Growing Strawberries

In this blog post, I will discuss the steps you can take to successfully grow strawberries in Northern Ontario, Canada.

Choosing the Right Variety

The first step in planting strawberries in Northern Ontario is to choose the right variety. Some strawberry varieties are better suited for colder climates, while others may struggle to grow in the region. Here are some varieties that are well-suited for Northern Ontario:

  1. Honeoye: This variety is known for its early-season production, and it is well-suited for colder climates.
  2. Jewel: This variety is a mid-season producer that is also well-suited for colder climates.
  3. Allstar: This variety is a late-season producer that is known for its large fruit size.

Preparing the Soil

Once you have chosen the right variety, it’s time to prepare the soil. Strawberries prefer well-draining soil that is rich in organic matter. In Northern Ontario, the soil may be heavy and clay-like, so you may need to amend it with organic matter such as compost or aged manure.

It’s also important to ensure that the soil has a pH level between 5.5 and 6.5. You can test the pH level of your soil with a soil testing kit, which can be purchased at a local garden center or online.

Planting the Strawberries

Now that your soil is prepared, it’s time to plant the strawberries. You can plant strawberries in the spring, as soon as the ground has thawed and the soil temperature has reached 45°F.

Here are the steps to planting strawberries:

  1. Create a planting hole that is wide enough to accommodate the plant’s roots.
  2. Set the strawberry plant in the hole, making sure the crown is level with the soil surface.
  3. Fill the hole with soil, being careful not to bury the crown of the plant.
  4. Water the plant thoroughly to help settle the soil around the roots.
  5. Space the plants about 12–18 inches apart, with rows spaced 2–3 feet apart.

Caring for the Strawberries

Once your strawberries are planted, it’s important to care for them properly to ensure a healthy and productive crop. Here are some tips for caring for your strawberries:

  1. Water the plants regularly, especially during dry periods. Strawberries require about 1–2 inches of water per week.
  2. Mulch the plants with straw or other organic material to help retain moisture and suppress weeds.
  3. Fertilize the plants with a balanced fertilizer, such as a 10-10-10 formula, in early spring and again in early summer.
  4. Protect the plants from frost in the spring by covering them with blankets or tarps.
  5. Control pests and diseases by monitoring the plants regularly and taking action at the first sign of a problem.

Harvesting the Strawberries

After caring for your strawberries for several months, it’s time to harvest the fruit. In Northern Ontario, strawberries are typically ready for harvest in late June or early July.

Here are some tips for harvesting strawberries:

  1. Pick the fruit when it is fully ripe and red in color.
  2. Use a sharp knife or scissors to cut the fruit from the stem, being careful not to damage the plant.
  3. Harvest the fruit regularly to prevent over-ripening and spoilage.

I hope this gets you motivated enough so that you plant a few this spring. I know I am. Have a great day. GW

“Comments are Welcomed and Appreciated”

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.