Strawberries are one of my favorite fruits to grow in my garden and I’m sure these sweet, delicious berries are a fave of anyone who grows them. They can be eaten fresh, stored frozen or canned, made into jellies and jams, and are simply wonderful. Depending on what types of strawberries you plant, you can enjoy fruit almost all season.

According to Tufts University, strawberries are packed with vitamins, fiber, high levels of antioxidants known as polyphenols, and high levels of anthocyanins that reduce inflammation. They are among the top 20 fruits in antioxidant capacity and are a good source of manganese, folate, and potassium. Just one serving of about 8 strawberries provides more vitamin C than an orange. That’s one heck of a powerful food.

Types of strawberries – which kind should you plant?

There are three types of strawberries and each produces berries of different sizes at different times of the season: June Bearing (aka spring earing), Everbearing, and Day-Neutral.

June bearing strawberries

June bearing strawberries produce large berries over a 2-3 week period every season, usually during mid-June and early July, depending on your location. Of the three types, June-bearing plants produce the largest yield per season, but over a short period of time, making them the best choice for producing jams and jellies. One June bearing plant produces a substantial amount of runners and up to 120 new daughter plants each season if left untended.

But to confuse matters, June bearing types are also classified as Early Season, Mid-Season, and Late Season. Each of the June bearing strawberry types sets fruit for a total of 10 to 14 days at a pace beginning 5-14 days after the preceding type. So if you plant a variety of these types of June bearing strawberries you can ensure a continuous crop of large berries for roughly 60 days.

Everbearing strawberries

Everbearing strawberries produce two crops during the season, one in spring and one in late summer or fall. Under ideal conditions, it is possible for some everbearing varieties to produce three berry harvests. In general, everbearing strawberry varieties produce fewer runners than the June bearing varieties, as most of the plants’ productive energy is directed toward producing multiple strawberry harvests. Everbearing strawberries are often planted using the hill system or in locations where space is limited.

Day-Neutral Strawberries

Day-neutral strawberries produce fruit throughout the growing season and will produce a good yield in the first year they are planted. They produce only a few runners. The tradeoff to having fruit for an entire season is that day-neutral strawberry plants produce smaller berries than do the June bearing and everbearing strawberry varieties – their fruit rarely exceeds one inch.

If you have limited space, try an everbearing or day-neutral variety. These types of strawberries grow well in areas with limited space and can easily be grown in garden beds or containers or used as an edging or ground cover in edible gardens.

When to plant strawberries

Strawberries should be planted as soon as the ground can be worked in spring, usually in March or April, depending on your zone and local weather. This early planting allows the plants to establish before hot weather arrives. Do not plant them if the soil is waterlogged from spring rains or melting snow.

Try to avoid planting strawberries during a cloudless, sunny day, as the sudden, direct sunlight can create transplant stress, inhibiting growth and possibly damaging the plants. They’ll do best if planted during a cloudy or overcast day. If no clouds are on the horizon, wait until late in the day and then plant.

Plant the strawberries so that the soil is just covering the tops of the roots, being careful not to cover the crown from which new growth appears. In 4-5 weeks, the plants will produce runners and new daughter plants.

Which type of strawberry is best for your area? See recommended strawberry plants by U.S. state from

Strawberry Planting Methods

Matted Row systems

Matted rows is the best method for planting June-bearing strawberries. Plants should be initially set 18-30″ apart in rows 3-4′ apart. Let daughter plants root freely to create a new row no wider than two feet.

Spaced-Row systems

Spaced rows limit the number of daughter plants that grow from each mother plant. As with planting matted rows, set mother plants 18-30″ apart in rows 3-4′ apart. Daughter plants are spaced so that they root no closer than 4″ apart. All other runners are pruned from the mother plants. This method produces higher yields, larger berries, and fewer disease problems than matted rows.

Hill systems

Hill systems are superior for growing day-neutral and everbearing strawberries. All runners are removed in hill systems so that only the original mother plant bears fruit. This forces the mother plant to develop more crowns and flower stalks. Set plants about one foot apart in multiple rows and arrange each row in groups of two, three, or four plants with a two-foot walkway between each group of rows. During the first two or three weeks of growth, the planting should be weeded followed by mulch.

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