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 StrawberryPlants.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.
Strawberry type and varieties chart
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!
Interested In Getting More Organic Tomatoes Out Of Your Garden?
If you like this post, then be sure to check out this post:
Follow This One Tip And Get A Ton Of Organic Tomatoes
You may not be getting all the tomatoes that you could be from your tomato plants. I implemented this tip in my garden this year and had to give away my tomatoes, I had so many! 🙂
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weight loss says
Great posts you post here, i have shared this post on my facebook
This was informative!! I really wish I could get my hand on those everbearing and day-neutrals. I live in the Faroe Islands, cold, windy and isolated, its hard to get any interesting plants here. But I can grow some strawberries in small raised and covered beds.
I take the green tops I cut off from strawberries I have bought from the store; and toss them in my garden.
The tiny seeds that are left on the tops will seed themselves and grow new plants. I get free plants & less garbage.
I can’t say just what kind of berry production you will get.
I have a couple of questions. first, let me say that I had strawberries planted in a raised bed. The strawberries were in the middle and the next section (outside) I planted herbs but made the mistake of planting mint. needless to say – the mint took over and I am tearing down the raised bed……..
We have clay soil. the strawberries I did get weren’t very big and usually something got to them before we did.
I would like to container plant them in some type of tower but it doesn’t seem like there isn’t much room for them to grow. any suggestions on sizes of planters for constructing a strawberry tower (using planters)? example: 10″ pot? how many plants? can I stack a 6″ pot above the 10″ pot? again – how many plants.
Can I mix and match varieties in the same pot? I have some everbearing varieties, but would like to add some June bearing.
I’m in Illinois near the Wisconsin border. I think the climate is good for strawberry growing, but I really don’t know if I should fertilize them? how much room should I give them? We are out in the country – so critters are also a problem. lack of space to plant is not……..but I’d like to have some on my deck. my dogs would keep some of the critters away..
We grown an abundance of rasberries, black berries, rhubarb, asparagus, and some blue berries (our soil is not acidic).
One more thing I’d like to mention. My daughter goes to a strawberry farm every spring and told me they plant their strawberries in that white plastic irrigation piping. They somehow split the pipe in half – fill with dirt – and plant inside. that keeps their rows nice and neat – deters ground bugs – elevates the plants somewhat – and makes picking easier…………. LONG rows of plastic drain tile filled with strawberry plants. makes sense to me…………. I’m guessing those pipes or tiles are 8″ – 10″ in diameter but not sure…………..
do strawberries need fertilizer? what type and how much? (when grown in pots).
Thank you to all in advance for your answers………..
MaryLena Anderegg says
Your suggestions about strawberries are right on! The runners are easier to control if plants are in containers like a strawberry jar or tall trash can with holes in the sides for planting.. If using containers, be sure to put plenty of sphagnum moss in planting mix to assure water retention.
The treatment of the runners can be generalized to tomatoes and zucchinis. When blooms are starting to set on both, begin to prune the largest leaves on the zuchs (especially any that are touching the ground) and the limbs on the tomatoes that have no blooms. Both plants will set more blooms and produce more fruit. With Mel Bartholemew’s planting mix, you will be pruning daily. I have been gardening for more than 60 years (beginning as a child working in the family garden) and these things really work.
on third year now. never cut any runners and let them spread. still got a ton of strawberries. Now i’ll try cutting the runners. Hopefully it will result in bigger strawberries!
Yes. To remove the runners is a must I have strawberries as long as my thumb. They are red and very plump. Strawberries love cow manure. They need a good soak when beginning to get get dry.
Hello I recently moved into a house that has a lot of fruit plants in the backyard (do far all we’ve been able to positively ID are strawberries and grapes) but the strawberry plants are severely undertended and while I’d love to keep them, I’ve never gardened a day in my life. I need help haha.
Halle Cottis says
Strawberries are super easy to grow. Give them a whirl and see how they produce!
I have strawberries planted in a large window box on a table in full sun, they are the everbearing type. The first ones we got off the plants were very large, the ones growing now are much smaller. Is there anything I can do to increase their size?, also I just noticed that some of the bottom leaves are red, is this a problem? If so what can I do for it? Thank you Joyce
SAM HILAL says
I enjoyed your article.
Very informative growing tips! Unfortunately I can’t really have strawberries anymore or anything with a high amount of seeds due to some health issues.
Came across your article while researching some troubleshooting for my strawberry plants. Great info and I’m hoping that by implementing runner removal, it will solve my strawberry problem. My plants are producing a lot of buds and they are getting pollinated, as I see the start of small strawberries (like the size of a pencil eraser). The problem is, they stay the size of a pencil eraser and then dry up and fall off. I’ve started giving them more water this year but it doesn’t seem to be helping very much. Do you have any other suggestions. Right now, I’m sitting at “cut off the runners” and “give them more worm poop”!