I climb on my soap box this week to denounce strawberries sold in stores. They’re big, picked green, expensive, turn kind of pink/red on the truck, and taste just slightly better than styrofoam. Home grown berries are light years better and less expensive. Lots of national seed catalogs sell strawberry plants that may or may not do well in the soggy northwest. Strawberries come in two general categories “everbearing” which bear off and on all summer, and “June bearing” which bear one big crop.
For the past three years, we have been doing strawberry trials at Lael’s Moon Garden. To make a long story short, I like two everbearing varieties. We have chosen “Tri-Star” (prolific producer, most flavorful) and “Seascape” (flavorful, very large berries) as the best. (See photos.)
The varieties we have rejected are “Firecracker” (June bearing, produces many plants but fewer berries) and “Quinault” (everbearing, but without the flavor or productivity of “Tri-Star.”)
Strawberries need excellent drainage, regular water, mild fertilizer and full sun. Use runners to replant your bed every three years. The crown should be planted out of the ground with only the roots covered. We grow them in large containers of compost because of our heavy clay soil (see photo.) To prevent berry rot, put fresh bark or straw around plants to keep berries off of the ground. Pick ripe berries daily to protect from slugs, birds and flea beetles. Those little freeloaders sometimes like to share your crop.
Stop by Lael’s Moon Garden soon to get your “Tri-Star” and “Seascape” strawberries while they last!
For tips on growing strawberries check out the links below.
Strawberries in Containers
Strawberry Growing tips - Courtesy of the Extension Service
How to grow, soil preparation, pollination, and more - click the link to the right to read all about it.
Strawberry Cultivars for the Northwest - click the link to the right for a descriptive list of available strawberry cultivars.