Mark your calendar on the best time when to plant strawberries in Michigan, which is early in April. If you’re in the Great Lake state, you’ll be pleased to know that strawberries will thrive in any of its counties. However, to stand out among Michigan’s strawberry farmers, you want to ensure that you’ll provide the plants’ ideal conditions to stay productive.
Much like growing strawberries in Nebraska, your likelihood of success in Michigan is higher if you anticipate potential problems. Strawberries will already do well amidst Michigan winters because they are meant for hardiness zones 3 to 11, but proper timing of planting and practices will dictate your strawberries’ survival. Additionally, your area’s planting zone can also affect the time of planting and additional methods for your strawberry garden.
When To Plant Strawberries In Michigan: What You Need To Know
Generally speaking, the best time to plant strawberries in Michigan is in April, better yet, early in this month. This is because it is around this time when the ground becomes workable for planting. However, do check the conditions yourself, and you can start in the greenhouse if you think it’s too risky for your crops.
Upper vs lower Michigan peninsula
Besides the soil’s workability after winter, your region also dictates the best time on when to plant. Those in the upper peninsula of Michigan should have stopped their production at the end of July. Usually, their strawberries ripen in the middle of July as well.
On the contrary, you can start planting early in June if you are in the lower peninsula. The winters in the northern part of Michigan can be challenging, so you’ll notice that most of the strawberries in Michigan are from the southwestern parts. However, this doesn’t mean that those in Northern regions will not be able to produce well.
You can also check the varieties of strawberries that will do well in your climate to ensure that they will thrive in the garden.
Zones 3 to 10
The growing zone is another significant factor in when to start and end the strawberry season. Those in zone 6 start the earliest in March, followed by zone 5 in April. Zones 3 to 4 can start planting in May, and zones 7 to 10 start in December.
Michigan’s ratings are from zones 4a to 6b, so be sure to check your location and plan your strawberry planting accordingly.
Planting Strawberries In Michigan
Best strawberries for Michigan
Both June-bearing and ever-bearing strawberry varieties will grow well in Michigan. The former is best if you want to get one large crop around the middle of June, while the latter will provide yields in spring and early fall, depending on daylight hours. For June-bearing cultivars, Michigan growers usually plant Allstar, Jewel, Cavendish, and Annapolis to handle zones 3 to 8 compared to the previous two that are best for zones 4 to 8.
Speaking of which, the best cultivars for day-neutral varieties in Michigan are Tribute, and Tristar, which are also hardy for zones 4 to 8. Compared to ever-bearing strawberries, one can conclude that day-neutral types are their improved version. They are more productive and can even perform well amidst cold periods, which is advantageous in Michigan.
When it comes to preparing the strawberries site, ensure that the soil is consistently moist and drains well. You can add organic compost into the ground, especially if it is sandy, to improve its quality. On the other hand, you can loosen your clay soil since this type is usually dense.
You can also check the soil’s pH level since strawberries thrive in 5.3 to 6.5, which is slightly acidic. Lastly, the strawberries’ ideal location would be an area that receives 8 hours of sunlight so that they will be more productive in bearing fruits.
As discussed earlier on, early in April is the best time to plant strawberries in Michigan. This way, they can get established well at the beginning of the season. You want to grow them deep enough so the roots won’t dry out but not too deep that the leaves get buried and cause rot.
You want the surface of the ground to meet the midpoint of the plant crown. Afterward, don’t forget to water the strawberries well to help them get established and then firm the soil around them to keep them stable and get rid of air pockets.
Depending on what varieties you have, you should plan the planting system for your strawberries. June-bearing plants are for matted rows while ever-bearing and day-neutral varieties are meant for hills. June-bearing types should fill the rows with runners, but you must cut the runners off in ever-bearing and day-neutral strawberries.
If you plan on growing crops in the Great Lake state, strawberries are among the best choices. But do you know when to plant strawberries in Michigan? Ideally, early April is when strawberry season starts in this state.
However, it still depends on your soil’s workability, so you can use a greenhouse to prevent delays if necessary. Your region and hardiness zone also affect when you should start planting, so June planting is also possible. Afterward, remember the growing requirements of your strawberries to ensure their success.
Michigan is feasible for strawberries, but proper preparation and practices will make or break your plants’ productivity.