Strawberries are well suited for planting in the home garden, as
they produce fruits very quickly and require a relatively small
amount of space. Each plant may produce up to one quart of fruit
when grown in a matted row during the first fruiting year. Production
usually declines during the second and third years of fruiting--
for maximum production, a new planting should be established after
strawberry plants produce fruits for more than 3 to 4 years.
Strawberry plants may be of two major types, June-bearing or day-neutral.
June-bearing plants are grown to produce a full crop the season
after planting. The ripening season of June-bearing strawberry cultivars
ranges from late May to the end of June. Day-neutral type strawberry
plants differ from the standard or June-bearing types in that they
produce a full crop the first season they are planted. June-bearing
types are most popular for the home garden and commercial use because
of their flavor and quality. It is not possible to differentiate
between the two types by sight--it is important to specify which
type is desired when purchasing plants.
fruit growers have a large number of cultivars to select from. The
selection is much greater for the June-bearing types than for the
day-neutral types. Select cultivars for disease resistance.
plants require full sun for the maximum yield and the best quality.
Best results are obtained when the plants are grown in loose, fertile
soils containing large quantities of organic matter. The soil should
be slightly acidic, with a pH between 5.8 and 6.5. Soil
testing every two to three years is highly recommended for the
best yield and quality. Apply nutrients and lime (if needed) prior
to planting according to soil test results. Apply 1 ounce (10 oz.
10-10-10) of actual nitrogen broadcast per 100 square feet of plant
or 0.5 ounce (5 oz. 10-10-10) in a band 4 to 6 inches away from
the plants 7 to 10 days after planting. Apply 1 to 1.5 ounces actual
nitrogen broadcast in mid-June if rainfall has been excessive and
again in mid-August. In the fruiting years, apply 1 to 1.5 ounces
actual nitrogen broadcast after harvest and again in mid-August.
strawberry plant is sensitive to excessive soil moisture. Strawberries
should be planted in raised beds or
on ridges if drainage is a problem. Avoid planting strawberry plants
in areas where potatoes, tomatoes or sod were grown recently, as
insect and disease problems may result in serious plant damage.
cultural practices for growing strawberries include planting techniques
and spacing, weed control, proper fertilizer, blossom removal, irrigation,
renovation after harvest, insect and disease control and mulch for
protection from cold temperatures and diseases. Mechanical cultivation
and mulching are crucial to maintaining a weed-free planting.
spring is the best time to plant strawberry plants, unless the soil
is very wet. Fall planting is not recommended because plants can
be injured by soil heaving (alternate freezing and thawing). When
planting, be sure to cover the roots and only half of the crown
with soil. Make a trench deep enough to set the roots vertically.
Do not bend roots horizontally.
plants are spaced 12 to 24 inches apart. On close-spaced plants,
runners are controlled by removing unwanted runners during the first
season. In August, rows should be 18 to 24 inches wide with plants
6 to 8 inches apart in the row. Rows are generally spaced 36 to
40 inches apart. A circular terrace can be used if space is limited.
day-neutral strawberries, plants are set 8 to 12 inches apart in
the row with 30 to 36 inches between rows. Remove runners throughout
the first season and remove flowers during the first 6 weeks after
planting. Mulch with 3 to 4 inches of straw or wood chips to conserve
the flower stalks of June-bearing strawberry plants as they appear
throughout the first growing season. More production can be expected
if the plants are allowed to attain large size before fruiting.
Remove the blossoms of day-neutral types of plants as they appear
until about the middle of June (first year only). Then allow flowers
to set fruit for harvest during the remainder of the season (August
watering is needed during dry seasons. Plants require 1 inch to
1.5 inches of water per week from mid-June to mid-August. Take care
in watering that the soil does not remain soggy for any prolonged
from Gary Gao, Ohio State University Extension, 2000