The Q&A Archives: Planting Strawberries in St.Louis, MO

Question: I am getting ready to order strawberry plants and I need a recommendation. I live in St. Louis, MO and would like a strawberry plant that produces large berries. I also need to know when is the best time to plant strawberries and do I need to wait a year after planting to harvest the berries. How often do strawberry plants need to be watered? Thank you very much. Scott Kubel St. Louis, MO

Answer: It's best to plant strawberries in early spring; the soil should be moist, slightly acid (pH 5 to 6) and rich in humus. You should be able to plant most any variety where you live. Look for disease-resistence in whatever variety you choose. (Especially large-fruited varieties include Atlas, Catskill, Guardian, Jerseybelle, Sequoia, and Tioga.) Yes, you should wait a year before picking any fruit; the first season, prune off any flower clusters as soon as you see them so the plants can focus theirenergy on developing a strong root system. Strawberries need a regular supply of water, especially when the fruits are enlarging. A good, humus-rich soil and straw mulch will help retain water, but you should be prepared to water several times a week during a dry spell.

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