STRAWBERRY TYPES: Spring-bearing varieties produce a single, bountiful crop over several weeks in June. Everbearing varieties produce a crop throughout the growing season. As a rough guide, allow at least 25-30 plants of either type of strawberry for each adult.
SOIL PREPARATION: Prepare a sunny, well-drained bed by forking or rototilling thoroughly, and incorporating generous amounts of Peat Moss or Compost, Cow Manure and Plant-tone or Bulb-tone.
ROW AND HILL SYSTEMS: Strawberries can be grown by either the matted row or hill system. Plant strawberries on raised soil mounds in either case if proper drainage is uncertain.
- For the matted row system, space rows approximately 4’ apart and set plants approximately 18” apart in the rows. Allow only the first runners formed to grow, pinching off those later formed. When runners reach 12-15”, gently press into the soil about ½” deep. Allow the runners to fill between the rows, leaving at least 24” between rows.
- For the hill system, best suited for everbearing strawberries, set plants 12” apart in rows and keep runners, picked off. Space rows 12” apart in groups of three rows. Between every group of three rows, leave an aisle approximately 24” wide for easy picking and tending of plants. Pinch off all runners.
PLANTING: For either the matted row or hill system, each plant should be set in the soil with the crown right at the surface and the roots spread out evenly in a narrow fan shape. Avoid planting strawberries too deep or high. Very long roots can be snipped back for convenience. Press the soil back against the roots and water thoroughly.
PINCHING FLOWERS: With spring-bearing plants, remove all flowers that develop during the first season after planting to help develop large, vigorous plants. With everbearing plants, remove all flowers until July 1 of the first growing season. Later blossoms will produce a late crop. Flower removal is not required for either type after the first year.
WATERING AND MULCHING: For the best crop, regular watering from the early bloom period to the end of the harvest is important. Strawberry plants are shallow-rooted and require approximately 1” of rainfall or irrigation weekly. To help prevent weeds, retain moisture and keep berries clean, mulch around plants with shredded straw.
WINTER CARE: Strawberries should have winter protection. Cover plants with a loose 1-2” layer of shredded straw after the first heavy frost. Remove most of the shredded straw when plants begin to green and “recycle” by spreading between rows as mulch.
MATERIALS HELPFUL FOR PLANTING:
Peat Moss or Compost
Plant-tone or Bulb-tone
Books containing additional information on the topic of this Plantsman’s Guide are available in our book department to the rear of the Nursery Center Store.