Ive read online that generally you want to space strawberries around 10 up to 16 inches apart. But every time I see a picture of somebodies strawberry bed, it almost looks as if the bed is just one giant strawberry plant because of how dense it is. I know strawberries send out runners but is it recommended to allow the beds to fill up that densely? Could one not just space strawberries closer together initially so you dont have to wait for the bed to naturally “fill out”?
I did one strawberry plant per square foot, with my everbearing strawberry. I think that should be good enough. The recommendation that came with my bare roots were 12 to 18 inches between plants. I don’t plan on allowing runners to fill in the spaces.
I don’t know too much about june bearing ones, so it might depend, I can’t say anything about them.
It’s tough to keep on top of runners. My beds do fill no matter how far or close. I have tried to keep runners out, two grow for every one you remove. I prefer June bearing myself, although I grow both. .
if put my newest bed of Archer evey 16in. last may. by aug. it was 2in. in between plants. june bearers are nice but man do they runner! even with 3in. of mulch in between them they root like crazy! got to keep on them or they wont produce if too thick, even with fertilizer.
Those runners that root a can be taken out and planted elsewhere if you want more strawberries… spread them around. I did some of that this spring. You could also pot them up and sell them or give to family or friends.
They are like raspberries… very easy to propigate… and you can thin out thick beds to do that.
I am working on building a new strawberry bed. It won’t be ready for planting until late summer/early fall. Do any of you know if it’s possible to establish strawberries at that time? I was going to check with Nourse, Indiana Berry, etc and see if they ship early in the fall.
As noted you’d have to be very dedicated to keep runners ar bay…i have one bed and then use more strawberries as living mulch along edges of raspberry,blackberry and currant beds…I’ve found berry size decreases more as plants age than by plant spacing (i try and cut out some of the oldest plants each fall/spring and try to keep on top of runners but 4-6in spacing seems to work for me…still froze 12+ large feezer bags last year…i grow mainly june bearers so wverbearing may prefer different care
If you’re in the Northeast or Midwest, it’s best not to plant strawberries in the late summer/early fall. I think you’d fall into that category, unfortunately.
Edited–should mention that this is from the Nourse guide–I bought some bare root strawberries from them this year. Excellent quality.
We usualy plant strawberry beds around august/september. As soon as the new runners are ready, is ideal to plant your new bed. Another option is to used plants stored in a cooler (industrial) and plant them in the early spring/summer. This is what you usualy buy in spring. Plants that they let grow till they went dormant, then dug up and stored in a giant fridge)
Industry also uses these plants for almost year round harvests. They can store the plants till whenever they want, plant em out in the field or greenhouse. By planting mid/end summer of these dormant plants they get the grocery store’s fall harvest.
Im in a different climate zone than you though. So i can imagine mabey not planting in late summer because the young plants might not survive your harder winter. It will also depend on Variety. The variety Polka for example is know for higher winter hardines and thus planted in a lot of scandanavian countries. It is also a verry tasty strawberry for me. Especialy if the temperatures during riping are sub 20C or 70F. Above that and they get less intensly flavoured strawberry’s. Especialy during “poor” wheater the polka’s stand out for me. I highly recomend getting a mix of flavours and ripening times when buying strawberry’s. Buying 30 of the same variety seems like a waste to me. Unles you plan on making jam or cooking whith them.
You could look at this table for an idea of what varieties to get to spread your fresh harvest season.
if got 20+ varieties. Some of my (taste) Favorites are
-FMS (mieze shindler) Also called strasberry or rasphberry strawberry. (due to looks, it has an verry aromatic flavour. but not necesaeraly rasphberry for me)
-Ananas (the origional historic (i think around 1750) variety, not the newer larger fruited watery whithe breeds.)
-“black strawberry” Hansa (beginning 1900’s)
I usualy care more for flavor than structure in a strawberry. I tend to pick overripe when the fruits are quite soft. So i tend to prefure more aromatic varieties and pay less attention to fruit firmnes. I know other people that like the more watery but crisper strawberry’s. And they quite liked Florance. It also was quite the large strawberry for me.
The pictures size is deciving. It’s my largest cake form. It’s larger than my largest dinner plate. And bearaly fits in my oven. (i think it’s a little over a foot wide?)
Most strawberry’s look small on the picture. Most are similairly sized/slightly smaller than those from the grocery stores. And the 2 large ones are a bit more giant sized. Way larger than the grocery store strawberry’s. Although size in strawberry’s does not matter that much. And the varieties i have are not bred for size. Mostly for flavour.
Colour difference is much more pronounched in real life than the picture. On the right side above the whithe strawberry with the crown attached is a black strawberry. (hansa) it also has an higher crown. The crown is removed but you can still see where it was attached.
Top right at the edge of the cakeform is a strasberry (FMS) the seeds are deeper into the strwberry and thus they look a little like a rasphberry.
The whithes you should spot easily.
The larger 2 are i think evie 2 and florance. (evie 2 with crown attached) but not 100% sure.
There should also be a few malwina’s and 2-3 other varieties in the picture.
The everbearers also fruit and flower earlier in the year. So if looking at the ripening time-line from the link. Keep that in mind.
However the everbearers usualy have lesser fruit/plant qualities. And thend to kill themselfs by overfruiting. So the advise is to remove the everbearers (or daylight neutral) flowers till around august. And let them provide your fall harvest from than on.
ONLY remove all the flowers on everbearers. If you remove all flowers on a junbearer, you get practicly not fruit this year. (might get a smal fal harvest with certain varieties)
Ostara and mara de bois have not been excelent taste wise for me. I got another everbearer. EVIE 2. that if been more satisfied whith. It however does not come close to lambada malwina polka or hansa taste wise for me.
Junebearing or single bearing strawberry’s will also form there flower buds for next year mid/end of summer of this summer. So taking extra care of them than. Yields you more fruit next year.
This depends mostly on what you want.
Some people just let a wild field grow. And than the spacing does not matter. You just plant a few. weed them a lot the first year., then they make runners and fill the whole bed. And you weed a little less.
Some people plant 1 year plantings. (from runners around august)
I usualy see 20-25cm in row. and a little more between sets of 2 rows.
These usualy yield quite large strawberry’s. Since they only have a few flower buds. Quite dense planting.
I prefure multy year planting. I generaly plant 4-5 plants per square meter. (little over 2 sq feet per plant)
First year you’ll still see some free space between plants. 2e year onwards it’s filled out. Some plants can easily reach 80 cm in size (almost 3 foot) Those vigerous varieties id plant a little wider. If planted multiple varieties though. so luckely the “giants” are spread between the more normal sized plants.
I often hear complaints of smaller fruits, when i ask people why they do a 1 year planting. (1 year planting seems insane amount of work per berry to me)
I usualy tend to thin 1/3 or 1 in 4 flower’s on 2-3+ year old plants. And have not had noticibly small fruits. Somtimes i forget to remove a few flowers. And i feel like i get slightly smal strawberry’s. But those are tasty either way. I think the smaller fruit is more from the leaf to fruit ratio. Than that the age of the plant matters. Either way im not that bothered by slightly smaller strawberry’s so tend to only thin flowers when i feel like it.
I find that interesting, a living mulch of strawberries. I have a very large perennial bed of peonies, currants, and lilies. I have to remove the landscape fabric which was a mistake to use in the first place as now it is full of quack grass roots. Since I need to weed it anyway, why not weed strawberries. The fruit might not be large but the look might be just fine.
i thinned out 3 of my 4’ x12’ raised beds 3 weeks ago. each have a different variety of strawberry. gave the ones that i pulled to my daughter in law. after planting she had about 20 of each left so she gave them to her mother. very prolific. i think when i replace the beds im going to plant them in plastic then mulch on top of that so i can control them better.
ive planted out some under my other fruits and trees. theyve done well and so far havent gotten to thick. nice part about them being there i can just bury the older plants when i mulch my rows to kill them off so i wont need to thin them.
On the subject of strawberries and spacing, what would you guys recommend as a bed size for 4 people for mostly fresh eating.
i harvested roughly 3-4 kilo’s per square meter of bed if everything goes well.
However first year was less. And you might loose some to not picking in time. birds disease etc. So i myself calculate 1.5-2 kg per m^2 and then work back from how many strawberry’s i want to eat.
The season for fresh eating if you plan your different varieties right is roughly 3 months for june bearers. And roughly 2-3 months for everbearers after that if you want to put in the extra effort those everbearers take to get to produce in fall.
I don’t mind eating 200-400 gram strawberry’s a day. So im planting roughly 30+ m^2. But im a little insane. So work out a more reasonable figur for yourself
Id recoment going heavy on your earliest varietie and your latest. And in between do a few “special” ones. Somthing like 35% Lambada/garigueta 10% polka 20% strasberry and pineberry (ananas) and 35% malwina (or 25% malwina and 10% florance)
if going just for single bearing ones.
Think about it though, if you have freezer space, can you have to many strawberry’s?
The picture i posted in this topic was my dinner. After having eaten such a bowl in the moring and afternoon to. Was afraid id get sick of it. But all the different varieties and tastes kept it “fresh”
i ate roughly 3-4 kilo’s that day. I planted way to many mid season varieties.And did not harvest the previous days
LOL, definitely No.
That’s a beautiful bowl of strawberries! Yum!!
You provided some really good information, I appreciate that.
My thought was that since some people have success transplanting their runners throughout the summer, maybe I could get started establishing my strawberry patch this year, rather than having to wait until next spring. You know gardeners…impatient to say the least!!
Is it still possible to buy strawberry plants (bare root) and plant now for zone 7b?
im not sure if they sell runners in your climate. If they do id asume you can plant them end of summer. or around the time runners normaly form. If maby mulch em extra and hope for good snowcover. cus your zone is quite cold.
If you can buy them in the spring thats also an excelent time.
I woulden’t expect a big difference between plants you planted late summer and let naturaly go dormant. And plants that went dormant and where stored in a fridge to sell to you in spring that you than plant in spring. So id probably just plant in spring if i where you.
if you can source them id try out
i see different varieties used in the US and EU though. So dunno if their available for u.
nourse seems to have some of the fresh forward developed varieties.
Darselect sonata and rumba did not stand out of the crowd for me last years. Where good, but not excelent. Although they are in the shadier part of my strawberry field. Maby with more sun theyd be excelent. However the lambada gariguetta and polka all recieve les sun, and taste better imo
Malwina and evie 2 where “best in catogory for me” (my best late, and best everbearer)
So i can recomend those. Although im not sure if they’ll taste the same in your climate. And if you prefure aromatic soft strawberry’s like me. Or prefure more watery fresh crisp strawberry’s. Id discribe the malwina more aromatic. And evie 2 balanced. Some aroma, and stil decently firm.
@Kate6b yea, sure. you usualy plant when there is no chance for frost anymore. so around now is excelent.
If planting also pay special attention to planting depth. Not to deep. not to shallow. Planting the hart to deep will give disease and rot issue’s.
Planting so shallow that tops of most roots are exposed, will make them dry in and thus sever root-hart connection. Seeing the tops of 1 or 2 roots is fine. It’s best to look up some pictures online.
like the diagram here
- Sketch of the proper planting method
translated on the picture.
te hoog = to high
te diep = to deep
wortels niet gestrekt = roots not stretched out.
i have grown Evie 2 and it is a excellent everbearer. id probably plant it again when i renew my beds. im growing AC Wendy, Archer ,Galleta, Wonderful pineberry and Mara des bois.
I just got an email from Nourse on this this morning–I was thinking of getting some more, and they have a good number of varieties left. I’d agree that now is a great time in 7b.