When is the best time to plant strawberries? The answer depends on your region. Read on to learn when is the best time to plant this delicious fruit!
Did you know that strawberries are the most popular fruit grown in home gardens? This may not surprise you, as strawberries are incredibly delicious.
What makes this small fruit a household favorite is the ability to grow and thrive in any region of the US. Strawberries are easy to maintain and often bloom for several months during the year, then for years to come after initially planting thanks to the perennial nature.
A benefit of growing strawberries is they can fit within small space constraints, or you can plant them in a massive garden.
You don’t need any special garden tools to grow strawberries, and they will blossom on any deck, patio, or balcony. This makes strawberries great for apartment dwellers!
Since strawberries will grow in any temperate region, you’re probably wondering what that means for you.
In this comprehensive guide, we examine the best time of the year to plant strawberries under a variety of circumstances, including what state and climate you live in.
When is the best time to plant strawberries?
In a majority of the US, the best time to plant strawberries is in early spring, around March and April.
Ideally, you’ll want to plant strawberries when the threat of a frost is no longer active.
In this case, strawberry plants bloom and produce delicious fruit all the way until October. In other parts of the US, fall-based planting is necessary due to climate (in hotter parts of the country, mostly in the south).
When planting strawberries, it’s imperative to first determine two things: what planting zone you’re located in and which type of strawberries you want to plant. Though we discuss the best time to plant strawberries in this article, you may also want to consult a map of planting zones.
There are three categories of strawberries: June-bearing, ever-bearing, and day-neutral. They each grow and produce in different patterns.
- June-bearing: Produces once a year, typically around June.
- Ever-bearing: These will fruit twice – once in June then again in late summer.
- Day-neutral: Will bloom and bear fruit throughout the entire summer, barring unusual weather circumstances.
Any category of strawberry can be planted in March or April, and sometimes as late as June.
However, most nurseries may have stopped carrying strawberries by June, so you would probably need to order them if you missed the Spring rush.
The best time to plant strawberries by region
Next, we will go over the best time to plant strawberries in specific states and regions, although not every single state is listed below.
When is the best time to plant strawberries in:
California: A majority of California is in planting zone 8 or 9 which means it’ll be best to plant strawberries between December and February
Florida: September to early November
Georgia: Mid-September through October
Louisiana: Beginning of October through mid-November
Maryland: Early March to mid-April
Michigan: Early April
Missouri: March or early April
North Carolina: March to April
Ohio: April or early May
Oregon: Late March through April
Missouri: March or early April
Sacramento, CA: late winter or early spring
Texas: As we know, Texas is a massive state. The best time to plant strawberries in Texas will depend on which region you live in. For central and east Texas, it’s best to plant in September. If you’re in south Texas, you should wait until November. North Texas can plant strawberries in late winter to early spring.
Tennessee: Late April
Wisconsin: Early Spring
While late frosts typically won’t do any damage to your strawberries, it’s still important to cultivate them based on whichever planting zone you live in.
Generally speaking, if you live in the south or in a hot climate, it’s best to plant strawberries in late fall.
For milder climates, you can plant strawberries beginning in March. Then for cold US regions, it’s recommended that you plant strawberries as late as May.
How to Plant Strawberries
- Dig out a hole in your garden, or collect a planting container big enough for the roots of each plant to spread out.
- At the bottom of the hole you’ve dug or pot, create a small mound of soil. It should be flush with the surrounding soil.
- Next, place the strawberry plant on top of the mound you just made. The roots should be spread out down the sides of the small hill. The crown should be at soil level.
- Then, fill up the hole with soil. Make sure the soil level and crown are even. Remember that if you plant the strawberries too shallow, the roots may dry out.
- Lastly, gently firm the soil and water thoroughly.
- You’re finished! Maintain your berries with regular watering.
Tips for Growing Strawberries
Strawberries make a yummy addition to any home garden and kitchen table. The vibrant fruit is easy to grow, and even easier to maintain. Below are some basic tips for growing strawberries.
- Decide if you’re going to start with seeds or transplant/purchase a strawberry plant. Of course, it’ll be a bit more difficult, to begin with, seeds, rather than starting with an existing plant.
- You will need to pick one of the three strawberry varieties to grow based on the characteristics you’re looking for. We referenced the different categories above. It’s important to note that ever-bearing or day-neutral will produce berries throughout the year but in smaller sizes and quantities.
- Choose a quality location to grow your strawberries. There are several factors to consider in a great planting area, such as sunlight, soil type and drainage. Strawberries need full sunlight in order to yield a decent amount of fruit, and they also prefer a deep, sandy soil. If you’re growing container strawberries, potting soil offers sufficient nutrients.
- Strawberries will rot in standing water, so be sure that there is plenty of drainage for moisture around your plants. Drainage holes and an elevated bed can help immensely.
- It’s always best to plant strawberries when your soil is moist and workable.
- It helps to mulch your strawberry bed with compost as well as straw and pine needles if accessible. Mulching offers several benefits such as cleaner fruit, fewer weeds and maintaining a cooler soil temperature.
- Protect strawberries from pests by using bird netting and copper ribbon to keep slugs away.
- Before picking your strawberries, make sure they are completely dry, as wet harvest will mold quickly and will not continue to ripen, unlike tomatoes.
Gardening expertise and exclusive tools are not required to grow strawberries.
That’s part of what makes this fruit so much fun to cultivate! Nearly anyone can do it, no matter how limited your space and knowledge may be.
Planting and growing your own garden plants, such as strawberries, is fun and rewarding.
Consuming your own homegrown strawberries is healthier (no pesticides) and less expensive than purchasing them from a produce store. You can use your strawberries for jams, pies or eating as a snack.
The possibilities when growing your own strawberries are endless – just remember to plant them based on your location and climate, as that’s how they will produce lots of fruit and stay healthy.
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