Strawberries, watermelon, and blueberries are a trio of summertime pleasures. These three fruits are tasty snacks and picnic ground favorites. They are also surprisingly fun and easy to grow. We have already covered how to grow watermelon and blueberry varieties, so let’s talk a little more about strawberries and how you can reap a harvest full of these amazing fruits.
How to Identify Strawberries
Most varieties of strawberries are red, but there are a few that do not feature this vibrant color. What all strawberries do have in common are their vining growth formation, small seeds embedded into the outside of their skin, and either a conical or a wedge shape.
Popular Types & Varieties
Strawberries are part of the genus Fragaria, which is a member of the rose family. The common garden strawberries that are grown and eaten today are hybrids known botanically as Fragaria x ananassa. Within this hybrid family are more cultivars that have been developed over the years. In fact, new cultivars are being added to the list of strawberry types and varieties every year.
With so many types, varieties, and cultivars available, it is difficult to focus on every single type of strawberry. To keep things simple, we will look at the three main types of strawberries and some of the most popular varieties within those types.
Day Neutral Strawberries
This type of strawberry produces berries within the first year they are planted. While the size of the berries produced by Day Neutral Strawberry plants is smaller than the other types, these plants are capable of producing them in a wide range of temperatures (35 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit).
Some of the common varieties of Day Neutral Strawberry plants are:
This variety can produce fruit throughout a long growing season. Its berries are large and shiny while the plant itself is disease resistant.
This variety produces high yields of berries each season. The berries are moderately sized, light to medium red, and quite flavorful.
This variety produces small to medium-sized berries that are dark red and conical in shape. The plant is resistant to many common diseases and can grow in a wide range of climates. It can even grow as an evergreen plant in frost-free zones.
This variety produces small berries that are very light red in color. The berries are firm and finely shaped but have a neutral to bland flavor.
This variety produces berries that are medium to large in size. The berries have a good flavor and they are excellent to use in recipes or just eating raw. The plant will grow vigorously and is highly resistant to many diseases, including red stele and verticillium wilt.
This variety produces berries that are sweet and juicy. They are perfect to use in baked goods or fresh salads. The plants are cold-hardy and able to self-pollinate.
This type of strawberry produces at least two harvests each summer, but they can sometimes produce three. Because the plant’s energy is put toward producing several harvests of berries, they tend to vine less and stay more compact as they grow.
Some of the common varieties of Ever-Bearing Strawberry plants are:
This variety produces tiny berries that are no bigger than an inch long. They are best eaten as a jam or crushed with sugar.
This variety produces tiny berries that are slightly rough or bumpy on the outside. They are best eaten with cereal or yogurt.
This variety is special because it is resistant to powdery mildew and has a slight resistance to crown rot and wilt.
This variety was cultivated in 1985 by the hybridization of Rapella and Selva strawberry varieties. It produces shiny and bright red fruit. The plant can resist wilt to a moderate degree but is still susceptible to powdery mildew.
This variety produces berries that are excellent for selling in grocery stores. The berries are sweet, reddish-orange, conical shaped, and have a long shelf life. The plant is slightly resistant to wilt but susceptible to powdery mildew.
This variety produces large quantities of large, red, and fragrant berries. The plant is very hardy and will grow berries the same summer it is planted.
Fraises des Bois
This variety produces tiny, rough-skinned, and misshapen berries that have a flavor you simply do not want to miss out on. The plant is very hardy and can withstand bitterly cold and swelteringly hot temperatures.
This variety is runner-less and produces small, oddly shaped red berries from summer to fall. The fruit is sweet and appealing to birds and humans alike. The plant is a perennial so it is easy to grow again and again.
This variety features moderately sized but elegant-looking berries. The berries are red, conical-shaped, soft-textured, and sweetly flavored. The plant is considered one of the very best varieties of Ever-bearing strawberries on the market.
This variety produces conical-shaped berries that are red and glossy. The flavor of the berries is moderately sweet with plenty of juice and a firm texture. The plant is mildly resistant to powdery mildew.
June Bearing Strawberries
This type of strawberry has the most varieties listed within it. These strawberries are called June bearing because their harvest season is usually in June.
Some of the common varieties of June Bearing Strawberry plants are:
This variety produces large and wedged-shaped fruits. They have a resistance to powdery mildew but are still susceptible to verticillium wilt.
This variety is an excellent choice to grow in US Hardiness Zones 4 to 9 because it will die back in the winter and reappear in the spring to grow a new harvest of berries. Its berries are large, red, and conical shaped.
This variety produces berries late in the season. The berries are large red, glossy, and conical to wedge-shaped.
This variety produces berries that are long, red, and conical in shape. The plant is resistant to many root diseases and mildly resistant to mildew.
This variety produces lovely berries that are vibrantly red and conically shaped. The plant is winter-hardy and resistant to red stele.
This variety is popularly known for its dark red color and misshapen wedge body. The plant is resistant to red stele but is unfortunately susceptible to crown rot.
This variety produces huge berries that are shiny and red. The plant is winter-hardy and resistant to many common diseases.
This variety produces berries that are large and conical. They have thick red skin but are still juicy. Cassandra strawberries have a long shelf life and for this reason, they are commonly sold in farmer’s markets and grocery stores.
This variety produces very large berries that are bright red and shiny. The plant is very resistant to verticillium wilt and powdery mildew but susceptible to crown rot.
This variety produces shiny berries and reddish-orange in color. While this plant produces fine-looking fruit that has a good long shelf life, it is not resistant to any of the common diseases faced by strawberries.
Alongside the common garden strawberries and their cultivars is the wonderful and colorful world of novelty strawberries. We cannot leave them out because they are unique, beautiful, and tasty. Let’s look at a few varieties of novelty strawberries before moving on.
This little berry gets its name from a hybrid of the words ‘pineapple’ and ‘strawberry’. With that kind of name, you have to be curious about what it looks like, and most of all, what it tastes like.
These berries do not look real, but neither Photoshop nor genetic engineering has created them. They really are tiny pinkish-white strawberries with red achenes. The flavor of pineberries is said to resemble that of a pineapple while their texture resembles that of a strawberry.
While there are plenty of photos circling the internet that feature vibrantly colored purple strawberries produced via the talents of Photoshop artists, Purple Wonder Strawberries are the real deal. These berries may be more in line with a dark burgundy color rather than purple, but they are so close. Plus, they are not photo enhanced or genetically modified.
The berries are not just uniquely beautiful, they are also delicious. They have a lovely aroma and flavor that is ideal for use in cooking and in fermenting wine.
This variety of strawberries produces small cream to white berries that are highly aromatic. The plants remain short and compact but will produce berries for much of their growing season.
This variety is only featured on fancy restaurant menus, but, there is no reason why you can’t enjoy them at your kitchen table. All you need to do to get your hands on some of these yellow strawberries is plant a patch in your garden.
Where to Purchase Strawberry Plants Online
Seeds for many varieties of strawberry plants can be purchased at these online shops:
Answer: Strawberries can be grown in nearly any zone in the continental US. The most important factor for growing strawberries is to choose the right variety for the zone where you live. Here is a list of strawberry varieties for each zone.
Alpine Strawberries are the best variety to grow in this cold climate zone.
Alpine Strawberries will also grow very well in this zone.
Chandler Strawberries are suited to grow in this zone.
Ruby June Strawberries are recommended for this zone.
Festival Strawberries are an excellent choice for growing in this zone.
Delmarvel Strawberries is an excellent variety to grow in this zone since it is resistant to many common diseases.
Camarosa Strawberries will grow quite well in this zone.
Note: If it is easier for you to choose a variety based on your state rather than a large zone, check out these recommendations for growing strawberry varieties in each state.
Answer: Strawberries should be planted after the threat of frost has passed in the spring. This will vary depending on your location. Sometimes, the variety of strawberries will make a difference as to when they should be planted. You should check an almanac and research the strawberry variety to make sure you are planting at the appropriate time.
Answer: Choose a fertilizer that is a slow-release formula so it will not burn the plant but will feed it throughout its growing season. Fruit & Berry Food is an excellent choice for strawberries and any other types of berries you may want to grow. These plants should be fertilized after they are set in the garden bed and several other times throughout their growing season.
Answer: Strawberries should be planted in soil that is well-draining, full of organic matter, and has a pH level ranging between 5.5 and 6.5. Ideally, they should be in an area that is lifted rather than a low spot where frost can accumulate.
Answer: Strawberries should be set in an area of your garden that receives at least eight hours of full sunlight each day.
Answer: Strawberries need plenty of water but should not be overwatered so that they are sitting in soggy soil. On average, they will need between 1 and 1 ½ inches of water each week, but more if the weather is consistently dry and hot.
Answer: Botanically speaking, strawberries are not true berries. They are actually aggregate accessory fruit. This means that what is considered the strawberry seeds are really the plant’s ovaries. These ovaries contain seeds inside of them.
Strawberries are more than just a red berry that we top ice cream and yogurt with. This little fruit is a gem that makes gardening so rewarding. These are delicious, nutritious, and very versatile fruits that can be grown quite easily in any yard and garden. Why not skip the line and the less-than options at the grocery store and opt to grow your own tasty strawberries?