Day-Neutral/Everbearing Strawberries - Key Growing Information
SCIENTIFIC NAME: Fragaria spp.
CULTURE: Strawberries prefer a sunny to partially shaded location and moist, well-drained soil, richly fertilized with compost or aged manure, and a pH between 6.5-6.8. Prepare beds the previous fall or in early spring to get good control over perennial weeds.
PLANTING (SEEDS): Sow seeds thinly in March or April in a fine soilless mix. Press seeds into moist mix and keep moist until plants emerge in 2-3 weeks. Keep soil temperature between 60°F (16°C) and 75°F (24°C), if possible. Transplant to plug trays or 1-1 1/2" apart in flats, then to larger pots or planters for retailing full-size plants: 1 plant/3-4" pot; 3-5 plants/8" pot. Transplant outdoors anytime, 1' apart.
PLANTING (PLANTS): Space plants 12-18" apart in rows 3-4' apart. Some growers prefer to plant the crowns with closer spacing (5-9" in-row spacing for single rows or staggered double rows with 10-20" in-row spacing) and to remove all runners during the entire life span of the bed. Set plants with the roots straight down into the soil, making sure the middle of the crown is level with the top of the soil. Irrigate and keep free of weeds. Mulch with straw in late fall when plants have started to go dormant to moderate freeze/thaw cycles and heaving. Pull mulch aside in spring when plants start to grow. Leave the mulch in the aisles to keep the fruit clean and help suppress weeds.
HARVEST: Plants will set fruit from midsummer through October. Production and berry size may decline during the hottest part of summer. Day-neutral beds will last for one to two growing seasons once established. Do not renovate day-neutral varieties.
NOTES: Encourage the plant to put its energy into becoming established by removing all the flower buds for the first 6 weeks after setting out your plants. We also recommend that you remove all the runners during the first year.
SPECS: 100 plants/100' row, or 14,520 plants/acre at 12" spacing, rows 3' apart.