If you love strawberries, why not grow your own? Everbearing strawberries produce a continuous harvest of sweet medium-sized berries from late spring until the first freeze of winter! They are a great option for every backyard garden!
Growing Everbearing Strawberries
Everybody loves having a big delicious harvest of springtime strawberries. However, this picture was actually taken August 29th. So how did we get this giant harvest of strawberries in August? By growing everbearing strawberries. Everbearing Strawberries have been a fantastic addition to our garden.
Why we grow Everbearing Strawberries
We have grown strawberries for the last 20 years, usually, just a small patch tucked in a corner somewhere. A few years ago we learned that strawberries are number 1 on the dirty dozen list. This list was created by the EWG and tells us which produce carries the most pesticide exposure. Strawberries have come in first for a few years now as the produce items with the most chemical residue. Sometime I’ll post the complete list, you’ll be surprised what’s on it.
We eat a bunch of strawberries around Stoney Acres. Between jam, pies, and fresh eating we put away a lot. So we decided we needed to up our strawberry production instead of trying to buy organic which is just crazy expensive.
Cost Savings by Growing Your Own Strawberries
We bought two varieties of everbearing strawberries from an online plant company and we decided to go with bare root plants. We planted 50 plants each of Ozark Beauty and Tribute the first of April. The total cost for the plants was around $29.00. The first year we picked a total of 25 lbs of strawberries from the two patches.
If you figure the cost at the store for regular strawberries averages about $2.00 a pound then they paid for themselves the first year. If you throw in the fact that our berries are 100% organic the cost at the store would be more like $4 a pound so we are way ahead now. So far this year we are at about 30 lbs. Right now we are averaging about 6 lbs a week so there is a good chance we could double last year’s production. We have two beds using about 100 square feet of total garden space.
Care of everbearing strawberries
Strawberries should ALWAYS be planted in the early spring (think March). Getting them in early in the spring gives the plants plenty of time to get their root system established before summers heat comes along. I wouldn’t recommend planting any other time of the year.
The first spring after planting you should remove all the blossoms until mid-summer. This gives the plants a chance to focus on growth instead of berry production. Just like regular strawberries, everbearing strawberries bloom in May and are ready to start picking in early June. We have found that the Juneberries are a little smaller and tarter. The plants usually take most of the month of July off and berries are ready again on the first of August. The summer and fall berries are overall sweeter and larger than the spring berries.
If you want to you can plan on offering the berries a little protection as the fall progresses. Some falls are warm for us but we still cover the berries after it finally cools off. Just use a piece of fabric row cover at night and remove it during the day. Doing this meant we were still picking strawberries on Halloween last year. We have found that the quality of the berries really dropped off after about the 15th of October. The late October berries weren’t as good for fresh eating but we freeze them and use them for jam and smoothies all winter long.
When the really cold weather arrives in late October or early November you should cover your strawberries to protect them from the bitter winter cold. A layer of leaves or straw will do or you may want to cover them with a heavy row cover fabric if you don’t have a lot of snow.
Renewing Your Patch Of Everbearing Strawberries
Plan on replanting your everbearing strawberries in a new location about every 4-5 years. Strawberries are really rough on the soil they are planted in and draw out a lot of nutrients. After the fourth or fifth season, they need to be removed and a new crop planted somewhere else in the garden. This takes a little-advanced planning so think it through before you decide where to plant.
If you don’t want to buy new starts everbearing strawberries to replant you can always pot up and move the daughter plants that grow in the last year of your current patch. Simply bury a small pot under the daughter plant, when it is established with a good root system you can sever it from the mother plant and move it to the new bed.
Overall we have been really pleased with the addition of a big patch of everbearing strawberries to our garden. Even if you don’t eat as many as we do they are worth some space in your garden. You will be happy with even a 4 by 4-foot plot. Enjoy!!
Here are a couple of other posts that will help you with your strawberry growing adventure:
Planting Bare-root Strawberries
This is my first year doing strawberries. I did 25 each of Albion and diamante. The Albion are doing far better. I read about a variety called seascape that sounded good so I might add those to my bed. One way to increase your yield in July is giving them extra water and mulching to keep them cool so they don’t feel stressed and start making runners. Clipping runners also increases productivity.
Wow, such an informative post! I can’t wait to go strawberry picking and one year have my own patch at home! Thanks!
Southern Texas Gal
I’m planning on growing some in the garden this year, and this article provided me with some great tips. Thanks!
Today is May 1, 2017. I just read your newsletter. Is it too late in the season to begin a planting?
I have planted Bareroot strawberries as late as June 1st and they did ok. It’s not the best time of year to do Bareroot, you won’t get any berries this year. If you are planning on planting using live starts (transplants) then you still have lots of time! But the sooner the better!
Why do you have jars upside down in your patch?
Brooke you can read about why in this post! https://ourstoneyacres.com/a-garden-hack-how-to-make-your-bird-netting-glide
Thanks!! Great idea!!
Do you have any suggestions in amending the soil? I’ve used ground up egg shells to keep slugs away, and it really works. I’ve heard strawberries are acid loving plants, and you can add coffee grounds. Do you have any other recommendations?
Compost and other organic matter (leaves, grass, etc.) are usually the best soil amendments.
I live in a very hot summer climate, I’ve been told that ever bearing stawberries don’t do well in heat, is this true?
That is true. You can do a few things about the heat and give it a try. First would be to mulch the ground around the strawberries. The second would be to locate your patch on the East side of some type or structure (think your house or a shed). Patches located on the east would be shaded from the late afternoon sun which is often the most intense. This seems to help quite a bit with the heat. The nice thing about everbearing strawberries is you can buy 25 bareroot plants online for $10-$15 dollars. So if after two summers (the first summer will be mostly meant for getting the plants established) the patch just doesn’t do well then you can always give up and you are only out a little money and some garden space!!
Your advice to put a pot beneath daughter plants to root them is great. Thanks!