June-bearers (Standard) produces a whole crop the season after planting. In Ohio, the ripening season ranges from late May to the end of June.
Day Neutral Strawberries / Everbearing produce a whole crop the first season they are planted. They have multiple harvests throughout the growing season. They are also the most used varieties in container gardening.
Strawberry plants require full sun for the most awesome-tasting strawberries. Best growth and fruit happen when the plants are grown in loose, fertile soils containing large quantities of organic matter. Strawberries are sensitive to excessive soil moisture and should be planted in raised beds or on ridges if drainage is problematic. Also, avoid planting in areas where potatoes, tomatoes, or sod were recently grown.
Early spring is the best time to plant strawberry plants if the soil is not too wet. When planting, cover the roots and only half of the crown with soil. Make a trench deep enough to set the roots vertically. Do not bend roots horizontally.
Space June bearing plants 12-24 inches apart. In rows, 36-40 inches apart.
Plant Day-Neutral strawberries 2-12 inches apart in rows with 30-36 inches between rows. Remove runners throughout the first season and flowers for the first six weeks after planting.
Mulching and Weeding:
Mulch the plants with 2-3 inches of straw or wood chips to conserve moisture and maintain an essentially weed-free planting.
Remove the flower stalks of June-bearing plants as they appear throughout the first growing season. More production can be expected if the plants are allowed to attain a large size before fruiting. Remove the blossoms of Day-Neutral types as they appear until about the middle of June (first year only). Then allow flowers to set fruit for harvest during the remainder of the season (August through October).
Insect and Disease:
Many problems due to insects and diseases can be avoided by selecting sites where sod, tomatoes, or potatoes have not been recently grown, planting disease-free and disease-resistant planting stock, and using good cultural practices.
In addition for weed control, mulching is necessary to provide winter protection for the plants. Apply straw that is free of weed seeds two to three inches deep over the plants after they have been subjected to several sharp freezes in the low 30s or high 20s in fall. Generally, this is between November 15th through the 3Oth, but by December 15th at the latest. Strawberry flower buds are very susceptible to spring frosts. Mulches used for winter protection should be removed from plants in early spring before there is mulch leaf yellowing. The mulch should be left in the alleyways and used to cover blossoms in the spring when frost is predicted, especially with early blooming varieties. Frost protection could be the difference between a good crop and no crop.
Protect your upcoming harvest using netting over the plants from birds, bunnies, squirrels, and chipmunks.
Strawberries are ready to harvest when they turn red with no green. Harvest first thing in the morning before the heat of the day hits.
When picking, pinch the stem behind the strawberry, do not squeeze it, or you will have strawberry jam in your hand. Check for ripe strawberries every two to three days.