QUICK REFERENCE PLANTING GUIDE
1. Light/Sun Exposure - Full to partial sun.
2. USDA Hardiness Zones - 4 to 10.
3. Planting Distance - In-ground 12 inches apart in rows 12 inches apart.
4. Mature Height/Spread - 6 to 8 inches the first year with each plant lightly filling in a one square foot area and throwing out runners (new baby plants) in multiple directions. By the second year, each plant is thickly filling in the original one square foot area and expanding outward.
- 'Eversweet' - 8 to 10 inches tall with a spread of 8 to 12 inches. Hardy in zones 5 to 8.
- 'Improved Titan' - 12 to 18 inches tall with a similar spread. Hardy in zones 4 to 10.
- 'Sweet Bounty' - 12 to 18 inches tall with a similar spread. Hardy in zones 4 to 10.
5. Bloom Time - Early summer with intermittent fruit through fall.
6. Planting Instructions - As indicated below.
Planting in ground - When planting in ground, proper depth of a plant is important. Create a shallow hole 12 inches wide and spread the Strawberry roots almost flat, adjusting the height of the crown, carefully keeping it just above ground level. Cover with soil so the bed is level and then water thoroughly.
Planting in a Strawberry Jar:
1. Place the jar on newspaper or plastic in case soil falls out on the floor or ground as you begin to fill the pot with potting mix. This mat will also allow you to capture the soil to put back into the pot. A helpful tip for keeping the soil from spilling out the holes is to line the jar with a page of newspaper or a plastic grocery sack. Note: You should leave the liner in the jar. It will not disrupt growth in any way.
2. As you fill the pot STOP when you get to the first level of holes at the bottom of the pot. Insert one or two dormant plants into each hole and spread the roots. Try to keep the top (crown) of the plant at soil level. This can be best accomplished with the side holes after the jar is completely planted.
3. Continue to fill the planter to the next level and repeat the planting process until you get to the open top.
4. The top should be planted last by placing three plants evenly in the opening. Water thoroughly. Some soil may spill out the holes so care must be taken to water gently (we recommend this as an outdoor project).
SOIL PREPARATION (for in-ground planting)
Although these plants will perform well in average garden soils of all types, we recommend having your soil tested periodically by the local County Extension Office. These tests can determine if the soil needs any amendments to enhance your plants' growth and performance. See below for our recommended practice to improve your soil without any additional testing:
1. Spade or till the soil to a depth of 12-18 inches.
2. To provide nutrients and improve drainage, add organic matter to your soil by mixing in a 2 to 4-inch layer of dehydrated manure, garden compost, shredded leaves, and/or peat moss.
3. After active growth begins, periodically feed with Cottage Farms' water soluble Carefree Bud-N-Flower Booster for Fruits and Vegetables. Plants in containers need more frequent watering and feeding, especially when in active growth and bloom.
Watering - Your plants require 1" of rainfall (or equivalent watering) each week when planted in the ground. Do not allow plants in containers to dry out. In a container that is exposed to full sun, water it well at least once every other day, and possibly every day, during periods of intense summer heat.
Mulching - Apply a 2-4 inch layer of shredded bark, compost or other organic mulch around your plants to promote moisture retention, maintain even soil temperatures, and to discourage weed growth.
Weeding - Keep the area around your plants free of weeds. Weeds compete with other plants for food, water and light. Walk around the garden periodically and pull weeds, including the roots, as soon as you see them.
Pruning - In the first year, your strawberries will produce flowers that will result in a few berries. For best results, keep the blooms pinched off the first year so your plants develop a stronger root system to produce better fruit the following years.
Special Note: Trim off the long, vine-like “runners” that hold the blossoms as this will promote better fruiting. Your plants put all their energy into producing these runners instead of fruit. After pinching off these “runners”, plant them and they will grow into mature plants. Continue to pinch off any “runners” each growing season.
Feeding - Discontinue feeding after September 1st so your plants can harden off for winter dormancy. Resume fertilizing when new growth appears in spring and feed every 2-3 weeks.
Winterizing - Strawberries require little if any winter protection. When temperatures fall below freezing, move your container into an unheated garage or a cool basement and lightly water them once every 2 to 3 weeks to keep the soil from drying out.
For in-ground plants apply a winter mulch of evergreen boughs, straw, or leaves to in-ground plantings to prevent lifting of the plant's roots during alternating periods of freezing and thawing.
In spring, remove mulch from in-ground plantings. Also, bring containerized plants back out into the garden sunlight where they will immediately begin to repeat their yearly garden performance.
CAUTION: Not all plant material is edible. Though most plants are harmless, some contain toxic substances which can cause headaches, nausea, dizziness, or other discomforts. As a general rule, only known food products should be eaten. In case of ingestion, please contact your local poison control center at once and advise them of the plant ingested. Keep out of reach of children.