All about growing Eversweet Strawberries
When you think of red fruit I'm sure you think of cherries, strawberries, apples and a few other fruits as well. But strawberries are unique in that they have their seeds on the outside and we enjoy them! Ok, so strawberries are more than just little red fruits with seeds on the outside. These are some people's favorite fruit for their size, taste and for their overall appeal. It is actually rare to find someone who doesn't like strawberries. These can be good or can be amazing.
After much research on this topic I've found that there are tons of different varieties, sizes, flavors and even colors. Did you know there are white strawberries? And some that are the size of a penny, but have tons of flavor?
Well today we are going to talk about growing Eversweet Strawberries. These are very tasty and are large, although a little smaller than your supermarket variety. But, many would say these are tastier. Also, if you are lucky enough to be growing, wanting to grow or tried some off the vine there is almost no comparison with store bought.
There are three main categories for strawberries.
June bearing - These are the most common varieties to be found in super markets and by farmers around the nation. These are planted in the spring and develop their fruit in June. They have an abundance of fruit and some varieties are rather large. Although it only has one season of fruit it is very abundant so it works well for farmers and others who make some of their income from their strawberry harvest.
Everbearing - This is another category where strawberries grow and fruit once in June and continue for another month or so. The first crop is the largest and then it tapers off to smaller yields. The great thing about the everbearing strawberries is that you will have fresh strawberries for a long period of time. A lot of gardeners like to grow some June bearing and some everbearing so they have strawberries for consecutive months. The yield is smaller on the everbearing kind, but it doesn't end your strawberry season short. This is a great idea for your backyard and your kids will enjoy picking strawberries for months.
Day-neutral - This category can sometimes be confused with the everbearing as they do share some traits. But, the day-neutral variety bears fruit in early summer and early fall. But, depending on the variety you can have these bearing fruit year round if you can keep ideal conditions for them. The yield is usually the same or smaller than everbearing, but much smaller than the June bearing.
So, if you want fruit year round with maximum yield its a good idea to grow some of each variety and enjoy all kinds of strawberries year round.
The Eversweet Strawberry falls under the everbearing category, but is sometimes considered Day-neutral depending on where you look.
The Eversweet Strawberry does well in Zone 6 to Zone 9.
It can handle very warm weather (up to 98 degrees) without losing flavor.
And it can handle colder weather (as low as 40 degrees) without dying as long as it get adequate sun.
This is a pretty hardy variety and it can be easily be found growing in the Northeast.
Like most fruit the Eversweet Strawberry enjoys well draining soil. I does like slightly acidic soil and will do very well with PH levels of 4.5-8.
When you plant these in the ground they do like to be elevated a little or on a hill. The roots do not run deep, but will grow wide.
If you plant them in a bed make sure to place them at least 12 inches apart so when they are fully grown they don't cross root each other.
Strawberry plants act a lot like a vine in the fact that once they start to grow they will start to reach out to grow further. These extensions are called runners. The plant uses these runners to eventually form another plant. Off of these long stems develop roots and a whole new plant. This is great as you won't have to go and buy more plants every year if you don't want to as the plants themselves will multiply.
But, one thing to consider is that these runners drain a lot of the energy from the mother plant. So if you are looking for a good harvest you are going to want to cut these off the first year. This way the mother plant can develop its roots, develop its leafs and also grow some flowers.
Strawberry plants produce a variety of flowers. (The Eversweet produces a nice white flower.) Some can be white, or yellow, or even pink. Also, the leaf pattern can be different. The flower is essentially the fruit of the strawberry. As the fruit starts to develop the flower's petals will fall off and the center part will start to grow. The center part is usually yellow. This is the part that grows and eventually turns into the strawberry. The strawberry may start out looking yellow/green, but eventually grows lighter and then to its final color. This color is usually a bright red.
The first year you have your plant you want to make sure to cut off all runners and all flowers. This might sound strange, but this will help the plant develop and grow stronger. This means that in your second fruiting season the plant will be much stronger and will develop a large amount of fruit.
In your second season you can trim them as you like and even take some of the runners and repot them to start new plants. But, by that point you would have already enjoyed some great tasting strawberries.
MORE INFORMATION (EVERSWEET STRAWBERRY)
height - 10-14 inches
sun - 6-8 hrs a day
watering - once a week, careful with overwatering
fertilizing - feed only a couple times a month, but more often when fruit is growing
pot size - these can be grown very well in containers, a 10 or 12 inch container is perfect
leafs - very green, some clusters like to grow in threes
flower - white
seeds - seeds will germinate within 10-16 days
These are fairly common strawberries to be found in the northeast so if you see one at your local nursery pick one up and give it a try. They grow well indoors in the right conditions. So just imagine enjoying fresh picked strawberries in the middle of the winter.