Strawberry cultivation as annuals
I am growing in a community garden so I am only able to grow strawberries as annual crops. I have a few questions:
First, what is the difference between "day neutral" and "everbearing" for the non-june bearing varieties?
Second, The UMD page for strawberries recommends pinching off buds before early July, and I was wondering if this advice holds if I am interested exclusively in a first-year crop? I imagine it would increase fall and next-spring production, but if I am unable to benefit from the next-spring production I was thinking it might be better to get whatever spring and early-summer production I can from the first year.
Finally, I am wondering why the particular recommended everbearing types are recommended in small fruit pamphlet HG68. Why Tristar/Tribute over Eversweet (said to be especially heat tolerant) and Seascape (recommended to commercial growers in MD in "Season-Long Strawberry Production by Lantz et al.)? Would a different type than Tristar/Tribute be recommended for maximizing first year production? Thanks!
Montgomery County Maryland
Everbearing is a type of Day-neutral. Day-neutrals were developed first. Read through the History section of "Season-Long Strawberry Production with Everbearers" for details.
The pinching recommendation is intended for first year perennial strawberries. If you intend to grow an everbearing variety for a spring-fall annual crop, that is a different production method. Follow the recommendations in the "Season-Long" publication.
Our website does not give recommendations for Everbearing varieties, because June Bearing and Day-neutral are recommended as best for typical home gardeners in Maryland. Although we mention that Day-neutral can be grown as an annual (one year), the one year begins with fall planting and harvest the next spring-summer, not spring planting and summer-fall harvest. Because you are in a situation where you must adjust to an unusual growing condition (spring to fall only), growing an everbearing variety from spring to fall is a good choice for you. Use the above publication as your guide. "Seascape" is the preferred everbearing variety for the East Coast.