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Growing Strawberries

Information taken from: http://urbanext.illinois.edu/strawberries/growing.cfm

Types

June bearing(this is what I have) or spring bearing, everbearing and day neutral are the three types of strawberries grown in Illinois. Fruits of day neutral plants and everbearers are usually smaller than June-bearers fruit.

June bearing strawberries produce a crop during a two-to-three week period in the spring. June-bearers produce flowers, fruits and runners. They are classified into early, mid-season and late varieties.  Mine start produceing the last weeks of May and continue until Mid June with sporadic berries after that.

Everbearing strawberries produce three periods of flowers and fruit during the spring, summer and fall. Everbearers do not produce many runners.

Day neutral strawberries will produce fruit throughout the growing season. These strawberries produce just a few runners.

Everbearing and day neutral strawberries are great for gardeners who have limited space. They can be grown in terraced beds, barrels or pyramids. They can also be used as an edging plant or a groundcover.

When to Plant

Plant strawberries as soon as the ground can be worked in the spring. This is usually in March or April allowing the plants to become well established before the hot weather arrives. Do not work the soil if it is wet. Wait a few days until it dries.

Planting Depth

Try to plant strawberries on a cloudy day or during the late afternoon. Set the strawberry plant in the soil so that the soil is just covering the tops of the roots. Do not cover the crown.

Matted Row Systems

This system is the best for growing June-bearing cultivars. In this system, the strawberry plants should be set eighteen to thirty inches apart in rows three to four feet apart. Daughter plants are allowed to root freely to become a matted row no wider than two feet.

I use the matted row system.  See my Strawberries for how this is done.

Spaced-Row Systems

This system limits the number of daughter plants that grow from a mother plant. The mother plants are set eighteen to thirty inches apart in rows three to four feet apart. The daughter plants are spaced to root no closer than four inches apart. All other runners are pulled or cut from the mother plants. Even though more care is needed under this system, advantages include higher yields, larger berries and fewer disease problems.

After four or five weeks, the plants will produce runners and new daughter plants.

Hill System

 This is the best system for growing day-neutral and everbearing strawberries. In this system all the runners are removed so only the original mother plant remains. Removing the runners causes the mother plant to develop more crowns and flower stalks. Multiple rows are arranged in groups of two, three or four plants with a two foot walkway between each group of rows. Plants are set about one foot apart in multiple rows. During the first two or three weeks of growth, the planting should be weeded; then the bed should be mulched

When purchasing strawberries by the pound, one-and-a-half pounds equal one quart. This will yield about four cups of sliced strawberries.

 RECIPES

The University of Illinois has some good recipes
















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