Strawberries — Grow Your Own (Part 2)

Continued from Strawberries — Grow Your Own (Part 1)

 

Where were we?  Oh right… we covered June-bearing vs. Ever-bearing and Size.  Now for the last major question:

Strawberry Pot with Mignonette Strawberries & Cuban Oregano

Container or garden. Strawberry pots are iconic. They don’t make it easy to water the strawberries, but they look cool and they make harvesting the strawberries really easy. Of course you don’t have to use a strawberry pot. You can use any pot you want. If you use pots you will need to take the containers indoors during the winter. Planting the strawberries in the ground lets you regrow the strawberries each year.  If you are growing in the ground then you’ll want to get the bare root plants.  It’s less expensive that way, but you have to make sure that you plant it so the line where the roots meet the bottom of the plant is directly in line with the soil.   Some growers recommend snipping off all the strawberry flowers for the first year so the roots grow stronger.  I usually put the plants in the pots and the bare roots in the ground so I know which is which the first year.  Most of the plants you buy are second year plants so I eat those and snip off all the flowers on the ones I put in the ground.  At the end of the season, you will need to either plant the ones you had in pots in the ground to overwinter or take them inside.  They most likely won’t survive a winter in the pots.

Alpine Strawberry Plant in Hanging Container

So, despite all the info, the best thing to do is a little of everything. You should get both June-bearing and Ever-bearing so you have a constant supply and a big bounty in the summer. You should get both big and teeny so you can eat fresh & dip in chocolate and also make preserves & sauces. And lastly you should put some strawberries in the ground and pots.  I get my strawberries online from either Burpee or Gurneys.  Burpee has a great variety of teeny strawberry plants (the white and yellow ones are shockingly good).  And Gurneys has one called the “Whopper” that should make amazing strawberry shortcakes.  I’m trying it out this year and will let you know how they do and taste.  And most important: try a few different varieties.  They don’t all taste the same so feel free to just toss plants you don’t like and try a new variety.

Early warning: Squirrels and birds love strawberries so you may need to protect your strawberries with a net so you don’t lose your harvest. Of course, they are a good scape goat when you get in the house with no strawberries and everyone wants to know why there isn’t enough for them…

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