Growing Strawberries

“Any strawberry variety you grow yourself will be better than anything you buy in the store,” says Chuck McGlung of Walter Andersen Nursery. “Strawberries are pretty easy to grow. They do not require tons of water, they are not deep rooted and they grow well in pots.” Here are his tips.

Before planting, amend your soil with soil-building compost or the Big Harvest Bale. In pots, use Edna’s Best Potting Soil.

Plant crowns at soil level. If planted shallow, plants dry out quickly; if planted deep, the crowns stay wet and rot.

Heavy feeding results in lots of vegetative growth with less fruit and more runners. Use organic, slow-release fertilizers like Dr. Earth Tomato, Herb, Vegetable Food.

Snails and slugs are your biggest concern once plants start fruiting. Birds will occasionally peck at ripe strawberries too, so be ready to harvest once plants start producing.

Classic strawberry pots remain popular. The challenge is keeping the strawberry pot adequately watered, because water can flow out the pockets in the side. One trick I learned years ago is to get a piece of 1-inch PVC pipe as long as the height of the pot. Cap one end, and drill 1/4-inch holes all over the pipe. Position the pipe in the center of the pot before you plant your strawberries. Once planted, water the pipe and the pot gets watered from the inside out.

Strawberry Varieties

June-bearing varieties produce a mass of fruit over a short period during spring (some earlier and some later). June-bearing varieties typically grow more vigorously with more runners than ever-bearing strawberries. Choices include the following:

•‘Camarosa’ — large, very firm, flat-shaped fruit
•‘Chandler’ — vigorous; medium- to large-sized fruit; very popular with commercial growers
•‘Sequoia’ — large, dark red fruit; can perform like an ever-bearing variety in our mild climate

Ever-bearing varieties produce less fruit at one time, but over a much longer period, often into fall. They include the following:

•‘Albion’ — robust grower; more disease resistant; large, deep red fruit; excellent flavor
•‘Alpine’ — small, 1-inch berries; sweet flavor; intense aroma; exquisite, aromatic fruit; yellow-fruited varieties include ‘Pineapple Crush’ and ‘Yellow Wonder’
•‘Quinault’ — great for containers and hanging baskets; fruits on unrooted runners; very large fruit with excellent, sweet flavor
•‘San Andreas’ — more heat-tolerant than most ever-bearing varieties; large, narrow-shaped fruit
•‘Seascape’ — sweet, very red, medium- to large-sized fruit; heat and salt tolerant
•‘Temptation’ — no runners; large fruit; works well in small spaces



Chuck McGlung
Walter Andersen Nursery
3642 Enterprise Street
San Diego, California 92110
12755 Danielson Court
Poway, California 92064



Categories: Gardening