I love strawberries! They’re incredibly easy to grow – as long as you have a minimum of 6 hours of full sun and work a few shovels of compost into the planting area first. And don’t think a decent strawberry harvest only takes place in early summer. By selecting the proper varieties, you can be up to your elbows in fresh berries for months on end!
Strawberry varieties fit into two different categories: June-bearing and ever-bearing (also called day-neutral). The former produces berries that all ripen within a period of a few weeks in – you guessed it – June. These varieties are great for jelly and jam makers since they all ripen at once. My favorite varieties include ‘Benton’, ‘Shuksan’, ‘Surecrop’ and ‘Allstar’. Ever-bearing types, on the other hand, spread a more moderate harvest throughout the gardening season, beginning in June and continuing through late September. These varieties include ‘TriStar’, ‘Seascape’, and ‘Albion’ among many others. They are a perfect choice for families looking to have a handful of berries everyday. The strawberries in the photograph were harvested from my own garden yesterday.
When planting strawberries, be sure to look for varieties that perform best in your climate. No matter what varieties you decide to grow, you’ll want to pinch off the flowers for the first season to encourage good root growth. And to help see them through the winter, I mulch my berries with an inch or two of straw late in the fall.
What variety of strawberries are at home in your garden?
A few of our favorite berry plant sources: