Healing herbs

Healing herbs
Echinacea and Calendula

Monday, 21 May 2012

How To Grow A Bumper Crop Of Organic Strawberries

For many years now, I have been growing my own strawberries.  The first year that I attempted to grow strawberries, I was so overwhelmed and very disappointed.  I didn’t know which varieties to buy, how to grow them, why my strawberries weren’t producing a lot of strawberries, and what a “runner” was and how it dramatically could effect my harvest!  Today we are going to learn about strawberries and how to get the best yield out of your strawberry plants.

So lets talk about the different varieties of strawberries and strawberry types.  There are hundreds of different varieties but there are only three strawberry types.  The three types of strawberries are June-bearing strawberry varieties, ever-bearing strawberry varieties and day neutral strawberry varieties.  Here are descriptions of the 3 strawberry types provided by strawberry plants .org

June-bearing strawberry varieties:

Any list of strawberry varieties will probably contain more June-bearing strawberry varieties than any other. June bearers are tremendously popular and common. They typically produce the largest strawberries, and do so over a period of two to three weeks, on average. Most June bearing strawberry varieties produce a harvest around the month of June, hence the name. However, strawberry varieties are further classified into Early Season, Midseason, and Late Season. By selecting strawberry plant varieties that produce during different parts of the season, you can prolong your harvest and enjoy fresh strawberries for an extended period of time. June bearing strawberries are most often of the Garden Strawberry variety (Fragaria x ananassa). June bearing strawberry varieties are often planted using the matted row system.

Everbearing strawberry varieties:

Everbearing strawberry varieties aren’t really “everbearing.” They generally produce two harvests per year: one in the spring and another in the late summer or fall. Under ideal conditions, it is possible for some everbearing strawberry varieties to produce three berry harvests. Most everbearing strawberry types are of the species Fragaria vesca. In general, everbearing strawberry varieties put out less runners (or no runners at all) than the June bearing varieties, as most of the plants productive energy is directed toward producing multiple strawberry harvests. Everbearing strawberry varieties are often planted using the hill system or in locations where space is limited.

Day-neutral strawberry varieties:

Day neutral strawberry varieties are unique. Unlike June bearing varieties, day neutral strawberries will produce a good yield in the first year they are planted. They flower and set strawberries whenever the temperature is between 35 and 85 degrees. They will still be producing fruit in October during milder years. The drawback to day neutral strawberry plants is that they produce smaller strawberries than do the June bearing and everbearing strawberry varieties. Their fruit is usually small to medium in size, rarely exceeding one inch. Day neutral strawberry varieties are often planted using the hill system or in locations where space is limited.

Here is a great chart that will help you find the right strawberry type and variety for your region as well as the desired flavor you are looking for. Keep in mind, oftentimes strawberries are much sweeter the smaller they are.  If they are larger, they often times have a lot of water in them making them not as sweet.

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