The Q&A Archives: Planting Strawberries W/out Rows

Question: I would like to plant a few (5 or so) strawberry plants for my family and I to enjoy. Is it possible to plant them into a flower bed as I would an annual or do I need to have a row? I really don't want to be concerned with runners or caring for the plant after berry production has ceased. Also, which strain is best for sweet berries?

Thanks in advance!!
Lora B.
Billerica, MA

Answer: My personal favorite for sweet berries just to eat is Earliglo. You can plant just a few plants in a flower bed or in a corner of the vegetable garden, and they can be planted in a grouping rather than in a row. However, you will usually have to grow them for two years to get a crop. The reason for this is that the flower buds form in the fall and are usually removed when the plants are prepared for shipping as bare rooted plants, so there are no berries the first spring in the garden. If you can find plants that have not been picked clean of flowers, then you might have berries that first year assuming the plants become well established right away and are strong enough to bear a decent crop that first year. A handful of plants would not be too much work or take a whole lot of space -- but it would not make too many berries, either. To keep them from spreading simply remove the runners about once a week when they are forming.

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