There are 3 types of the common strawberry: Junebearing, Everbearing and Day-Neutral.  Commonly in catalogs the Day Neutral are combined with the Everbearing under a single heading of Everbearing.  But beware as they are different in their habits and production.

The Junebearing produce a single crop each year over about a 2-3 week period usually in June.  Within this grouping are early, mid and late season varieties so that by planting different cultivars you could extend the season from June all the way through July (in theory).  It takes about 28 days from initial flowering to ripe fruit and warm weather can induce early flowering in April.  Because of our tendency to get late frosts and even freezes throughout April and May the early season Junebearers could be frozen out so that you have partial or total crop failure. One way around this would be the use of floating row covers but most people do not want to go to that much trouble. I  find that the biggest problem is not so much with the freeze or frost but with the several cold days that are usually associated with it.   Most strawberry pollination is by bees and honey bees will not leave the hive to do their job at temperatures under 55 degrees.  The native bees are somewhat less cold sensitive but you can see that incomplete or inadequate pollination over a few cold days can dramatically reduce yield.  Junebearing strawberries will give their first crop in the year after they are planted.  Junebearers are also notable in that they have very heavy runner production.

The Everbearing strawberries really aren’t “everbearing” as the name implies.  More accurately they should be called “dual cropping”. They produce a June or early crop and then a smaller fall crop.  Each cultivar is a little different as to how close to long days it starts back up production and how long that production lasts in the fall.  Everbearing will usually give a small crop in the fall of the same year they are planted

The Day Neutrals are truly “everbearing” and are the latest in strawberry varieties to be invented. They do not depend on day length to initiate flowering will produce starting in June through summer and fall all the way up to frost. They are notable for having poor runner production.

Your choice of type of strawberry will depend on how you want to use them and your available gardening time.  If you like to make jams, jellies and preserves, along with maybe freezing some for later use then Junebearers are the way to go.  This also concentrates most of your labor for a short period in the summer.

If you want to do the above and also have a few fresh crops in the end of summer then the Everbearers are for you.  If you love and want fresh strawberries available all the time then Day-neutrals are the ticket, just remember you will be picking once or twice a week all season.

Of course the above is dependent on how many plants you are growing and how good your cultural practices are, which in turn can greatly affect size and quality.  For constant fresh eating 50 plants of Day Neutrals will keep a family of 4 very well supplied. If you want extras to can a little and some occasional pies then up it to 100 plants.

Since we have a never ending appetite for strawberries we are growing a June bearing crop so we can preserve the year’s worth at one time and also a Day Neutral crop so we can always have them for fresh eating and sharing with friends.

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