Growing large sweet Strawberries

There is nothing better than sinking your teeth into a freshly picked, super sweet strawberry from your own strawberry patch.   You  can have your berries and eat them too with these easy methods.

There are many variety’s  of strawberries from which to choose when it comes to planning your strawberry patch and many methods of planting and growing your berries.   So how do you choose?

Some great Varieties for the Midwest Region

1.  First pick your berry type according to its use:  eating, canning, preserving etc…

June Bearing Strawberries

All Star is a June Bearing fruit meaning it grows most of its fruit over a short period of time. This is great if you want a lot of fruit all at once to can, make preserves or pies etc.. Strawberries: Large and sweet Zone 4-8 Full Sun Plant 18″ apart

Earliglow : Smaller, deep red and sweeter. One of the earliest June bearing fruit producing over a three week period. Zone 4-8 Plant in Full sun

Northeaster: Junebearing Full sun Zone 4-8 Lots of nice berries and firm so that you can easily freeze them

Guardian: High yields, large berries Zone 4-8 Full sun Large and firm A good freezing fruit A Mid season berry

Everbearing Strawberries

Ozark Beauty: Everbearing: Great first crop and continues to produce through out the season A nice sweet fresh eating berry right out of the garden Zone 4-8 Full sun

Albion Strawberry A very nice sweet, juicy strawberry Beautiful Red color making them a standout for salads, plating, or anytime you want to show off your strawberries.

 

Eversweet Strawberry Large & sweet Zone 5-8 Produces well in the heat

2.  Space:   How much space do you have to grow your berries.  Raised beds are great for many reasons, but if you don’t have the space or time then the barrel is a great option.

Strawberries are runners so keep that in mind when planning your patch.  Always read the planting distances on your plant instructions.

Runners grow from the mother plant creating another plant or clone

Do you want them elevated or direct plant into the ground.

Here are a few ideas to get you started.

Now that is a RAISED Bed! What a great idea. Make sure your building is waterproofed behind the planter. Harder set up in the beginning, but much easier to take care of during the season. Looks like they ran a water line behind the plants for easy watering.

My favorite for small spaces is the oak barrel.

Three tier planter. You could use 2X6’s, 2X8’s, or 2X10’s for your tiering. Never use treated lumber in your planters or garden. They are treated with toxic chemicals that will leach into your soil and your plants. Cedar, Redwood,(hard to find), are good but for shorter term planters, pine or fir will do. Cedar and Redwood are more pest and weather resistant than other woods.

General Planting information:
  • Always plant in full sun
  • Plant in virgin soil if possible but never where you have grown other berries or tomaotes
  • Plant when the danger of frost has passed.
  • Plant in well drained soil
  • I always plant about 18″ apart which looks like a long ways when you first plant.  Remember they fill in quickly once established.
  • Harvest berries in the early morning hours every two to three days unless it is really hot then daily.
  • Use compost in your planting holes and as a mulch around your plants
  • Give your plants 1″ of water per week
  • Don’t let fruit sit in damp conditions.. they will develop fungus and rot  .   A little straw helps to elevate the fruit

I have had strawberry beds, strawberry barrels and commercial hanging strawberry planters.

My favorite is the raised strawberry bed.    From my experience it was by far the easier of the methods to maintain and produced more fruit than the hanging baskets or barrels.

However, Barrels are wonderful if you have limited space.

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