Strawberry

AT A GLANCE

Botanical Information

Seed to Harvest/Flower: n/a

Family: Rose

Seeds Storage: n/a

Height: 6 to 8 inches

Weeks to Maturity: n/a

A/B/P, Hardiness: perennial

Indoor Seed Starting: no, as seed-

Spacing: 3 plants per 4 squares

started plants they take up to

3 years to bear fruit.

Growing Season

Earliest Outdoor Planting: As soon

Spring: yes

as ground can be worked in

Summer: no

spring. Be sure soil is not wet.

Fall: no

Additional Plantings: not needed

Winter: no

Last Planting: not needed

Description

Picking strawberries on a clear June day is a treat for young and old and everyone in between. Only about half actually make it into the basket. Growing your own strawberries is fun and rewarding. Strawberries bear fruit for about 3 years, then yields will decrease and eventually the plant will die. But, each plant sends out runners that end in a new plant, which can be used as the next generation of strawberries in the garden. There are three main types of strawberries: June-bearing, which sets fruit in June; ever-bearing, which will set fruit twice during the growing season; and day neutral, which is not affected by the length of the day as the others are. And don t overlook the Alpine strawberry that will reward you with tiny but incredibly tasty fruit over a long period.

Starting

Location: full sun Seeds Indoors: no

Transplanting: As soon as ground can be worked in spring. Be sure soil is not wet.

Basil and Beyond

Growing

Watering: Weekly, 1 cup per plant; 2 cups per plant during dry periods.

Maintenance: Remove and transplant some of the runners for next year's crop.

Harvesting

How: Pick the fruit with a short piece of stem attached. When: Harvest in spring as fruit ripens, for 2 to 3 weeks.

Preparing and Using

Use strawberries as soon as possible after picking. They can be used in fruit salads, on cakes, and in pies. Freeze whole strawberries for use in smoothies—they will be mushy when they defrost.

Problems

Birds, slugs, verticillum wilt.

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