By Marie Louise

Planting Ozark Beauty strawberries in your home garden will give you two crops each year instead of just one, allowing you to enjoy the sweet fruit longer. Ozark Beauty strawberries are an everbearing strawberry which produces a crop in June and again in early fall. Everbearing strawberries are a good cold weather plant, but they don’t tolerate heat well.

Select a site with sandy loam soil that is well drained and receives at least six hours of full sun.

Remove any grass or weeds in the planting area.

Prepare the soil for planting. Mix organic matter and fertilizer 3 to 4 inches into the soil.

Dig a hole deep enough to set the roots in without bending them. Make a mound of dirt at the bottom of the hole and set the strawberry plant on it. Spread the roots around the mound.

Space the strawberry plants 12 to 15 inches apart, leaving two feet between the rows.

Water the strawberry plants until the soil is moist, but not wet.

Apply one to two cups of all-purpose fertilizer around the strawberry plants.

Spread mulch around the strawberry plants to retain moisture in the soil and prevent weeds.

In cold climates, plant Ozark Beauty strawberries in the spring as soon as the soil is loose enough to work with. Warmer climates with mild winters can plant in the spring or fall.

Wait one year before planting strawberries in ground in which grass sod has been grown.

Soil should be prepared in the fall or spring depending on when you’re planting the strawberry plants.

The roots near the stem should be about one-quarter of an inch under the soil to prevent the strawberry plant from drying out.

Avoid planting sites where strawberries, tomatoes, potatoes and peppers have been grown the last two years to prevent possible root disease problems.

Don’t use fresh chicken, horse or cow manure to fertilize or prepare the soil. It burns the strawberry plants.