Frustrated by the lack of available Strawberry plants, we began growing our own from bare root crowns a few years ago, and the results have been outstanding! It's wonderful to have Strawberries for the entire season, so we've done it again for 2018!
The varieties we've selected are excellent for growing in Southern California; in fact we've been growing Sequoia and Mara des Bois for years in our own garden, and really love both of them.
Strawberries grow very happily in EarthBoxes (use your Red Mulch Cover!), and will produce for several years - we can attest to this! Or grow them anywhere the fruits can hang over an edge...the edges of a raised bed, for example.
They want lots of sunshine, a slightly acidic pH (5.5 - 6.8), and excellent drainage. They are shallow-rooted and don’t want to compete with weeds! Mulching with plastic, pine needles or straw is advisable to keep berries free of an infestation of weeds, diseases, slugs, snails and sow bugs.
Water your plants regularly, keeping the soil moist, but not soggy, as that can cause them to rot. Overhead watering also invites fungal problems. Fertilize monthly with a good organic fertilizer.
There are basically two categories of Strawberries:
June Bearing varieties generally produce one large, single crop in Spring to early Summer. They will be productive for 3-4 weeks. Picking the blossoms off June Bearers the first year will increase yield the second year. These types are a good choice if you want to make jam, pies or preserves as you will have them all at once.
These varieties are not as prolific as June Bearers but are suited for gardeners who want a constant supply of berries throughout the Summer. Great for snacking on while out in the garden!
Why not grow some of both?