Home-grown strawberries are far more flavorful than what you’ll ever find in a grocery store. Why? The sugar in berries converts to starch soon after it’s picked. Hence, the first fruit that many gardeners grow is strawberries! Here’s how to plant, grow, and harvest strawberries—as well as protect these perennial plants through the winter.
The good news is that strawberries are relatively easy to grow if you keep them in a location that gets full sun.
Strawberry plants come in three types:
- June-bearing varieties bear all at once usually over a period of three weeks. Day-length sensitive, these varieties produce buds in the autumn, flowers, and fruits the following June, and runners during the long days of summer. Although called “June-bearing” or “June-bearers,” these strawberries bear earlier than June in warmer climates.
- Everbearing varieties produce a big crop in spring, produce lightly in the summer, and then bear another crop in late summer/fall. These varieties form buds during the long days of summer and the short days of autumn. The summer-formed buds flower and fruit in autumn, and the autumn-formed buds fruit the following spring.
- Day-Neutral varieties produce fruit continuously through the season until the first frost: Insensitive to day length, these varieties produce buds, fruits, and runners continuously if temperature remains between 35° and 85°F (1° to 30°C). Production is less than that of June-bearers.
For the home garden, we recommend June-bearers. Although you will have to wait a year for fruit harvesting, it will be well worth it.