How strawberries are grown
It is almost strawberry season for most of the country!
Strawberries are part of the rose family and are low, perennial plants with edible fruit. It is believe that the most common wild strawberry, Fragria Vesca, was discovered in the early 17th century and botanists began found other varieties like Fragria eliator in Europe and Fragaria virginiana in the U.S.
Explorers actually found strawberries before that though. In 1588, it was discovered in North America in what is now Virginia.
In the United States today, more than 90 percent of the strawberries are grown in California, a state that started cultivating the fruit in the early 1900s. On average, California’s more than 30,000 acres of strawberry farmland grow more than 1 billion pounds of fresh and frozen fruit.
There are three main types of strawberry plants. June-bearing, day-neutral and ever-bearing.
June-bearing plants produce one crop a year, usually lasting between 3-5 weeks in late spring.
Day-neutral plants have the ability to produce fruit the same year it was planted. On these plants, the growing process is year-long and it is not dependent on the amount of sunlight in a day to produce its buds.
The ever-bearing plants can produce two crops each year. One in late June and another in late August. They produce few berries and are seldom used for commercial production.
Strawberries grow best in well-drained, sandy soil and on average, it takes about 30 days for the flowers to become fruit and first crop can be harvested the year following planting. Because they are delicate, the berries must be picked by hand.
Strawberry plants should also be at least 18 inches apart in rows to 3-4 feet apart. They also cannot be grow with peppers, tomatoes, eggplant, and potatoes. because of verticillium wilt, a major strawberry disease.
You can find recipes using strawberries here.