Sunday, April 27, 2008

My first strawberries of this season...

Bravo Strawberries, a welcome sign of summer

I am inspired this year to plant strawberries, something I haven’t done in many years. What an oversight! If you have any growing tips or favorite varieties please share them here.

I planted a six pack of Chandler strawberries this weekend, which grow well all across the United States. Next weekend I aim to buy a six pack of another variety, not selected yet, and plant it too.

There are three types of strawberries: June bearing (one large crop of berries in late spring/early June), Everbearing (2 crops, in late spring and early fall), and the newer Day-neutral which give berries throughout much of the season.
Chandler strawberries are a vigorous early midseason June bearer variety, hardy in zones 5-8. They bear a single large crop over a period of three to four weeks, in spring to early summer, depending upon where you live and when you plant.
Strawberries need plenty of water and food, a minimum of six hours of sun, and mulch is important, both to prevent the roots from drying out, and to keep the strawberries from resting on the soil. A good soaking each week is ideal. It is best to pinch off flowers when planting, which will yield a better root system and healthy runners.

I haven’t tried this, but hanging baskets are ideal, as long as you keep the moisture constant. Don’t forget to water the plants for three days during a heat wave!

Strawberries taste delicious and are pretty, too, and as William Butler (1535-1618) wrote, “Doubtless God could have made a better berry, but doubtless God never did.”

6 comments:

beckie said...

Strawberries! I have friends who grow them and they always share, but have never tried them myself. Maybe a hanging basket or two would be an ideal way to start. Good luck with yours and let us know what other varieties you chose.

cindee said...

Your strawberries look so tastey!! I love fresh strawberries!!! The birds always get to mine before I do. Thanks for stopping by my blog(-:

Beth said...

oh those look yummy! Thanks for the comment on my blog, it's nice to meet you. I will add your blog to my list of places to visit, it looks like a very hospitable spot.

Cheryl said...

I love strawberries. Lovely post on them. I always grow alpine strawberries, although they are small they are always sweet. You will get fruits from May right through to October in a warm summer. My tiny grandchildren call them 'Nanna's special sweeties' and can't get enough of them. I often make a jus add the tiny strawberries and pour them over good quality ice cream, yum.
Tke for dropping by my blog.

Jean Ann said...

Yummy! I planted my berries too! I have Tristar, which are day neutral strawberries...they should produce all summer, as soon as it gets just a bit warmer...

Terra Hangen said...

Thanks for the tip, Jean Ann, about Tristar strawberries. Anyone who loves beets and recipes, head over to Jean Ann's recent blog post.
For a longr article on strawberries, I have my column up at www.positivelyfeminine.org this month