Strawberry picking evokes childhood memories of seeking out bright red strawberries hidden in mounds of fresh, green leaves, ready to be plucked and enjoyed. Who can resist a strawberry?
Members of the Fragaria genus, Strawberries are stoloniferous perennials with leaves composed of three leaflets, and rounded white or pink flowers followed by edible red fruits. There are 3 types of strawberries.
- June-bearing Strawberries: They produce one crop in the growing season over a period of 2-3 weeks (typically in June). The crop is usually prolific and the fruit are large. These strawberry varieties are further classified into Early Season, Midseason, and Late Season. By selecting different varieties, you can extend your harvest time and enjoy fresh strawberries for an extended period of time.
- Ever-bearing Strawberries: They produce a first crop in spring and another one in late summer or fall. Under ideal conditions, it is possible to produce three berry harvests. Each crop will produce about half of one June-Bearing crop and the berries are smaller. The higher-yield harvest will be in late summer or early fall. Ever-bearing strawberries develop fewer runners than June-bearing varieties.
- Day Neutral Strawberries: They are not affected by day length, allowing for continuous fruiting anytime temperatures range between 35-85ºF (0-29ºC). They produce the most continuous crop from late spring until first frost. Most day-neutral varieties do not produce runners. They are a great choice for small spaces and containers.
There are numerous strawberry varieties available and finding the right one for your garden may be daunting. As a start, you may want to review the list of the most popular strawberries sold nationwide and cross-reference against your region - there is a good chance that some varieties will excel where you live.