Sunday, April 27, 2008
My first strawberries of this season...
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.”