When to Plant Strawberries in Kentucky

By Lillian Webster

In Kentucky, you can grow strawberries in a backyard garden or for profit. If you plan to plant at least an acre of strawberries, consider investing in a strong colony of bees to encourage pollination.

Plant strawberries in Kentucky in early spring. The plants are ready for the garden as soon as you can work the ground in March or April.

The strawberry harvest begins in May and lasts for two to three weeks. Collect all berries during this time; freeze unused strawberries to store them for future use.

Strawberries grow best in Kentucky soil that is deep and sandy. Clay soil can also be acceptable if it provides good drainage. Plant strawberries on higher ground to help them avoid frosts.

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When to Plant Strawberries in Indiana

By Elton Dunn

Strawberry plants grow well throughout Indiana, with Junebearing varieties being the most reliable across the state. Fresh berries can be eaten raw, cooked into jam or used in cakes and other pastries. Fruit ripens from mid May to late June in most parts of the Hoosier state, so berry plants need an early start to adapt to their planting environment and grow.

When the ground thaws enough to be worked, you can begin preparing the bed for strawberries. Turn over the soil to a depth of 12 inches, breaking up soil clods and removing rocks and debris from the soil. Work in a couple inches of compost or manure to enrich the soil. Incorporating 1 lb. of 6-24-24 NPK fertilizer for a 50-square-foot bed will give the berries enough nutrients to grow well.

Indiana growers can start strawberries in early spring, once the soil is prepared. This tends to be March or April for most of the region. If the soil is boggy from an excessively wet spring, hold off on planting until the ground dries out. Planting early gives the strawberries enough time to grow vigorously through the spring before summer weather sets it.

In each row, plan to leave 15 to 24 inches between strawberry plants. Then space rows 36 to 48 inches apart. Proper spacing allows your plants enough room to grow and fruit, while still leaving air circulation between them. Dig one hole for each strawberry plant that’s twice as wide as the plant’s root ball, then plant your berries by placing the plant in the hole and firming the soil around the roots.

Strawberries need full sun and well-draining soil, and do best in sandy loam, although they’ll grow in most Indiana soils. Gardeners should avoid planting strawberries where strawberries, tomatoes, potatoes or other plants susceptible to verticillium wilt have grown in the last two to three years, advises Purdue University horticulturist Bruce Bordelon. Recommended cultivars for Indiana include Earliglow, Redchief, Surecrop, Allstar and Annapolis.

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When to Plant Strawberries in Hydroponics System

By Irum Sarfaraz

The hydroponics system of growing uses a nutrient solution instead of conventional rooting mediums such as soil. The roots of the plants are suspended in aerated nutrient solution that flows through separate root channels, or are sprayed periodically with the solution. The best time to plant strawberries in a hydroponic system outdoors is right after the last seasonal frost. If the hydroponics garden is indoors, then strawberries can be planted any time during the year.

Use freshly dug strawberry plant runners for the planting. Wash the runners thoroughly and then soak them in a fungicide solution for 20 minutes in order to get rid of any soil-borne diseases. Even with these precautions it is very common for hydroponic strawberries to be afflicted with the soil borne pathogen red stele or Phytopthora. Use only the healthiest runners for hydroponic growing. Starter plugs for strawberries can also be obtained from hydroponic plant suppliers.

The suggested media for hydroponic strawberries include coconut fiber, perlite or Rockwell. After planting, cover the plants with a clear plastic to elevate the humidity level. Keep the plants away from direct sunlight until they have developed a strong root system.

Grow hydroponics strawberries in either a green house or a glassed-in porch. If this is not possible, use appropriate indoor garden lights to make sure the plants are getting the six to seven hours of the required full-spectrum sunlight. Maintain the temperature between 64 to 77 degrees F for optimal growth.

Feed the hydroponics strawberries with commercially prepared organic solutions for hydroponics. Maintain the pH between 5.8 and 6.2 and change the growing solution twice a month.

Since pollination in the hydroponics system cannot occur with honeybees, strawberries need to be hand pollinated. Use a small paintbrush brush on the blossoms as soon they open to transfer pollen from stamens to pistils. You can also use an oscillating fan in order to speed up the pollination process.

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When to Plant Strawberries in Dallas, Texas

By Sarah Jackson

Growing strawberries is an annual favorite of rookie and seasoned gardeners alike. However, growing strawberries in the South requires different methods than the North. This guide provides a few basics to ensure the success of your strawberry-growing experience.

Strawberries in the Dallas area typically take 8 months from start to finish and, as such, should be planted in September or early October. Waiting until November to plant could drastically reduce the number of strawberries produced. You can expect strawberries planted in September or October to yield fruit in April or May.

There are hundreds of varieties of strawberries in existence, but for the average home garden in Dallas there are only a few varieties that will grow well: Chandler, Sequoia and Douglas. Although Chandler is most likely the best variety to grow in the Dallas area, its not often available at local nurseries. Sequoia or Douglas are both great varieties for fall planting and grow good quality berries. Ask your local nursery what other spring-bearing strawberries they sell, as most will work satisfactorily when planted in fall.
When choosing which variety of strawberry to plant, avoid everbearing (“never-bearing” in the Dallas area) or day-neutral varieties as these will bear a lower quality fruit under the heat of a Dallas spring and summer.

Providing proper soil is the most difficult part of growing a healthy strawberry plant in the Dallas area. Strawberries thrive in an acidic, sandy soil and Dallas consists of a mostly alkaline, clay-type soil. Options include digging and removing current soil and replacing it with appropriate soil purchased from your local nursery or building a raised bed and filling it with purchased soil. Strawberries also grow quite well in containers.

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When to Plant Strawberries for Spring Berries

By Julie Tridle

When it comes to planting strawberries, there are three types to choose from, all which produce berries in the spring. June bearing berries produce one large crop per season in late spring or early summer. Everbearing strawberries produce two to three crops per year generally during spring and summer. Day neutral varieties produce fruit continuously throughout your growing season. All varieties should be planted as early as possible in the spring. Though strawberry plants produce berries for three to four years, most will not produce a hearty crop the first year.

Deciding when to plant strawberries depends upon your region and your climate rather than your preferred harvest date. Spring, summer or early fall berry production depends upon the variety of strawberry you choose rather than when you plant.

In most states, you should plant strawberries as soon as the ground warms, in late winter or early spring. The South Dakota State University Extension recommends late April to early May planting in its state. Oklahoma growers, on the other hand, should plant in late February or early March, according to the Oklahoma State University Extension.

In the Gulf states, Florida and parts of California, the strawberry growing cycle is different, however. Instead of early spring planting, strawberries should be planted in late fall or early winter for harvesting the following spring. Louisiana State University, for instance, recommends Louisiana growers plant in October through December.

If you decide you’d like June bearing strawberries and would like a spring harvest, choose early or midseason varieties. Popular options include Veestar, Supercrop, Earliglow and Chandler. Aside from the harvest date, you should take care to choose your strawberries based on their size, yield, flavor and their compatibility with your climate. Veestar, for instance, are high-yielding plants that produce medium-size berries. They are hardy to USDA zone 2, tolerating extremely cool climates. Chandler strawberries, on the other hand, are large-berry, high-yielding plants that are better suited for warmer climates.

Most varieties of everbearing and day neutral strawberries will produce berries in the spring. Unlike June bearing strawberries, which don’t produce until the second growing season, everbearing and day neutral varieties will produce a small crop the first year. As with June bearing varieties, it’s important to choose a plants based on yield, berry size and flavor as well as climate needs. Ozark Beauty, for instance, is a popular everbearing plant well suited for Northeastern and Midwestern climates. Tribute, on the other hand, is a popular day neutral variety, great in cold Northeastern climates as well as in warm Southern states.

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When to Plant Strawberries Biodynamically

By Irum Sarfaraz

Biodynamic gardening is a method of gardening in which the fertility of soil is increased through the use of environmental balance by using double digging, raised beds and the addition of compost. Biodynamic agriculture works by examining the specific relationship between different plants and their environment. This information reveals how plants grow optimally when placed next to certain plants and not to others. To harvest strawberries biodynamically, the dormant plants need to be planted in early spring after the weather has stabilized, and it is important not to delay the planting.

Biodynamic gardening is much like organic gardening. It is a holistic plant growth system pioneered by the Austrian philosopher Rudolf Steiner, who believed that the relationship of the plant in question with other plants as well as with its environment is crucial for optimal growth. For instance, strawberries grow best when grown next to green beans, while onions are not favorable to the growth of green beans. Similarly, tomatoes have a narcissistic temperament. They like to be planted alone and prefer a compost made with tomato plants.

The best time to plant biodynamic strawberries is in early spring after the weather conditions are stabilized and settled. It is not advised to wait until late spring or early summer because dormant strawberry plants will not survive for so long.

When choosing a site to cultivate strawberries, avoid the soil that has been intensively cropped, because such soil has often lost a great deal of fertility. Many physical properties and tilth of the soil are also impaired in repeatedly cropped sites. Also avoid planting strawberries in soil that has been used for solanaceous crops such as tomatoes, potatoes, eggplants and peppers, for at least four to five years. Making sure the soil is right helps to curb occurrence of root diseases such as verticillium wilt and black root rot.

Though strawberries do best in soil high in organic content, this soil is also likely to be rich with white grubs that have a partiality for strawberry roots. Hence, if planning to plant in areas that have been in sod, make sure that the sod is turned and spaded once per year before actual planting.The recommended soil for biodynamic strawberry growing should not only be rich with organic matter but should also be well drained yet able to retain moisture.

The soil pH should be between 5.7 to 6. Prepare your soil well before the planting in order to attain the right level of fertility, soil structure and organic matter. Preparing ahead of time also ensures proper riddance of weeds and pests.

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When to Plant Louisiana Strawberries

By Jacob J. Wright

Strawberries grow well in all parts of the Bayou State, but Tangipahoa and Livingston parishes comprise the heart of commercial strawberry cultivation. The cool but mild fall to spring months in Louisiana are the prime strawberry production times. Because strawberries are tolerant of frosts and appreciate the gradually warming winter to spring months for flowering and fruiting, gardeners need to schedule planting new strawberry plants in mid-autumn. Expect plants to flower and fruit anytime from February to April.

Strawberry plants need a sunny garden location where they receive uninterrupted sunshine that lasts a minimum of six hours daily in Louisiana. The garden soil needs to be acidic in pH, ideally 5.2 to 6.0. Sandy and loam soils that remain moisture but drain well after rain or irrigation are essential for good root growth and prevention of fungal rot diseases.

Once gardeners select the location for planting strawberries, the soil bed needs to be prepared in anticipation of fall planting. During the month of August, Louisianans should till the area and add organic matter like compost to improve soil texture, fertility and drainage. If soil pH needs correction, August is the month to apply amendments to create the acidic growing conditions strawberries need for best growth. Weed the area in September and allow the soil to settle and organic matter to further decompose.

According the Louisiana Ag Center, strawberry transplants are best planted outdoors in October or November. The finest flowering and development of fruits occur when strawberries are planted mid-October to early November. This coincides roughly with two to four weeks before the first killing frost in parishes across the state. The frosts and cool temperatures will not harm the strawberries, as root growth remains the main focus of the plants until warmth returns in mid- and late winter.

Planting depth of strawberry plants plays a key role in subsequent establishment and health. The crown of the strawberry, where the root transitions to the above-ground stem at the soil line, must be planted correctly. Planting the crown too deeply smothers it and leads to rot, while planting it too shallow with the crown above the soil leads to dried-out roots. Match the crown with the garden soil so it’s planted at the same depth as it grew in the nursery containers. Irrigate after planting to remove air pockets and supplement rainfall to keep the roots evenly moist the rest of the winter into spring as the plants begin to produce flowers. Encourage honeybees to visit your garden, as they facilitate pollination needed to obtain the berries.

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When to Plant Everbearing Strawberries

By Diane Dilov-Schultheis

Everbearing is one of three different types of strawberries grown in home gardens. The other two types include June-bearing and day-neutral strawberry plants. Everbearing strawberries will bear two (in spring and late summer) or three (spring, summer and fall) crope per year, depending on your location.

The ideal time to plant everbearing strawberries is in early spring when you can easily work the soil. This is typically in March or April in most regions and provides plenty of time for the strawberry plants to take root before the hot days of summer begin. Wait until the soil is dry and then select an overcast, cool day or wait until the late afternoon to plant the strawberries. Only purchase healthy everbearing strawberry plants from a reliable source.

Selecting the best location to plant the everbearing strawberries will ensure the plants produce an abundance of blossoms and berries. Do not plant strawberry plants in a site where any peppers, potatoes, tomatoes and other strawberries were grown in the last three years. Find a site that provides at least six and up to 10 hours of full sunlight a day. Stay clear of locations near structures or tall trees, which could shade the strawberry plants.

Supply enough room to provide each everbearing strawberry plant with 1 square foot of growing area. You need to space the plants 1 foot apart in rows that are spaced 2 feet apart. Enrich the soil in the location selected through preparing raised beds for the everbearing plants. Use a combination of 1 part peat, 1 part topsoil and 2 parts builders’ sand. Clear the planting site of all foliage, and then add the mix into the top 6 inches of soil.

Water container-grown transplants or soak any bare-root strawberry plants for at least an hour before planting. Remove old foliage and any blossoms on the plants. Cut off any weak or roots over 4 to 5 inches long. Dig a hole to plant the everbearing strawberry with the roots under the soil and the crown just above. Water the area to settle the plants in place and then give each strawberry plant 1 to 2 cups of a starter fertilizer.

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When to Plant Alpine Strawberries

By Bonnie Grant

Eating Alpine strawberries is like eating candy. Each tiny berry bursts with such sweetness, that it’s hard to stop snacking on the fruit. Alpine strawberries need to be planted in spring after all danger of frost has passed. These fruits are hardy in USDA zones 5 to 9. In zones 5 and 6, you will not be able to plant until late May. In warmer zones (7 to 9), plant the berries at the beginning of April. You can purchase starts or begin the berries by seed. Seeds need to be started 10 weeks before the last expected frost date to ensure berries.

Alpine strawberries are small plants that grow into little mounds instead of spreading by runners. They have green serrated leaves and are excellent small ornamental plants. Some varieties that grow golden-yellow berries as well as the common red. The tiny pointed fruit are only 3/4 inch in diameter, and are a cultivated breed of wild or woodland berries. Alpine strawberries are perennial and yield a season-long harvest.

As the name implies, Alpine strawberries are mountainous plants. As such, they require a cold period to germinate. This is called stratification and can be mimicked in the home. The seeds are chilled for three weeks before sowing. They can be sown 1 inch apart and 1/8 inch deep in flats of moistened potting or seed starting mix. The plants will be ready to plant in about eight to 10 weeks. Seeds can be sown outside in fall in climates without freezing winters.

Strawberries need well-drained soil, bright full sunlight and plenty of organic matter. Till the soil to a depth of 12 inches and add 3 inches of compost and 1 or 2 inches of sand to create a nutrient-rich bed. Strawberry starts should be acclimated to the outdoors before you disturb their roots and stress the plants. Bring them outside for gradually longer periods of time over the course of one week. Outdoor nighttime temperatures should be at least 50 degrees Fahrenheit before you plant, and all frost danger past. Give the plants even moisture and two or three applications of balanced fertilizer in the growing season to produce a bumper crop of strawberries. A balanced fertilizer (5-5-5 or 10-10-10) gives you an equal ratio of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium.

Apply a bird netting over the berry bed if you want any of these juicy red fruits. Birds and other wildlife find them irresistible. The fruits begin to form shortly after planting and last all summer long. Alpine strawberries produce fruit for up to four years. The plants’ clumping habit makes it easy to divide them to start fresh clumps. The plants can be grown easily in pots or containers and even hanging baskets. The fruit should pull off easily when ripe. Seven or eight berry plants only produce a cup of fruit per week, but the delightful taste makes it worth the puny harvest.

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When to Move Strawberry Plants

By Kate Carpenter

One of the best things about having your own strawberry patch, besides harvesting the sweet berries, is that the plants are prolific in sending out runners of new strawberry plants. When your strawberry garden gets too crowded from the runners, or maybe you simply wish to relocate your patch, moving or transplanting your plants at the correct time will mean the difference between thriving plants that produce fruit sooner.

Whether you are planning to move the runners from your strawberry plants or your original strawberry plants, it should be after the plant has finished, or stopped producing strawberries for that season and is dormant, with no new flowers forming. Moving a strawberry plant while it is growing and still in production will only add additional stress to the transplanting of the plant and may cause it to die, take longer for it to re-establish its root system, or to stop producing berries.

Most gardeners prefer to move their strawberry plants in the fall, between September and early November. This is best if you live in a region that does not experience an early frost or harsh winters. By moving your strawberries in the fall you allow them to establish a strong root system in their new location before the cold weather begins. If you are moving your original plants, be sure to remove any runners from the plant when you transplant it so the plant is not using its energy to support the runners, but to establish its roots. Although you can move any variety of strawberry plants in the fall, the fall transplanting method is especially advantageous to strawberry varieties that are early-spring fruit bearing. You will have a more successful crop the next spring if you move these varieties in the fall.

If you are growing late-season fruit-bearing strawberries (those that ripen in mid to late summer) you can wait and move the plants in early spring. Do this as soon as you can work the soil and when the threat of hard frost or freeze has passed. After you move them, should a frost be predicted, cover the newly transplanted strawberries with several inches of straw mulch to protect them. It is better to do this than to wait until all frost risk is gone, such as in April. Moving your strawberry plants too late in the spring may result in your plants not producing any fruit for the current growing season.

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