Strawberry Planting: When, Where, and How-To
Follow these easy guidelines for a successful and fruitful strawberry planting season. First, determine which variety of strawberries will best suit your needs. There are three basic varieties:
- June Bearing: Produces 1 large crop each year during the spring
- Everbearing: Produces 2 to 3 crops during the spring, summer and fall
- Day Neutral: Produces continuously throughout the growing season
Next, identify which planting zone you reside in, as this affects when you plant your strawberries. In the warmer climates of the South and Southwest, strawberries can be planted in the fall or early winter. In most other areas, however, they should not be planted until early spring when the ground is easily workable. Always be sure to start planting after the last frost of the year has passed.
Chose a site in your yard or garden that that has good drainage and receives full sunlight. If your garden does not have a site that meets these requirements, you should grow your strawberries in a raised bed inside a greenhouse for optimal growth and fruit production.
Once you have selected your site, prep the soil. Till at least 12 inches deep and add compost.
Each strawberry plant should be placed in a hole in the soil about 5 inches wide and deep enough to cover the roots of the plant. The “matted rows” method of planting is the easiest: plant the strawberries 18 to 30 inches apart within the row, spacing 3 to 4 feet between the rows.
Shortly after planting, the strawberry plants will send out “runners,” or long stems that reach out from the mother plant and set down roots within the soil to establish new plants. Let these runners fill the spaces between each strawberry plant within the rows but be sure to trim back any runners that try to reach across between the rows.
Now, simply maintain your strawberry plants through regular watering and sunlight. Enjoy the fruits of your labor!