Fall planted Strawberries

Asked September 15, 2013, 12:10 PM EDT

We live near Monroe, and are setting up a Square Foot Garden in raised beds. Also, we are Snowbirds who spend November through April in Southern California, and therefore unable to do any early spring planting in Oregon. I would like to plant strawberries in one bed this fall, hoping they would over-winter and produce a crop next year. Is it possible to fall-plant strawberries here? How about strawberry plugs, such as here: http://store.isons.com/strawberry-plugs They claim you can plant this fall and harvest next spring. Thanks for your help

Benton County Oregon fruits and vegetables horticulture

2 Responses

Hello and thank you for your question. I went to the website you provided and looked at it. I have not been able to find anything that says that you can't plant strawberry plants in the fall. I have included a website for an OSU Extension Publication that you should read before making your decision to do so however. June bearing strawberries set the buds for the following year's fruit in late summer. If you plant plugs in the fall you may not get a crop the first year as the plant will not have time to set these buds prior to the following fruiting season.. There are two other types of strawberries, day neutral and everbearers. Day neutral berries are the best selection if you want fruit all summer long as they produce continually until the first frost. Everbearers produce two crops, one in June and one in the fall. June bearers produce fruit in that month. I have taken daughter plants of a day neutral variety and planted them in the fall in my own raised beds. I did not have great results. The plants survived but did not produce well and produced later than expected. Please read the following OSU publication prior to making your decision of when and what to plant. http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/xmlui/bitstream/handle/1957/37359/ec1307.pdf This is a publication that has many valuable details about growing strawberries in Oregon. I have other two concerns about the possible success of planting plugs that you mention and then leaving them unattended until you return in the spring. The first concern is weed competition particularly with plants just getting started. The publication at the above address mentions that strawberries do not do well competing with weeds because of their shallow root system. Weeds also can harbor pests that can be detrimental to young strawberry plants. Therefore you may want to put down some type of mulch that will reduce weed competition so the new plants will not get overwhelmed while you are not here to weed. Mulch comes with a caution as it can hide slugs which could seriously damage or destroy young plants that are unattended. The second concern is selection of a strawberry variety that will do well here in Oregon. The website you directed me to had varieties that I am not familiar with. While they may do OK here I think your best success will be with varieties known to do well in our environment. http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/xmlui/bitstream/handle/1957/19847/ec1618-e.pdf. This publication also from OSU Extension will give you a detailed discussion of various strawberry varieties that are suitable for our climate. I hope that this information helps you.

thanks so much for your detailed reply to my question about fall planted strawberries. I am still thinking about it, looking at it like this: they might not perform very well, or might even die, but what if they do give at least some first year crop? It would be really wonderful to come home in the Spring to something ready to eat from my new Square Foot Garden. If they don't do well, I will plant more in the Spring, in the more usual fashion. About the only other thing I will be able to plant before leaving in November is garlic, shallots, and some overwintering sugar snap peas from Territorial Seed. Again, thanks for helping. Patty Rowe