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Common Name: Strawberry

Botanical Name: Frageria virginiana

Family: Rosaceae

Type and Use: Short-lived perennial with edible fruit

Location: Full sun

Planting Dates: Perennial - December - February,

Annual - February - April

Planting Method: Transplant only

Seed Emergence: Not a seed-grown plant for the average home gardener

Harvest Time: Usually not recommended to allow the fruit to develop the first year, but I say, eat any you can get.

Height: 6-8 inches

Spread: 12-18 inches

Final Spacing: 12-18 inches

Growth Habits: Low-spreading fruit crop with white flowers that grows by spreading runners

Culture: Needs well-drained, highly organic soils. Raised beds are best. Strawberries can be grown in containers. Matted row or perennial beds should be planted in the winter (December-February). Strawberries are harvested about 16 months later in April or May. Annuals are planted in the fall (early November) and harvested the next spring (February-April).

Troubles & Solutions: Slugs and snails are the most common pests. Use cedar flakes, hot pepper, and D-E (diatomaceous earth) around the plants. Spider mites are controlled by watering properly - not too much or too little. Flare-up infestations can be controlled with garlic-pepper-seaweed tea. Various soil-borne diseases are controlled with cornmeal at 20 pounds per 1,000 square feet. Leaf and fruit fungal diseases are controlled with Garrett Juice plus garlic and potassium bicarbonate.

Harvest and Storage: Harvest whenever the fruit is red all over and ripe. Store in the refrigerator, after ripe at 32-40° but strawberries don’t last long, so eat them quick. Might last 1-5 days.

Notes: Strawberries are known to have cancer-fighting capabilities. Unfortunately, most of the strawberries are not grown with organic techniques. Pesticides accumulate heavily in strawberries. Easy solution: grow your own organic strawberries.

Varieties: Best perennials (matted row) include ‘Sunrise,’ ‘Pocahantas,’ ‘Cardinal,’ and ‘Alstar.’ Best annuals include ‘Sequoia,’ ‘Chandler,’ ‘Fresno,’ ‘Tiogo,’ Tangi,’ and ‘Douglas.’

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