June bearing strawberries are the first crop to usher in summer with juicy sweetness beginning in late May or early June. This variety of strawberry produces an abundant crop of large fruit in the first year after planting, and will yield strawberries for two to three weeks. June bearing strawberries need to be planted in early spring on a cool, cloudy day to avoid transplanting shock. Homegrown strawberries are well worth the time and effort to plant and grow, allowing you to enjoy fresher and more flavorful strawberries than the store-bought fruit.
Select a planting location that receives full sun all day. Till the ground as soon as it is workable in early spring. Add organic matter to the soil and mix in well to create a loose, well-draining soil.
Dig holes that are twice as wide and just as deep as the rootball. Space them about 18 to 24 inches apart, with rows 4 feet wide.
Set a strawberry plant into each hole so the top of the rootball is level with the ground's surface. Fill in the hole with soil and tamp down gently with your hands.
Water the strawberry plants well after planting. Keep watered well, giving 1 1/2 inch of water to the plants each week. Use a soaker hose for best results and keep the soil moist.
Fertilize with a balanced water-soluble liquid food, such as 10-10-10. Begin fertilizing about two weeks after planting and then every two weeks, from early spring through early summer.
Apply a 3- to 4-inch layer of mulch around the strawberries to retain moisture in the soil and control weeds. Use straw or wood chips for best results. During winter, add another layer of mulch over the top of the plants to protect them. In the spring, sweep the mulch off the plants once all chance of frost is gone.
Pinch off all flowers as they appear during the first growing season, before the June bearing strawberries start producing fruit. This allows the roots and runners to develop, which ensures a larger crop the following growing season.
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