Strawberries are easily grown in any garden with abundant sunlight and sandy to organic soil that drains well. If your ground is heavy or stays wet, and you still want to grow strawberries you should consider building raised beds filled with light soil.
Keeping weeds and grasses out of the berry patch is crucial, as the plants are unable to compete with them for water and nutrients.
June bearers are planted in spring, about 12″ apart, and the runners are allowed to form a solid row. They will produce fruit the following June. They will generally bear large berries for 2-3 seasons, then should be plowed under and fresh stock planted for the next year.
Day neutral berries are planted in spring about 6″ apart, and the flowers and runners are cut off until July when the flowers are allowed to set fruit but runners are continually removed. You will pick these every few days until frost stops the plants from growing in the fall.
The strawberries you buy at the grocery store are day neutral varieties, and they can grow very large berries with proper care. They are grown as annuals or can be allowed to fruit a second season
June bearing varieties
Jewel – is also an excellent June bearing variety that ripens a week later than Cavendish. Berries are of exceptional size and quality, and production is very high. Jewell is probably the most widely planted variety by u-pick growers in Michigan, as the huge berries color red all the way through, maintain good firmness even when completely ripe, and have a strong strawberry flavor with excellent sweetness. Jewel freezes better than just about any variety available. Plants are vigorous growers that quickly establish a full row, have some disease resistance, and good cold hardiness.
Albion – this is an everbearing or day neutral variety that begins producing fruit a couple months after planting them. Day neutral strawberries have a completely different growing culture than June bearing varieties. They are planted about 6 inches apart, and the runners are regularly cut off so that only the mother plant is left to produce fruit. Albion fruit is large in size with very good flavor, and will bear non stop from July to October if properly fertilized and watered. If you’ve grown June bearing strawberries before, throw away everything you know about them when planting this variety. THESE ARE THE ONLY STRAWBERRIES YOU CAN PLANT AND PICK THIS YEAR. They’re more work than June bearers, but if you want fresh strawberries all summer until frost, it’s worth it. We have several customers growing these in greenhouses, and picking fruit into December.
All strawberry varieties are sold bare-root in bundles of 25 plants for $20.00 or 100 plants for $75.00