For many years now, I have been growing my own strawberries. The first year that I attempted to grow strawberries, I was so overwhelmed and very disappointed. I didn’t know which varieties to buy, how to grow them, why my strawberries weren’t producing a lot of strawberries, and what a “runner” was and how it dramatically could effect my harvest! Today we are going to learn about strawberries and how to get the best yield out of your strawberry plants.
So lets talk about the different varieties of strawberries and strawberry types. There are hundreds of different varieties but there are only three strawberry types. The three types of strawberries are June-bearing strawberry varieties, ever-bearing strawberry varieties and day neutral strawberry varieties. Here are descriptions of the 3 strawberry types provided by strawberry plants .org
Strawberry Types & Varieties
June-bearing strawberry varieties:
Any list of strawberry varieties will probably contain more June-bearing strawberry varieties than any other. June bearers are tremendously popular and common. They typically produce the largest strawberries, and do so over a period of two to three weeks, on average. Most June bearing strawberry varieties produce a harvest around the month of June, hence the name. However, strawberry varieties are further classified into Early Season, Midseason, and Late Season. By selecting strawberry plant varieties that produce during different parts of the season, you can prolong your harvest and enjoy fresh strawberries for an extended period of time. June bearing strawberries are most often of the Garden Strawberry variety (Fragaria x ananassa). June bearing strawberry varieties are often planted using the matted row system.
Everbearing strawberry varieties:
Everbearing strawberry varieties aren’t really “everbearing.” They generally produce two harvests per year: one in the spring and another in the late summer or fall. Under ideal conditions, it is possible for some everbearing strawberry varieties to produce three berry harvests. Most everbearing strawberry types are of the species Fragaria vesca. In general, everbearing strawberry varieties put out less runners (or no runners at all) than the June bearing varieties, as most of the plants productive energy is directed toward producing multiple strawberry harvests. Everbearing strawberry varieties are often planted using the hill system or in locations where space is limited.
Day-neutral strawberry varieties:
Day neutral strawberry varieties are unique. Unlike June bearing varieties, day neutral strawberries will produce a good yield in the first year they are planted. They flower and set strawberries whenever the temperature is between 35 and 85 degrees. They will still be producing fruit in October during milder years. The drawback to day neutral strawberry plants is that they produce smaller strawberries than do the June bearing and everbearing strawberry varieties. Their fruit is usually small to medium in size, rarely exceeding one inch. Day neutral strawberry varieties are often planted using the hill system or in locations where space is limited.
Here is a great chart that will help you find the right strawberry type and variety for your region as well as the desired flavor you are looking for. Keep in mind, oftentimes strawberries are much sweeter the smaller they are. If they are larger, they often times have a lot of water in them making them not as sweet.
Follow This One Tip In Your Garden & Get A Ton Of Organic Strawberries!
So now that you are a bit more educated about the different types and varieties of strawberries, lets talk about how to get the most out of your strawberry plants! In my garden, I have the ever-bearing strawberries and June-bearing strawberries. We eat strawberries all season long on these plants and they produce enough strawberries for our family that I have no need to even buy them at the farmers markets.
My everbearing strawberry plants are pretty much maintenance free, just plant and pick. My June-bearing take a little more work, but it is well worth it. June-bearing is one of the most planted strawberry types in todays gardens. My first year, I got very few strawberries. What was I doing wrong? I wasn’t pinching off my runners! ”Runners”?? Let me explain.
When you purchase your strawberry plant, you have a central plant. As it grows it produces runners. Runners are long stems that run off the central plant and create baby strawberry plants. These baby strawberry plants suck the nutrients out of the central plant and the central plant will lose its ability to produce fruit.
This might sound great, you automatically get more strawberry plants for free, but it is not a good thing! Again, these “runners” strip the central plant of its nutrients and the central plant will produce only a very little amount of strawberries.
So if you want to have a ton of strawberries, You must remove the runners!
To remove the runners, follow the runner to the central plants base.
Notice that the my runners have red stems. Not all red stems are runners though so make sure it is a runner before removing. Also depending on the variety, the stem might not be red. A runner is always longer (or running) from the central plant. Now simply remove the runner at the base of the plant.
By removing the runner you are allowing the central plant to get all the nutrients it needs to produce a lot of wonderful and delicious strawberries! This simple step of removing runners will allow your garden to flourish with strawberries. Strawberries are one of the easiest fruits to grow. So why not give it a try? Once you have home grown strawberries out of your garden, it is hard to go back to store bought. They really are that good! Happy gardening everyone!
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