Growing Strawberries in Arizona

How Do You Growing Strawberries In Arizona?

30 minutes, 48 seconds Read

Table of Contents

Growing strawberries in Arizona is a very common sight in the region. This fruit can grow at a low temperature of 56’ F. The ideal time to grow strawberries is around mid September if you are in the low desert. Growing strawberries in Arizona makes it the top fruit of the region. Strawberries are sensitive thus they need appropriate climatic conditions to grow in the salty soil of Arizona. 

Various types of strawberries are grown in the soil of Arizona. Each type has specific climatic condition. 

Let’s get started without wasting further time.

Climate Considerations For Growing Strawberries in Arizona

Growing Strawberries in Arizona
Image Source:

Growing strawberries in Arizona requires a complete climatic condition that suits the growth. The primary requirements for strawberries are- hours of daylight and the temperature management. Strawberries are always simple to grow. 

In Arizona, fully ripe strawberries in every home garden is a common sight. And, since they are grown in homes the taste has excellent as well as juicy. They are the first fruit of the season as they bear quickly. There are multiple varieties of strawberries that make the fruit unique. 

The top variety of strawberries includes Sequoia, Galletta and Chandler. Growing strawberries in Arizona starts from mid-September and goes on until the end of January. In this complete span the plants grows properly. Strawberries grow prime in cool season. It is a journey made of dedication, patience and perseverance. 

The main thing that I suggest is to manage the temperature before commencing strawberry cultivation. And, trust me this is what is going to make the difference. With a great temperature management you can easily make the strawberry grow at its prime.

Temperature Management Is A Must For Growing Strawberries In Arizona

The main temperature that allows strawberry plants to grow is 60 to 80 F i.e. 15 to 27’C. It is the optimal conditions for growing strawberries in Arizona. It is crucial for everyone who desire to grow strawberries in their home garden. Strawberries grow top in places where there are deep, loamy soil in organic matter.

1. Mulching

In this process, some mulch is left around the plants so that it keeps the fruit in better condition and can conserve the soil moisture. In addition to this, mulching also helps in controlling grass and weeds. This protects severe cold temperature. Moreover it also keeps the strawberries clean during the harvest.

2. Shade Clothes

Strawberries when kept under shade clothes can beat the excess heat. Too much heat is not good for the growth of the strawberries. The plant if put against the wall protects it from excess heat.

3. Irrigation Timing

According to the crop guide, growing strawberries in Arizona needs complete period of care and support. During the period of fruiting, strawberries needs irrigation after every 3 to 6 days on light soil and when approximately 8 to 10 days on the heavy soil. 

New strawberry plants should get water daily for almost a week so that it lessens the shock of the transplanting, drip method of irrigation goes well with strawberry cultivation. On an average, about 400mm to 450mm of irrigation water is required over the growing season.

Humidity Control While Growing Strawberries in Arizona

Growing Strawberries in Arizona
Image Source:

60 to 78 percent humidity is perfect for the growth of strawberry plants. Growing strawberries in Arizona under low relative humidity, particularly at night, tip and calyx burn can be severe. Experts recommend using overhead, high-pressure fogging during the day and below-bench, low-pressure misting at night.

1. Misting Systems

Misting systems are an integral part when it comes to growing strawberries in Arizona. One round of misting and drenching in the soil ensures improvement in the growth of the strawberries on regular basis.

2. Water Basins

Strawberry yield improves by using a combination of drip irrigation and microsprinklers. The combination shows a reliable irrigation approach for staying on schedule while producing a high-yield, high-quality crop.

3. Plant Spacing

The top plant spacing of 15 inches helps in growing the plants better. Strawberries require huge amount of sunlight exposure to generate optimum fruit. Place plants 12 to 18 inches apart. Since strawberries are self-fertile, they require bees to pollinate. Removing some of the runners during the season prevents your strawberry plants from taking over your yard.

Seasonal Growth Cycles For Growing Strawberries In Arizona

Seasonal growth cycles is a very important factor for growth of strawberries. I really feel this is an important factor that makes a difference in the taste. But, the seasonal growth cycles matter a lot.

1. Planting Seasons

Strawberries’ life cycle begins with the creation of a new plant, peaks two to three years later, and then progresses to senescence and death two to three years after that peak. Under optimal conditions, a strawberry plant can live for 5-6 years.

2. Growth Phases

Strawberry plant growing stages from seeds, seedling, flowering, fruiting to a mature plant with ripe red fruits – set of botanical illustrations, infographic elements in flat design isolated on white background. Life cycle of strawberry plant.

3. Dormancy Periods

Strawberries mostly stop growing if they are put to colder outdoors, but they are still take surprising amount of water in their dormancy period. I have read somewhere that strawberries need very little water in the winters, but ahead of that these plants grow properly.

Please Note: June-bearing strawberry plants tend to produce the most flavorful, aromatic berries. However, if their flowers ever see this type of damage by late spring frost, they will produce less crop or no crop at all.

Sunlight Exposure For Growing Strawberries in Arizona

Strawberries require direct, full sunlight for top production. However, high summer afternoon temperatures can damage plants in low and mid-elevation desert locations. Many varieties bloom early in spring, so in frost prone areas don’t plant them in frost pockets (areas that cold air drains into at night). Strawberry blossoms are susceptible to late spring frosts, which can kill early flowers. This is a serious loss because these early blossoms produce the largest berries.

1. Sunlight Hours

Prepare a weed-off site that gets 8 to 10 hours of strong sunlight a day.Strawberries grow on most soil types found in Arizona, the top site is the one that permits good soil drainage and good surface drainage so that water doesn’t accumulate in the area of the planting. When preparing for the bed I suggest everyone to add 2-3 inches of steer manure or compost with 3 pounds of ammonium phosphate (16-20-0) per 100 square feet. The addition of soil sulfur or Disper-sul may be desirable to raise the acidity of the soil.

2. Partial Shade

In the mid to lower elevations of Arizona strawberries should be shaded in the afternoon during summer months. This reduces heat and water stress to the plants and fruit. Establish planting beds where morning sun is received but plants are in the shade during the afternoon to avoid the heat.

3. Direct Sunlight

Strawberries grow freely where they get full sun from later October until around April. The temperatures are consistently above 85 degrees. During the summer they require dappled sun all day, (at least 6 hours) or use some form of sun protection. The mini photography umbrellas are perfect for strawberries. I prefer planting them under other acid plants. In this way they grow under roses or in citrus tree wells. Shade cloth will work well to protect them too.

Temperature Fluctuations While Growing Strawberries in Arizona

The ideal air temperature regime for growing strawberry fruit is a low of 55° F (13° C) and a high of 70° F (21° C). Temperatures outside of this range will result in vegetative growth of leaves and runners (stolons).

Flower buds are produced when day lengths are shorter than 12 hours a day. Regardless of where you live, growing strawberries in Arizona demands adaptability, but variety selection is as important as their care (culture). 

Strawberry plants respond to good care. Proper care begins with close attention to variety selection, correct planting time, soil improvement, fertilization, irrigation, and mulching. Good care results in larger yields of high quality fruit, 25 plants will yield up to 25 pounds of fruit.

1. Frost Protection

Strawberries develop flowers in the early spring from buds form the previous fall when day length is less than 10 hours/day. They require a full, well-developed leaf canopy during the fall period to produce energy required to form the buds. It is very productive, but late spring frosts can harm flowers and reduce yields. It is top suited to warm areas where spring frost damage is not an issue. You may also consider providing some frost protection (such as a cold frame, row cover, or hoop house).

2. Heat Wave Mitigation

Create shade for your strawberries using a 50%-65% shade cloth all day in extreme heat. If you expect climactic high heat, like summers in zones 9 and 10, consider planting your strawberry patch in an area that receives regular afternoon shade such as the south side of a tree.

3. Insulation Techniques

Any plant’s machinery requires insulation since it may boost its reliability and security, stop heat loss, use fewer resources, and shield workers from burns. In order to ensure its efficiency and life expectancy, insulation must also receive the right attention and assessment. 

Here, I will go over some suggestions on how to make sure the equipment in your premises is properly insulated, which includes the subjects that follow:

  • Selecting the right insulation material
  • Applying the correct insulation thickness
  • Installing the insulation properly
  • Maintaining the insulation regularly
  • Monitoring the insulation continuously
  • Updating the insulation periodically

Soil Preparation Ways For Growing Starwberries In Arizona

Growing Strawberries in Arizona
Image Source:

Strawberries grow top in sandy and loamy soils that are high in organic matter and fertility. Most sandy loam or sandy soils meet this drainage requirements but are low in organic matter. 

Saline or alkaline soils (above pH 7.5 are not good because strawberries are highly sensitive to salts in soil and irrigation water. It is wise to prepare soil well in advance of planting (6 to 8 weeks). 

To prepare the bed, water to encourage weed growth I suggest following the path of  removal of these weeds. Incorporate two to four inches of organic matter into the bed to a depth of 12 inches since this is the depth that strawberry roots grow. 

Good sources of organic matter bag and steer manure and/or compost that comprises of leaves that are basically decomposing and grass clippings. 

Avoid animal manures that have not been hot composted unless nothing else is available. They may contain weed seeds and harmful toxic salts.

Growing Strawberries In Arizona Requires Soil Composition

Strawberries prefer well-draining, slightly acidic soil with a pH of 6.0-6.8. These plants in their budding stage also need soil that is rich in organic matter. If you test the soil with heavy clay, you can improve drainage by adding sand or perlite. You can also add compost or other organic matter to improve the soil structure and fertility. 

Here are ceratin important pointers that will help you gather knowledge on what should be the soil composition.

1. Organic Matter

Organic fertilizer sources such as plant or seed meals, sulpomag and rock phosphate may be used in place of synthetic fertilizers. Apply enough of these materials to deliver two pounds each of nitrogen, phosphorus (P2O5) and potassium (K2O) per 1000 square feet.

2. pH Balancing

The nutrient solution pH should be in the range (5.5 – 6.0). When root zone (or drainage solution) pH exceeds 7.0, young leaves turn yellow-green, a typical symptom of iron deficiency, which restricts overall growth of plants. 

Actively growing roots in hydroponics take up hydrogen ion (H+) together with NO3-N uptake. This increases root-zone pH, to become more basic. However, when roots are old and not functioning, we see pH go down mainly due to oxidation and deterioration of roots.

3. Drainage Improvement

Water and soil dampness administration are exceptionally critical components in strawberry development, and they specifically influence strawberry development and abdicate. 

Full dampness and reasonable soil dampness can advance strawberry development and develop quicker and higher; appropriate soil dampness can keep up soil supplements and anticipate soil misfortune, in this way keeping up soil ripeness. 

In expansion, satisfactory dampness and reasonable soil dampness can make the strawberry develop more soundly, in this way moving forward its quality and diminishing the event of empty natural product. 

Therefore, in strawberry development, sensible water and soil dampness administration is exceptionally imperative, cultivators require to carry out convenient water system and seepage concurring to the development of strawberry, to guarantee the development and surrender of strawberry plants.

Fertilization Procedures For Growing Strawberries in Arizona

1. Fertilizer Types

When it comes to growing the strawberries plants in Arizona, fertilizer types is another important factor that makes the difference. It is highly important as there the effect is substantial with the yield of strawberries. 

The plant responds both negatively as well as positively. The application of fertilizers highly stimulate the growth of vegetable leaves, shoots and petioles.

FertilizerRate (kg / ha)
Superphosphate (25% P2O5)430
Potassium sulfate (50% K2O)368
Dolomite (26% CaO)132
Magnesium sulfate (16% MgO)80

2. Application Schedule

Plant strawberries in the low desert of Arizona from mid-September through January. Planting strawberries by November 15th allows plants to become more established by spring.

3. Nutrient Requirements

During the planting year (assuming the general soil fertility is good), a strawberry planting should receive actual nitrogen at 22 to 45 kg / ha (20 to 40 pounds / acre) incorporated into the soil prior to planting. Another 35 kg / ha (30 pounds / acre) should be applied in late June to early July.

Mulching Process In Growing Strawberries In Arizona

Mulching is beneficial for growing strawberries in Arizona. It helps in managing the temperature even through thick and thin. In addition to this, one also needs to conserve the water by improving the health of the soil and help in pest control by ensuring clear and ripe strawberries.

1. Mulch Types

There are two types of mulchs in growing strawberries in Arizona. One is Organic and the other one is inorganic.

I) Organic Mulches

Organic mulches are those that break down over time and, therefore, gradually improve the condition over time, releasing nutrients into the soil as they biodegrade. 

Organic mulches are generally lower cost than inorganic mulches, but because they disappear into the soil over time, they will need to be replaced periodically, which could represent a higher cost in the long run.

II) Inorganic Mulches

Inorganic mulches are those that do not break down over time. These can be either manmade products, such as rubber, or natural products like slate chippings. 

They do not improve soil conditions as they won’t release nutrients into the ground, and their permanence means they can be difficult to remove if you change your mind. However, they do have many benefits, and in some situations might be more suitable than organic mulches.

Please Note: Straw mulching keeps soil temperature more uniform. This prevents the strawberry plants from dying in cold and dry winds by helping the snow to trap.

2. Application Techniques

  • Mulch is typically sold by the so-called “yard” which covers 100 square feet (9.3 m2) of garden 3 inches (7.6 cm) deep.
  •  If you are using mulch for weed control, apply the mulch so it’s 2 inches (5.1 cm) – 4 inches (10 cm) thick.
  •  If you are mulching vegetable beds during the winter you should lay down a 4 inches (10 cm) – 6 inches (15 cm) layer.
  •  Applying too much mulch will suffocate plant roots and kill a plant.

3. Mulch Benefits

Mulches improves the aesthetic and economical value of land, reduce residual effect of pesticides, control loses of soil erosion and protect plants from drought and frost injury. 

Adverse weather conditions like occurrence of frost, heavy rains, hails and temperature fluctuations especially during flowering and fruiting are limiting factors in strawberry cultivation. 

The limited supply of soil moisture content are in correlation with growth, development, yield, and existence of the strawberry plant in the winter season. Therefore the conservation of soil moisture is needed in this situation under field conditions. 

Mulching is considered as one of the most important agricultural practices for soil moisture conservation and increasing the crop productivity. This review focuses on significance of mulches, problems associated with different types of mulches and adoption to climatic conditions of strawberries.

Irrigation Systems In Growing Strawberries in Arizona

Selecting the right irrigation system is a challenge when it is about growing strawberries in Arizona. Regular checking and maintenance helps in preventing the leaks, clogs to ensure water distribution. But remember too much water is also detrimental to plant health.

1. Drip Irrigation

This type of irrigation is efficient and delivers water directly to the plant roots. This is beneficial for minimal evaporation and runoff. It works great in arid region. Growing Strawberries in Arizona without drip irrigation might disturb the roots of the plants. Subsurface irrigation system also delivers the water thoroughly to the root zone beneath the soil surface.

2. Sprinkler Systems

Growing Strawberries In Arizona with the help of overhead sprinkler systems contains lower initial cost compared to the drip systems. This helps in cooling the plants as well as the soil during extreme heat in summer months. Maintenance is all that matters in order to conserve the soil moisture by reducing the evaporation.

3. Watering Schedules

In every 3-5 days, strawberries go up to 2 inches of water during the hot weather. The heat of the summer months can depress the roots of the plants badly if they do not get much water.

Pest Prevention For Growing Strawberries In Arizona

Growing strawberries in Arizona is simple if you can uncover the classified process. One such process is taking care of the pest prevention process. Once you start following the process to pest prevention, be sure that the outcome will be a juicy and delicious reality.

1. Natural Predators

Natural Predators are animals that are killed and eaten by other animals. They live in the fields and the gardens where there are fruits ad vegetables growing. Hunting down the pests like aphids, slugs, pollen beetles also are signified under natural predators. Basically these are natural enemies. 

Sometimes birds and other animals also can damage the fruit from the roots only. So, I suggest in taking the top possible prevention methods to keep away from them.

2. Biocontrols

This is a process of pest control technique where the strawberries are protected from mites, weeds, pathogens and other affecting animals. The main motto behind biocontrol is pest-off fields. It is effective and a long-term procedure that can easily remove the invasive plants.

3. Physical Barriers

In the entire procedure for growing strawberries in Arizona, physical barriers play a big role. The ground covers contribute to pest and disease management by applying the top techniques of physical barriers. Remember to plant the strawberries atleast a foot apart to avoid chances of excessive pest problems.

Plant Selection & Care In Growing Strawberries In Arizona

Growing Strawberries in Arizona
Image Source:

Are you someone like me who live in the lowlands of Arizona? And, perhaps you want to grow strawberries, you are in the right zone. But before you start selecting and caring for the plants you must know about how to select the right plants and care for them. 

Growing strawberries in Arizona is fun and I personally suggest you to grow them and try to cultivate yourself. Caring and planting of strawberries requires good amount of sunlight to produce juicy fruits. For better cultivation, 8 to 10 hours of complete sunlight is essential. If not, atleast 6 to 7 hours of direct sunlight is a must. 

Before planting the right strawberry seeds, you will need to find out the right nutrient from the soil by conducting a soil test. In this way the nutrients are added to the soil. Once these plants are ready do not forget to water them properly. But remember that there is no chance of overhead watering. The soil should be fertile, slightly acidic. If the beds are raised they provide better drainage with increased rooting depth.

Varietal Selection In Growing Strawberries In Arizona

Growing Strawberries in Arizona
Image Source:

1. Heat Tolerant Varieties

Sweet and juicy strawberries are a result of excessive heat. If strawberry plants are planted in the Transition Zone, they will do really well. Infact all three types of strawberries will do well if they are from the day-neutral varieties. 

If you are in south Arizona, then the top choice for the climate with warm conditions can lead to basic and range regions. Heat tolerant varieties are always the top juicy ones. These can thrive in temperatures which can go up to 100 degrees.

2. Drought Resistant Varieties

The strawberry fruit is a fleshy fruit with seeds on the surface. Drought resistant varieties of crop with significant in agriculture with changing patterns along with water scarcity. The crops with changing patterns along with water scarcity. 

Drought-resistant varieties of strawberry plants give them those plants which grows top and is one of the sweetest fruits available in the full sun. These varieties need lesser amount of water but give you the top and juicy fruits.

3. Pest Resistant Varieties

Growing strawberries in Arizona is simple only if you have the right pest control procedure to protect them. To grow successfully, it is important to get ample amount of sunlight and water is mandatory. These are the two elements which work as support system for the budding plants. I was facing issues to control the pests for the type of strawberries I had plans to plant.

Planting Techniques Of Growing strawberries in Arizona

Here’s how you can grow the strawberries and pick them at a point which is rich in ripeness and flavor. In addition to this, an extra tip on how to grow strawberries in the low desert of Arizona will help.

1. Spacing

Typically, plants should be spaced about 12 to 18 inches apart in planting rows that are about 2 to 3 feet apart. Proper soil preparation is also essential for healthy Strawberry plants. The popular method is the hill system, where plants are spaced out in rows with mounded soil. Another technique is the matted row system, allowing strawberries to spread and form dence beds overtime. For those looking for a more innovation approach, vertical gardening has gained traction in recent time.

2. Depth

Strawberries should be planted in holes large enough to slightly spread the roots out, and deep enough to bring the soil half way up the crown, making sure that the crown is above the soil level (do not cover the crown!) and that the uppermost roots are at least 7 mm (1/4 inch) below soil level. Pack the soil firmly around the plants and irrigate immediately after planting.

3. Orientation

For the greenhouse cultivation of hydroponic strawberries, diagonal planting with 13 seedlings placed at 15 cm spacing is used for generally around 12 thousand seedlings per decare. Planting begins in October, with the first harvest occurring in December. This process continues until the middle of June.

The steps for growing strawberries are as follows:

  • STEP 1: Choose a strawberry type.
  • STEP 2: Set a planting date.
  • STEP 3: Sow strawberry seeds.
  • STEP 4: Prepare a garden bed.
  • STEP 5: Plant strawberries in a bed.
  • STEP 6: Plant strawberries in containers or hanging planters.
  • STEP 7: Care for your transplants.
  • STEP 8: Prune strawberries.
  • STEP 9: Pick up your strawberries

Watering Requirements For Growing Strawberries In Arizona

Growing Strawberries in Arizona
Image Source:

1. Water Quantity

The plants will need about 2.5 to 3.5 Cm of water a week; supplement rain with irrigation as needed. The soil is sandy, you will need to pay more attention to watering and fertilization.

2. Water Quality

Calcium Carbonate Saturation Index -0.5 to + 0.5 < -1.5 Water within satisfactory levels is suitable for most situations. Little likelihood of corrosion or scale formation. Water Hardness CaCO3 mg/L < 50 > 150 Soft water is suitable for irrigation purposes.

3. Water Frequency

During normal weather conditions, strawberries need water equal to 1 to 1.5 inches of rain each week.

Pruning and Maintenance In Growing Strawberries in Arizona

Pruning and maintenance in the growth of strawberries in Arizona is a must-have thing. Since the fruits of strawberry plants are frost susceptible therefore they need to proper maintenance. Growing strawberries in Arizona with good pruning and maintenance offers great outcome. 

Here are some tips cum methods which will help you properly.

1. Pruning Techniques

Pruning techniques easily slice off the crows to maintain the density in highly vegetative plants. Since strawberries create their own crowns hence the shoot that extends easily promotes the blooming of younger crowns.

2. Disease Limb Removal

Growing strawberries in Arizona are susceptible to disease-causing organism when they are subjected to excessive stress. If ever you spot disease in the limbs of the plants, the leaves should be cleaned properly. These are overwintering problems. Fungal leaf spots need disease limb removal for better growth. Effective tool in controlling weeds allow strawberry plants to grow better.

3. Seasonal Maintenance

Before the primary harvest especially in the second half of the season, the strawberries see fertilization after renovation in the months of July. A good seasonal maintenance can promote new growth of plants. No plant will survive without proper maintenance, good watering and many more. Excessive cultivation kills the weed that loosens the soil for runner penetration.

Support Structures In Growing Strawberries In Arizona

There are adverse type of structure for growing strawberries in Arizona.

1. Trellis Types

Trellising strawberries allow planters to grow them vertically. Vertical gardening makes it easier for harvesting the strawberries in more accessible manner. It is easier to grow when it comes to strawberries trellis.

2. Installation Methods

Installation methods on growing strawberries in Arizona by transplanting the seedlings into seperate containers once these develops few seats for true leaves. Strawberry is a popular fruit in home gardens for better reason.

3. Growth Training

When it comes to development of the strawberry plant, the growth training for the plant is important. It is essential to regard the strawberry plant growth for better nurturing of the plant. Growth training regulators play a crucial role with profitable in the long run.

Pest and Disease Management In Growing Strawberries In Arizona

Pest and disease management in growing strawberries in Arizona can control the attack of the pests. Using organic strategies to remove the pests can strengthen the barriers as well as control the pests and the diseases. Pests like Frankliniella occidentalis can damage the plants at their roots. Moreover weeds can also break down the plants to grow. Weed control is a challenge for strawberry planters.

Growing Strawberries In Arizona By Preventing Insect Pests

Growing strawberries in Arizona is top when the soil is fertile and organic. The sandy loam soils prevent the insect pests from spreading of the pests like the aphids, spider mites and whiteflies. 

Using a medicinal spray made out of garlic can cut down the problem of pests. Thus it is top to cover the rows as extreme temperature can kill the plants. Strong winds also play a critical role in damaging the roots of the strawberry plants. So planters need to be very careful.

Prevent Growing Strawberries In Arizona From Fungal Diseases

It is a challenge growing strawberries in Arizona if there is issue of fungal disease in the soil. Covering rows of the strawberries in summer can prevent the roota from getting decay. Organic methods of cultivation of strawberries involves sprays made out of hot pepper, rotten eggs and blood meal with castor oil and human hair. 

Nymphs can be prevented by the treatment of the insecticides which will cease root rot and diminish leaf spot. Powdery mildew is a fungal disease which is prominent in the warm climate zones. With powdery mildew there is chances of white powdery growth on the leaves of the trees. So, strawberry planters must know how to keep your plants safe in any weather.

Biological Controls While Growing Strawberries In Arizona

While the farming process of growing strawberries in Arizona is on full process, pests or diseases begin to build up all beyond a manageable threshold. Planters save their strawberry plants from bad pests. 

Besides this, in strawberry cultivation ladybugs, lacewings and nematodes target the pests like spider mites, aphids and thrips. An effective biological predator for the control of aphids on strawberries is Aphidoletes Aphidimyza. 

Biological pest control is in wide use in comparison to other methods. Farmers employ diverse agents for biological control to taget the pests and diffuse them in their roots. With this effective technique, sustainable agricultural practises have spread like a fire in the farming industry. 

Pest Scouting is another vital and a regular process. It includes systematic examination of the crop that monitors potential outbreaks in crop damage. It detects the damage early promoting IPM in strawberry production. With this strawberry growers achieve optimal yields.

Use Of Chemical Treatments In Growing Strawberries In Arizona

If you are planning to grow tasty and fresh strawberries, providing chemical treatment is a must. Use of proper organic pesticides, insecticides as well as fungicides will determine the quality of the strawberries.

1. Fungicides

Fungicides like Captan and Thiram are the top fungicides that extend control throughout. It is wise to use fungicide at a level of 6 – 11% bloom and also at full bloom. Another important fact is that fungicides should be applied every 8 – 11 days during the wet seasons. Agri-Fos, Topaz, Phostrol, Prophyt and Aliette are safe fungicides for strawberry cultivation.

2. Insecticides

Carbamate methomyl, pyrethroids, bifenthrin provide complete control in the entire process of strawberry growths. Choosing the right insecticides and applying it on the right time is very important in the case of strawberry cultivation.

Integrated Pest Management (IPM) for growing strawberries in Arizona

Integrated Pest Management (IPM) for growing strawberries in Arizona needs special care. Insecticides in strawberries cover up the top pesticides like organophosphates, malathion, carbamate, methomyl and bifenthrin.

1. IPM Principles

The principles of IPM include: Identify pests, their hosts and beneficial organisms before taking action. Establish monitoring guidelines for each pest species. Establish action threshold levels for the pest.

2. Monitoring

Growing strawberries in the desert is quite possible, though difficult. Some problems can arise but well maintained monitoring will minimize the issues:

  • Summers are harsh and strawberries often die.
  • You will likely have to restart each year or bring them indoors for the late-summer.
  • You could also grow them in containers and bring them inside each summer
  • If you prefer Strawberries will need to be mulched heavily to help retain moisture
  • They will need frequent watering in the early-summer

Harvesting and Post-Harvest Times For Growing Strawberries in Arizona

Strawberries are harvested in small trays or baskets. They should be kept in a shady place to avoid damage due to excessive heat in the open field. Plants start bearing in second year. An average yield of 45-100 q./ha. is obtained from a strawberry orchard.

Post harvest is all about keeping strawberries cooled will help lengthen the life of the berry before it becomes inedible. One method of achieving this is to have display berries while berries to be sold are stored in a refrigerated sales case or a travel cooler.

Harvest Timing

Plant strawberries in the low desert of Arizona from mid-September through January. Planting strawberries by November 15th allows plants to become more established by spring. 

Varieties to try in the low desert of Arizona: Ever sweet (continuous harvests of large, sweet strawberries throughout spring and fall); Chandler (early to mid-June bearing); Quinault; Sequoia (June-bearing plant, commonly grown in Arizona); Tristar (heavy crop in early spring, slow production in hot summer weather, and large berries in the fall).

1. Ripeness Indicators

You will know when strawberries are ripe to pick when they’re uniformly red and firm. The fruit should have a noticeable strawberry scent, a medium firmness, and no mold with daily harvesting methods.

2. Harvest Methods

Only harvest berries that are red, showing that they are fully ripe. Berries still showing white anywhere on the berry, including the shoulders, should be left for the next picking. The flavor and sugar levels are optimal when berries are harvested when fully ripe.

Storage Techniques For Growing Strawberries in Arizona

There are several techniques for storing strawberries. Some among them are as  followed

1. Refrigeration

Keep your fresh strawberries in the refrigerator for top results. If you are pressed for time and cannot wash and rinse them right away make sure to place unwashed berries in an airtight container lined with paper towels (this will help absorb any extra moisture) and keep them in the refrigerator for up to five days.

2. Freezing

If you find yourself with more fresh berries than you can eat within five days, freezing them is always a great option! Rinse off your strawberries and pat dry with paper and harvesting towels before cutting off their stems and halving or quartering each one (depending on size).

2. Packing Materials

Rigid plastics have been utilized to make clamshell boxes, and the lids are also composed of the same component. To avoid it becoming detached, the lid is usually secured to the box itself.

Processing Options After Growing Strawberries in Arizona

Growing strawberries in Arizona is successful only when the processing options are taken care of properly. It is an important motif for growing strawberries in Arizona. Fresh strawberries have long shelf-lives. 

Canning needs to be done properly to avoid any kind of rotting. With these you can expect making jams and preserves. But before everything drying of the strawberries is a must.

Quality Control For Growing Strawberries in Arizona

Talking about quality while growing strawberries in Arizona, maximum growth is put to promotion with the nutrient flow to enjoy tasty fruit. Inspection techniques for defining fresh and good quality strawberry plant are the following

  • Acidity 
  • Color
  • Shape
  • Firmness
  • Sweetness
  • Size

The right fertilizer of the strawberries usually measures as 10-10-10 / 12-12-12. In the fruit producing farms, strawberries hold a place for complete pride amongst the fresh fruits as well as the vegetables. 

The flavor of the strawberry, its texture and also the fragrance hit the peak within 2 to 3 days after the plants bring them down from the bearing plants. Thus the farmers give more importance to the sorting processes of the strawberries according to their freshness, taste and aroma.

1. Damage Prevention

Hubbins is the shape defect that strawberries encounter when it comes to strawberry shape defects. Moreover, there are another common defect is multiple fruiting or conjoining fruit. But with the provention application of damage prevention method everything is under complete control. Strawberries are super tasty, juicy, good for skin. Strawberries contain more vitamin C than any full orange.

Market Preparation For Growing Strawberries in Arizona

Growing Strawberries in Arizona
Image Source:

1. Grading Standards

U.S. Grade A or U.S. Fancy is the quality of frozen strawberries that possess similar varietal characteristics; that possess a good flavor; that possess a good color; that are practically for nothing from defects; that possess a good character; that score not less than 90 points when scored in accordance with the scoring system outlined in this subpart and that with respect to whole style contain not more than 5 percent, by count, of whole strawberries that are small size, (less than 5/8 inch in diameter).

U.S. Grade B or U.S. Choice is the quality of frozen strawberries that possess similar varietal characteristics; that possess a good flavor; that possess a reasonably good color; that are reasonably for nothing from defects; that possess a reasonably good character; and that score not less than 80 points when scored in accordance with the scoring system outlined in this subpart.

U.S. Grade C or U.S. Standard is the quality of frozen strawberries that possess similar varietal characteristics; that possess a fairly good flavor; that possess a fairly good color; that are fairly for nothing from defects; that possess a fairly good character; and that score not less than 70 points when scored in accordance with the scoring system outlined in this subpart.

Substandard is the quality of frozen strawberries that fail to meet the requirements of U.S. Grade C or U.S. Standard.

2. Packaging Types

Clamshell packaging is the go-to packaging type for strawberries. These containers are made from rigid plastics and will come with a lid made from the same material. Usually, the lid will be attached to the container itself, preventing it from being misplaced.

3. Labeling Requirements

Packaging should be done in air tight containers, the labeling should be simple yet attractive. Most of the strawberry pack comes in strong transparent plastics, wherein the product is already visible as a result there is no more requirement of additional labeling.

Final Thoughts

Growing strawberries in Arizona although comes up with challenges, yet it is certainly possible for providing ideal conditions such as ample sunlight, choosing the right strawberry varieties and planting seeds of strawberries at the right time. 

And, once you properly protect the plants from the extreme temperatures, you are ready to savor the sweet taste of the strawberries even in Arizona heat. 

Strawberry fruits are susceptible to diseases that can impact the productivity and the health of those who love eating organic fruits. So, be wise while choosing the right texture of the fruit. 

Happy Farming!

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Social media & sharing icons powered by UltimatelySocial