BONNIE PLANTS ON HOW TO GROW STRAWBERRIES Homegrown strawberries are a billion times better tasting than the hard, rarely ripe, flavorless selection in the supermarket. Strawberries are cold-hardy and adaptable, .....
GardenNews.biz - Mar 17,2017 - BONNIE PLANTS ON HOW TO GROW STRAWBERRIES
Homegrown strawberries are a billion times better tasting than the hard, rarely ripe, flavorless selection in the supermarket. Strawberries are cold-hardy and adaptable, making them one of the easiest berries to grow. While most fruit trees take several years to begin bearing, you can harvest your own strawberries the very first summer. And even if you live in an apartment or small home, you can grow strawberries in a container, on your balcony, rooftop, or patio. If your horizontal space is limited, consider growing strawberries in a hanging basket or stacked planter, which will allow you to take advantage of vertical growing space as the strawberry plants tumble out over the sides.
There are two main kinds of strawberries: "June-bearing" and "Ever-bearing" varieties. June-bearing, bear all at once, usually over a period of about 3 weeks. Because of their earliness, high quality and concentrated fruit set, June-bearers produce high yields of very large, sweet, extra juicy berries in late mid-season, which is usually late spring and early summer, depending on your geographic region. These are the best variety for preserving.
“Ever-bearing” strawberries produce a big crop from spring flowers, set light flushes of fruit through summer, and then bloom and bear again in late summer and fall. Perfect for large containers or raised beds, where you can give them attentive watering and regular feeding.
Bonnie Plants, available at most garden retailers, offers a good selection of strawberries including: “Ozark Beauty”- This ever-bearing variety produces high yields of large, very sweet fruit from late spring until frost, with concentrated fruiting in summer and again in fall. Ideal for jam, preserves, or desserts. Plants are cold-hardy, send out long runners and are great for containers. “Quinalt” – the most popular ever-bearing variety, offers large, soft, deliciously sweet fruit, ideal for preserves or fresh eating.
June-bearing “Allstar” produces high yields of very large, sweet, extra juicy berries in late mid-season, which is usually late spring and early summer, depending on when summer arrives in your area. As a June-bearer, the harvest season is concentrated over a few weeks, making it a good choice if you want to freeze or cook with a lot of berries at one time. Remember to plant so the crown is just above soil level.
Timely Tips to ensure strawberry success:
*When planting strawberries, be sure the crown is above soil level and the upper most roots are 1/4 inch beneath soil level, buried crowns rot and exposed roots dry out. Strawberry plants should be placed approximately 14 to 18 inches apart from each other in neat rows that are separated by 2-3 feet each. Let runners fill in until plants are 7-10 inches apart.
*Use mulch to keep berries clean, conserve moisture and control weeds.
*If you want to keep it simple, plant strawberries in a container. Just remember that container plantings need much more water than in-ground plantings, usually once a day; and if it's hot, twice. Strawberry pots are