Strawberries - Knowledgebase Question

Sagle, ID
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Question by ttre
January 8, 1999
I am confused about what is meant by the different categories of strawberries, i.e. Everbearing, June-bearing, etc. I thought all strawberries were perennial but I am not sure now. I would like plants that came back every year. What strawberries would you plant in my area and how many plants for my husband and myself. When is the best time to put them in the ground? Anything else I should know to get the best production?

Answer from NGA
January 8, 1999
Strawberries are generally considered perennial plants. Most renew themselves by producing runners that develop into new little plants. These new plants are often used to replace the older, less productive parent plants. If you renew the plants in your strawberry bed every three years by removing the older plants and replacing with the new plants that have developed at the ends of the runners, you can keep the bed healthy and productive for many years. The 'Day-Neutral' type cultivars produce berries over a long season. As long as you keep the ripe berries picked, the plants will develop flowers all season, and produce berries. 'June-bearing' cultivars usually produce only one crop of berries. This is handy if you expect to freeze, dry, or process the berries into jams or jellies. 'Everbearing' cultivars usually produce two crops of berries, one in spring and one in fall. It's important to prepare the bed well prior to planting by digging in lots of organic matter. When planting, set plants 1 1/2' to 2' feet apart in rows 4' apart. As the plants mature they will fill in, and there will still be room for the runners to root, without overcrowding. Strawberries need at least one-inch of water per week during the growing season. At the end of the season, to help prevent disease, you can mow the foliage down and remove it from the garden. Be sure to purchase only 'certified disease free' strawberry plants. Some of the most popular cultivars include 'Tri-Star', 'Quinalt', 'Hood' and 'Shuksan'.

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