Get to Know & Grow Strawberries

Growing Tips:
Strawberries do well in many climates and are happy in containers (,

but all varieties require full sun and a fair amount of water. Before heading to the nursery, consider which of the three main types is best for you. (Don't worry, there are hundreds of fun subtypes.)


  • This type will give you one crop early in the season (late May-early June).


  • These plants will produce berries in 3-4 growing cycles throughout the growing season, but are more susceptible to cold weather than day-neutral varieties.


  • Developed from everbearing plants, these produce berries continuously throughout the summer months because they produce flower buds regardless of the length of the day.

Care and Feeding

  • All strawberries like soil that drains well, so prepare your strawberry bed with plenty of compost and fertilize with a balanced mixture (look for a bag that says, “10-10-10”). If you’re using containers, buy potting mix – not potting soil, which is too dense.
  • You’ll need to keep the soil moist but not soggy, so prepare to water often – especially the first few weeks as plants are getting established.
  • Fertilizing when you plant and then every 3-5 weeks will keep plants happy and productive. Use compost or a balanced packaged mixture (again, look for “10-10-10” on the bag).
  • If you live in an area that gets harsh winters, you’ll need to mulch the roots or bring pots into a garage so plants can go dormant without freezing.
  • Keep in mind that all strawberry plants are short-lived perennials, so you’ll need to replace them roughly every three years if you decide to plant them in your yard.

Five Fun Facts:

  1. Strawberries are technically not a fruit -- they're engorged stem ends. Botanically speaking, each seed on the outside is an individual fruit.
  1. There’s a strawberry museum in Belgium.
  1. California produces roughly 2 billion strawberries a year.
  1. Home-grown berries taste better because the sugars haven’t started breaking down into starch. (This starch is what makes grocery store berries grainy and tart.)
  1. You can attend strawberry festivals in 37 U.S. states; 12 take place in New York state alone.

Five Historical Facts:

  1. The word “strawberry” most likely comes from the combination of “strewn” and “berry” because of how the plants' runners scatter berries across a wide area. (The alternate theory is that it comes from the practice of protecting plants from frost by covering them with straw.)
  1. Native Americans were eating tiny wild strawberries by the time the first settlers arrived. They were also already linking them with love -- the Cherokee credit them for creating harmony between First Man and First Woman.
  1. The French have cultivated strawberries since the 1300s. They accidentally cross-pollinated hardy North American and big-berried Chilean strains in the 1700s to create the variety from which most modern hybrids descend.
  1. English horticulturalists created roughly 25 new varieties of strawberries between the late 1700s and early 1800s.
  1. The first intentionally bred American strawberry variety was created by Charles Hovey in 1834. He named it, unimaginatively, the Hovey.