Gardeners will know when to plant strawberries in Nebraska, depending on the growing zone of their area. Therefore, you can either plant in early May or early April in the tree planter state. Like understanding the best vegetables to grow in Nebraska, it will also work to your advantage if you know the best strawberry varieties for the state and awareness of when to plant the fruits.
The University of Nebraska Lincoln Extension recommends eight strawberry varieties, including Tristar and Earliglow, that will thrive in Nebraska. And since this fruit is perennial, you want to take care of them for years of production. Like most crops, you can protect them against the extreme outdoor conditions in Nebraska by greenhouse gardening.
When To Plant Strawberries In Nebraska And Growing Tips
The proper timing and practices in growing strawberries in Nebraska will help you get the most of this perennial fruit. Besides knowing the exact month of when to plant strawberries in Nebraska, you must know the explanation behind this. At the same time, gardeners need to adapt to their area accordingly.
When can you start planting in Nebraska?
You can start planting strawberries in Nebraska either in early May or early April. This is because the state has four zones composed of 4a, 4b, 5a, and 5b. If you are in zone 4, you can start planting early in May until the middle of the month, and for those in zone 5, it’s from early April to early May.
In general, most of Nebraska will experience -20 to -10°F in winter. Therefore, you want to protect your strawberries from these extremely low temperatures by using a greenhouse. You can refer to Krostrade.com to know more about greenhouse gardening for the protection and productivity of crops amidst extreme conditions.
How to plant strawberries in Nebraska?
The Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources of UNL has pointers for a successful strawberry garden in Nebraska. Start by choosing a location that receives full sun and has a well-drained sandy loam soil with a pH between 6 to 6.5. It will also help to have 2% organic matter content before you start planting.
The extension warned about frost pockets in low lying areas, which can cause frost injury to the fruits. This is where a greenhouse can help protect your strawberries as they begin blooming in early spring. For watering and feeding, ensure proper irrigation and use a complete fertilizer before planting.
Can I Plant Strawberries Right Now?
It’s best to plant strawberries either in April or May during spring in Nebraska. Once summer comes from July to August, gardeners usually maintain their garden instead. This includes cultivating, watering, fertilizing the area, and controlling pests such as mites.
The middle of August and September is suitable for fertilizing. You can also begin thinning the strawberries in September to about four plants per square foot. The pests that you must be on the lookout for this month are nematodes.
What Is The Best Place To Plant Strawberries?
The best place to plant strawberries is an area that receives at least 6 hours of direct sunlight every day. As mentioned earlier, the sandy loam soil must have an organic matter to encourage healthy growth. Additionally, you must avoid planting in a garden that you’ve previously used for crops like tomatoes, eggplant, melons, and roses because fungi might still be present.
The best temperature for planting strawberries is from 60 to 80°F. While the plants can tolerate low winter temperatures in Nebraska, berries can still get damaged around -10°F. On the other hand, day-neutral strawberries will not bud when the temperatures reach above 85°F
How Many Strawberries Do You Get From One Plant?
A plant can produce a quart of strawberries during a three to the four-week harvesting season. This amount will depend on whether the growing conditions are ideal and if it is under a regular production model. If you want to grow berries for your family, you must have a 15-foot row of plants to produce enough berries for four family members.
Can You Eat First Year Strawberries?
Usually, you won’t be able to get any strawberries in the first year of production. Experts recommend pinching the flowers in the first year to encourage root establishment and bud formation for harvest in the next year. This is true if you plant in spring, but berries that you plant before winter can yield the following spring.
Overall, many factors can affect the production of your plants. You will have a better yield of fruits if you allow the plants to develop healthy roots in the first year. But it’s also worth noting that the type of strawberries and cultivars you’ll plant will also determine how long you will wait before full production.
The tree planter state is not just feasible for the production of vegetables. Knowing when to plant strawberries in Nebraska will allow you to take advantage of this perennial for years. Nebraska is under zones 4 to 5, and you can either plant your berries in early May or early April and use a greenhouse to protect against frost.
It’s also worth noting to let the plants establish themselves in the first year. Therefore, refrain from harvesting the berries in the first year.