Strawberry planting can be done outdoors at any time the plants can have a month without frosts. This month or more gives the plants time to establish themselves in their new homes (of course, year-round planting is possible in greenhouses).
Generally speaking, though, the longer the plants are in the ground before you start to pick their berries, the larger the berries will ultimately be. For this reason, strawberry planting is often done the year preceding the first harvest. This would be in the late summer or early fall, up to a month before the first frost of the year.
This is especially good for June-bearing (or "short day") strawberry varieties. These varieties make their flower buds (from which the berries eventually develop) during the short, colder days leading up to winter.
If the weather is cold enough during the winter, the plants will go into winter "dormancy" (a state of slow growth) then begin to bloom as they exit that dormancy in the spring. This will lead, in the northern hemisphere, to ripe strawberries in May and June (hence the name, "June-bearing"). In the southern hemisphere, the fruiting months would be November and December.
So-called "frigo" (or "cold") strawberry plants are June-bearing ("short day") plants that are kept in cold storage, with restricted hours of daylight, well into the spring and summer months. By keeping these plants in winter-like conditions, they can be planted later in the year, and a later harvest can be made.
This is done as a regular course of business in high-production strawberry regions. After the first June-bearing plants have produced all that they can, they are pulled up, and a planting of frigo plants is made. This happens during the mid-summer, allowing a second harvest of June-bearing strawberries in late summer to early autumn.
Everbearing (or "long day") and day neutral strawberry varieties are typically planted just after the last frost of spring, which is usually sometime in April in the northern hemisphere, and October in the southern hemisphere. However, as mentioned above, they can be planted anytime up to a month before frosts begin. Still, by planting early it is usually possible to harvest berries from these plants in the first year!
One thing to consider, though, is how much strawberry plants benefit from the removal of their first flowers. This removal causes the plants to put more of their energy into making roots and leaves, which will make the plants stronger. When the plants are later allowed to make berries, the strawberries that are produced are quite a bit larger. Of course, it won't kill the plants if their first blooms are left, and the plants make fruit, but it is better to remove these blooms.
So, if you are planting everbearing ("long day") or day neutral strawberry plants, you may want to do your planting as soon after the last frost of spring as possible. This will allow your plants time to make more strawberry blossoms later in their first year, even after you remove the earliest blooms.
In the tropics, much of the strawberry farming is done on high-altitude mountain slopes. The most important part of planting strawberries in such a place is to plant the berries at a time that gives them as much mild weather as possible. This will give the plants the best chance to become well-established. Actually, this is a good thing to consider when planting strawberries anywhere in the world.
Beyond the question "when is the best time to plant strawberries?", many people ask "when is strawberry picking season?" or "when are strawberries in season?" As you can see, because of different varieties of strawberry plants being planted at different times and in different locations, there are always fresh strawberries being harvested somewhere in the world.
For example, strawberry picking in the United States is mostly in May and June. However, California harvests strawberries at all times except the northern winter, and Florida harvests strawberries during those months.
With this page as a guide, you can now choose the best time to plant strawberries in your strawberry garden! And when it's time for some recipes for your fresh strawberries, please remember this site,
StrawberriesForStrawberryLovers.Com, Home of the World's Happiest Fruit!
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