The primetime to grow strawberries is spring, here are some tips

Strawberry harvest from the Bayside Park Farm. | Photo courtesy of Jessica Speyer

Spring is the perfect time to grow strawberries. The primetime for harvesting juicy strawberries lies between April and July, with the peak of the season falling in May and June.

“On the early side of April we will be planting a new patch of strawberries and I buy the seascape variety,” said Jessica Speyer, the Bayside Park Farm Manager. “I really like that one it’s ever-bearing. So that means that once it starts putting on flowers, it’ll kind of keep going through the warm season, which is nice to have them through the summer and hopefully into the fall.

Since the coastal region of Humboldt County is more of a wetland, Speyer has had a better strawberry harvest when she plants them in spring. However, different farms can have better luck growing strawberries during the winter depending on the lay of the land. Speyer says that having some sort of weed barrier is beneficial when growing strawberries.

“I just use landscape fabric and try to keep up like Sluggo to prevent the slugs,” Speyer said. “The landscape fabric has been really awesome because it prevents weeds from growing.”

Something else to consider is to get a strawberry variety that is meant for the coastal area. The seascape and albion variety grows well in this area of Humboldt. Both are known as ever-bearing varieties which means that the plant will keep sprouting flowers throughout the season. But, if you want strawberries for the summer, it’s recommended to start the process now.

“The sooner the better and then they have time to get established,” Speyer said. “Some people like to get the first strawberries and flowers and pinch them off and that way the plant has more energy to put into the roots and the leaves before it starts making fruit. But it’s a personal preference. Nothing is better than fresh off the plant.”

The Bayside Park Farm is the city of Arcata’s educational farm. If you’re looking to grow some strawberries, the season is now. Other foods that are good to grow during the spring season are tomatillos, eggplant, kale, and spinach. And that is only to name a few.

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