when to plant strawberries in NC

When To Plant Strawberries In NC?

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North Carolina is one of the leading producers of juicy strawberries in the United States. But when to plant strawberries in NC? It depends on where you reside in North Carolina.

It’s quite gratifying to pluck your homegrown bright red strawberries and eat them. Most people have a myth that they cannot harvest a lot of strawberries when they grow in their garden.

Well, you can have a bountiful harvest if you plant strawberries at the right time and grow them in the right conditions. So when to plant strawberries in NC? It depends on the hardiness zone of your locality.

If you stay in western NC, then plant the juicy fruit from late March to April. Simultaneously, if you reside in eastern North Carolina, then plant them from November to Mach.

When To Plant Strawberries In NC?

when to plant strawberries in NC
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Strawberries are sweet, juicy, and have a slight acidic tang. They are good sources of vitamin C, Manganese, folate, and antioxidants, which are pretty essential to keep your blood sugar in control. You can consume it in raw and fresh form.

The soil and climate vary from one area to another in North Carolina. So, your residence plays a vital role in planting strawberries. The average hardiness zone is 8a, and this reduces to 6a in some areas like Blueridge mountains, valleys, and many more places.

So, when to plant strawberries in NC? You need to check the hardiness zone of your residence and then decide when to plant strawberries.

1. Western Region

If you are staying in Raleigh, North Carolina, then the USDA hardiness zone varies between 7 and 8. So, it’s good to plant strawberries from late March to April.

Charlotte, North Carolina, is another populous state in the western region of North Carolina. Here, the USDA zone even varies from 7 to 8. So, you can plant strawberries in late March to April.

2. Eastern Coastal Region

The south and Eastern coastal regions of North Carolina have 8a USDA hardiness zones. So you can plant strawberries at the beginning of fall, i.e., from November to March.

Strawberry Planting Guide

Red strawberries are juicy and delicious. Simultaneously, they are simple to grow in your garden. Most gardeners are curious to know how many strawberries each plant will produce and how many plants they need to grow in their garden to meet their demands.

Well, you can have a good amount of yield if you provide optimal conditions. You can grow strawberries almost everywhere, i.e., in containers, pots, or in small sections of your garden. They do not have deep roots, and hence, you can grow them in a small space.

I am listing below a few care tips.

1. Light

Strawberry plants require 8 hours of sunlight to grow effectively. If the plants don’t get enough sunlight, then there will be less strawberry production.

2. Soil

Garden strawberry plants require rich, loamy, and well-drained soil for proper growth. The PH of the soil should be between 5.8 and 6.2 to have maximum yield.

The soil needs to be also fertile. If you think that your soil lacks proper nutrients, then add organic matter or compost to the soil.

3. Water

If you are growing juicy strawberries, then provide 1-2 inches of water every week. You need to provide regular watering from blooming to harvest for more yield.

4. Temperature And Humidity

The most suitable temperature for growing strawberries is between 60 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit. The plant can tolerate 22 degrees Fahrenheit if you protect it from frost.

High humidity can cause powdery mildew over the plant. So ensure to have proper air circulation over the plant.

5. Fertilizer

It’s good to provide a balanced fertilizer during planting time. But you should not overfertilize your plants.

Overfertilizing can cause overgrowth of leaves and less production of flowers.

How To Grow Strawberries?

when to plant strawberries in NC
Image Source: gettyimages

1. Choose The Starter Plants

Most gardeners use bare-root plants or plug plants to grow strawberries. Bare root plants are usually dormant. They don’t have soil on the roots at the time of selling. Plug plants are active growing plants.

You can choose any of them them. But I will recommend you buy strawberry plants from the local nursery and ensure they are healthy and have no diseases.

2. Start Planting Your Strawberries

Choose a sunny place in your garden so that the strawberry plant can receive at least 6-8 hours of sunlight. Start planting strawberries when the outside temperature is at least 60 degrees Fahrenheit.

You need to plant the seedlings with a gap of at least 12 inches for proper growth and air circulation. Water immediately after planting strawberries. Provide regular watering till the plant gets fully established in the soil and grows.

3. Protect Your Strawberry Plants From Frost And Excess High Temperature

If the outside temperature goes below 32 degrees Fahrenheit, it can damage the flowers of the strawberry plants. So, you need to provide mulch at the base of the plant to protect your plant from sudden frost.

Again, if the temperature goes above 86 degrees Fahrenheit plant, then it can stress your strawberry plant. In such cases, you must provide shade to your plants to prevent excessive sunlight.

4. Fertilize Your Plant

Provide fertilizers when the plant starts to grow. You can then wait for the fruits. You need to wait almost 4-5 weeks when the flower blooms in the plant.

Garden strawberries will continually produce fruit for almost three weeks in the late spring season. It may be a bit earlier if you stay in the warm season.

You need to pluck the strawberries very gently. Try to cut the stem above it and store the plucked strawberries in a cool and shaded place.

Can I Grow Strawberries By Seeds?

You can grow strawberries with seeds. December is the ideal time for growing strawberries by seeds. But first, you need to stratify the seeds. You need to keep the seed packet in the freezer for two weeks. You can then remove it and bring the seed to its average temperature.

Sow the seeds on a seed tray. Sow the seeds in moist soil and cover it with a growing mix. You need to place the seed tray in a place where it can receive a good amount of sunlight. The seed will germinate within seven days to 6 weeks.

You need to transplant the seedling after the last frost or mainly when the outside temperature is 60 degrees Fahrenheit.

But this process will take a longer time to bear fruits.

Conclusion

Strawberries are simple-growing plants. It produces juicy and nutritious fruit, which most people like. But in order to have a bountiful harvest, a gardener should know when to plant strawberries in NC.

Well, I have discussed all such things above. You can follow them to grow a lot of strawberries this year in your garden.

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