Dorothy is a master gardener, former newspaper reporter, and the author of several books. Michael is a landscape and nature photographer.
Strawberry Shortcake, Anyone?
Strawberry pies, strawberry shortcake, chocolate-covered strawberries, strawberry jam and jelly...and the list of things you can make with strawberries goes on and on. And, it is possible for you to grow your own strawberries all summer long so that you can enjoy making those delicious treats any time you would like.
These Are the Kinds to Buy!
- The key to having strawberries all summer long is to buy all three types of this delicious fruit - Alpine, Ever-Bearing and June-Bearing. There are only three types, but several varieties within each type. So, purchase different types as bareroot plants and trim the roots of each plant to about 5-6 inches long. If the roots have any damage, cut it off.
- If you have your own compost, layer about 2-3 inches of it into the soil and dig a hole deep enough for the bareroot plant.
- Carefully spacing the plants about two feet apart, place the plant in the hole. Make sure you keep the leafstalks and buds out of the soil, but cover the roots with soil. Press very gently to set the plants in place. Water the plants and mulch with straw. If you have planted a good variety of strawberry plants, you should be able to have a plentiful supply.
- The Alpine strawberries are small but very flavorful. They bloom from spring to fall and prefer partial shade and are perfect for container gardening.
- The Ever-bearing strawberries will flower and bear fruit throughout spring, summer and autumn. Each time you pick them, the yield will be small, but overall, you can expect a very large yield. These strawberries are perfect for colder areas because they will grow new flowers and berries even when the first set is killed by frost.
- The June-bearing strawberry plants will produce beautiful white flowers in the early spring, then will bear one large crop from late spring to early summer. If you live in a mild area, this type may also produce a second, smaller crop during early fall. The June-bearing variety is considered by many to be the most flavorful of the three types.
* If you buy bareroot strawberries with long roots, make sure to trim them to about 5-6 inches before you plant them.
* In the late spring, pick strawberries every day as they ripen because overripe fruit will rot on the vine.
* Remove all but two runners for each plant. If you pinch off runners, you will have a smaller yield, but larger fruit.
* Buy sturdy-looking plants that have well-developed roots and avoid plants that are dried out
* Check the roots for green mold or rot and discard any plants that have short, brittle or red-streaked roots.
* Plant your strawberries properly - Ever-bearing and June-bearing require full sun, while Alpine strawberries will do better in partial shade.
* All types of strawberries need well-drained soil.
* Strawberries grow well in raised beds and seem to grow well in any soil with the exception of clay-heavy soil.
* After you harvest the spring crop, apply a suitable liquid fertilizer.
* In late fall, apply mulch (weed-free straw is best).
* Watch out for Red Stele, it is a disease that can cause strawberry roots to rot and the leaves to turn brown and die. If you discover this disease in your plants, move the healthy plants to a different location, as the fungus is spread in contaminated soil.
Read What Other Hubbers Have to Say About Strawberries
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© 2011 Mike and Dorothy McKenney
Mike and Dorothy McKenney (author) from United States on May 18, 2011:
You are very welcome, and thanks for stopping by. I hope you have good luck next time.
Karen Wilton from Australia on May 18, 2011:
Strawberries are my favourtie fruit and I have tried to grow them several times with little success. I'm going to bookmark this and have another go. Thanks for the great tips.