Tips for Growing Strawberries

Strawberries aren’t difficult to grow. Meet their basic requirements and you can enjoy a sweet harvest.

  • Strawberries grow best in slightly alkaline sandy soil high in organic matter, with full sun and one to two inches of water a week. Excellent drainage is key.
  • Strawberry plants are susceptible to the root rot fungus Verticillium, which is carried by tomatoes, potatoes, peppers and eggplants. Don’t plant strawberries where these crops have grown in the past four years.
  • Plant 18 inches apart in spring. Space multiple rows 48 inches apart. In the first year, pinch off all flower buds to encourage the plants to send out runners, filling the bed and creating the best harvest next year.
  • Be diligent about weeding as weeds can easily overtake a strawberry bed and reduce the yield.
  • With proper care, “June-bearing” strawberry beds will produce good crops for three to five years. They start producing fruit in their second year. Peak harvest is in June. Varieties include ‘Earliglow’, ‘Allstar’ and ‘Brunswick’.
  • "Day neutral" strawberries (such as ‘Tristar’, ‘Quinalt’ and ‘Tribute) produce fruit throughout the summer. Plant day neutrals in early spring; pinch flowers for four to six weeks; then harvest fruit until frost. Remove runners as they appear. Treat day neutrals as annuals, pulling them up in fall and planting new plants in spring.

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