When Is Strawberry Harvest Season

Strawberry harvest season comes at a different time in different places, depending on climate and the type of plant. While commercial "u-pick" farms typically use June-bearing plants, everbearing and day neutral plants are also available. Whatever the season, you'll want to monitor your crop carefully as your fruit begins to ripen for the best harvest.

Strawberry Harvest Season By Plant Type

There are three main types of strawberry plants. Each plant has its own growth characteristics and harvest season. Here is a rundown of the types of strawberry plants available:

  • June bearing - This popular commercial plant reaches its fruit peak in the late spring. June bearing plants have a short (three week) harvest season, but produce the biggest fruit. These plants also produce runners as they grow.
  • Everbearing - These plants produce fruit in the spring, summer and fall in three distinct periods. Everbearing strawberry plants product no runners, making them easy to care for.
  • Day neutral - Day neutral strawberry plants produce fruit throughout the growing season. These plants will produce a few runners as they mature.

Strawberry Harvest Season Tips

  • Know when. Generally, your strawberries are ripe when they've fully turned red. You'll get the sweetest fruit, however, if you wait a day or two after this color change before you harvest.
  • Gently does it. As you harvest your strawberries, don't pull them from the plant by the fruit. Gently snap the stalk behind the fruit to remove it from the plant.
  • The pampered strawberry. Collect your strawberries in a shallow (5" deep or less) container and keep them out of the direct sun. Use what you've collected in a day or so, and freeze the remainder.
  • Be patient. You'll get more and bigger berries in the second and third year of your plant's life. June bearing plants will benefit from having their blooms pinched off before the first harvest to allow the plant to concentrate on growing a stronger root system. A little sacrifice now will result in greater rewards later.
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