical garden soil)

Watering: Water throughly after planting and maintain good soil moisture throughout the season, about 1”-2” of rainfall per week is adequate for most soil types

Weed Control:

It is in your favor to prepare your site in advance of planting by removing weeds. A good cover crop of oats or buckwheat is a good idea to prepare the area. Weeding will need to be done until the plants set enough runners to create a mat. Mulching can aid in initial weed control.

Mulching:

Mulching will help to protect crowns through the winter. Mulching should be done after several hard frosts. Weed free straw is best and mulch should be removed in the spring before new growth starts. Removed mulch can then be laid between the rows in the pathways.

The details...

When beginning with bare root crowns they may be soaked a few hours prior to planting in a dilute mixture of liquid seaweed. Set plants in the row with roots straight down. Be sure the ground has been worked deep enough to accommodate the roots. THE MIDDLE OF THE CROWN OF THE PLANTS SHOULD BE LEVEL WITH THE TOP OF THE SOIL.

After planting, gentle cultivation with a circle hoe or scuffle hoe will help with weed suppression until the plants have established and can exert themselves.

Avoid planting in wet/ heavy soils. Strawberries do not fair well in sodden soils or under drought conditions. 1”-2” of rainfall of supplemental irrigation is needed.

Mulching serves numerous purposes. As mentioned it helps in weed control. Mulching before hard winter though can aid in the prevention of the quick freezing and thawing of soil and thus mitigates fluctuating temperatures which can cause crown damage. Mulching for winter should be done late, just before heavy snowfall. A loose, weed free mulch is best. Avoid such mulches as wet leaves unless they have been shredded as you don't want to use anything that will smother the plants.

NOTES ON JUNEBEARING VARIETIES:

You can let some of your new plants make flowers and fruit to inspire you to take great care of them or you can choose to pinch off any flower buds during the first year of growth. This allows the plant to put more energy into becoming established. Fill out your row planting with the runners/daughter plants that the plants will make. This can be done by lightly pressing the plantlets on the runners into the soils around your mother plants. Cut off any runners once your bed is full. Over crowded beds will produce small smaller berries and can lessen air drainage in through the patch.

June bearing beds can be renovated after harvest for the season. This can be done by mowing off the leaves. Mow with your lawn mower set at its highest setting. Be careful not to cut or injure the crowns.

Till or fork the bed edges and thin all excess plants. After renovation the patch can be fed with either a liquid fertilizer of sea/fish blend or a pelletized form of fertilizer such as Pro Gro or Pro Start.

YOU CAN EXPECT A WELL MANAGED STRAWBERRY BED TO PRODUCE FOR 2-3 YEARS.

NOTES OF DAY NEURAL OR EVERBERING STRAWBERRIES

Same as June bearing EXCEPT:

Do not renovate this type of berry plant. Production in hot weather may be lower but will pick up again when cooler temps return. Pinching off flowers need only be done for the first 6 weeks after planting, then allow the plants to set fruit. It is recommended that runners for the first year be removed and not allowed to establish themselves. IN the first season let the plants set fruit from midsummer until frost.

YOU CAN EXPECT A WELL MAGAGED EVERBEARING STRAWBERRY BED TO PRODUCE FOR 2-3 YEARS.

Strawberry Planting Chart
Courtesy of Ohio State University Extension

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Text by Effie Elfer - Fruit Drawings by Gabe Tempesta
Text and fruit drawings © 2009 Elmore Roots

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