When To Plant Strawberries In Kentucky

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When To Plant Strawberries In Kentucky

Strawberries are known for being hardy plants and excellent for handling the cold. Not only that, but everyone loves strawberries, right?

If you have ever wanted to grow strawberries in Kentucky but have many questions, you’re in the right place! While there is a lot that we could talk about here, we will focus on when you should be planting your strawberries in the state of Kentucky. 

So, if that sounds like something you need to know, just keep reading! Let’s dive in.

In Kentucky, strawberries are usually planted in early Spring between mid to late March, a few weeks before the last frost, as it gives the plants some time to establish their roots before the heat of summer.

Some Great Strawberry Varieties To Try Growing

There are lots of fantastic strawberry varieties that are known to be easy to grow, like the ones listed below. It’s important to note that the best choice for people who live in colder climates will be the plants that produce fruit shortly after blooming. 

While strawberries do well in the cold, you still want to give them the best chance possible – especially if you do not use a greenhouse. 

Try growing these easy strawberry varieties:

  • Tribute – usually produces fruit 6–7 weeks once it blooms
  • Quinault – usually produces fruit 6–7 weeks once it blooms
  • Ozark Beauty – usually produces fruit 6–7 weeks once it blooms
  • Albion – usually produces fruit 5–6 weeks once it blooms
  • Seascape – usually produces fruit 5–6 weeks once it blooms
  • Allstar – usually produces fruit in 5–6 weeks once it blooms
  • Jewel – usually produces fruit 5–6 weeks once it blooms
  • Chandler – usually produces fruit in 4–5 weeks once it blooms
  • Honeoye – usually produces fruit 4–5 weeks once it blooms
  • Earliglow – usually produces fruit 2–3 weeks once it blooms

When Should You Plant Strawberries In Kentucky?

Since strawberries are usually resilient plants, they do well when planted in the early spring when you can work the soil. This is typically a few weeks before the last estimated frost and gives the plants plenty of time to establish their roots before the heat of summer comes along. 

While these plants are hardy, they can be damaged by cold first and cold snaps. As such, it is best not to pick a date you know will work.

Of course, this also depends on the strawberry variety, as some are much more resistant to cold damage than others

Generally, you can expect to plant your strawberries around the 31st of March if you are in Zone 6 and March 13th if you are in Zone 7.

No matter your strawberry type, you should ensure that you protect your plants from the weather by giving them cover. You may need protective coverings or blankets if you suddenly expect frost. A popular solution is the HAINANSTRY Plant Covers Freeze Protection.

If you live somewhere with a short growing season, planting your strawberries in raised beds or containers could also be worth planting. This would ensure that, if need be, they could be moved indoors and protected from the weather should the worst happen.

The Land Guard Galvanized Raised Garden Bed Kit is an economical, DIY and popular raised bed option for growing strawberries outdoors at home.

*For our top recommended raised garden beds for seniors, please see 5 Best Raised Garden Beds for Seniors: Comfortable and Easy-to-Use Options

When To Plant Strawberries In Kentucky

Planting Strawberries Indoors

It is rare for strawberries to be planted indoors. This is because strawberry seeds tend to have a very low germination rate and require lots of attention to germinate successfully.

Rather than struggling to germinate seeds at home, it is more common to purchase strawberry seedlings from nurseries. 

This certainly takes a lot of stress away from the process and allows you to work with strawberry plants that are likely to flourish. The process of germinating seeds is often more trouble than it’s worth, but it can be done if you have the patience to do it! 

If you do wish to germinate your own strawberry seeds and plant them indoors, you should do this in the late winter and early spring. This should be around 6–8 weeks before you expect your last frost

For people in Kentucky, this will be roughly February 24th for Zone 6 and February 6th in Zone 7. If you are experiencing abnormal weather, pay close attention to what is happening and act accordingly – it isn’t always an exact science!

Make sure that you use a seed starting mix that is high-quality, well-draining, and light. You want to give your strawberry seeds the best possible chance to succeed, and the soil should be nicely aerated for proper germination. 

Ensuring you have well-fertilized and optimal soil is also crucial for your strawberry’s health.

*For our top-tested fertilizer recommendations, please see the article Best Organic Fertilizers for Strawberries: Boost Your Crop Yield Naturally.

Ensure you sow your seeds around ¼ inch deep and cover them lightly with soil. When you water them, make sure you do it gently so that you do not disturb the seeds. This is especially important when they start taking root!

Dr. Earth Gold Premium Potting Soil is a popular, premium soil that perfectly matches your herbs, vegetables, indoor gardens, all container plants and flowers.

Once sowed, ensure the seeds get at least 12 hours of light daily. This can be from growing lights or sunlight, so long as they get light. Try to keep the temperature between 60–70°F (15–21°C), as this will aid in germination.

When To Transplant Strawberries

You should consider transplanting your germinated strawberries when they have two sets of true leaves. Only at this point should they be moved to individual pots or a larger container of your choosing. 

To harden off your plants, slowly leave them outside for a few hours every day. This will gradually get them used to the cooler temperatures. After a few weeks, you can move them outdoors to wherever you would like to keep them permanently. 

It’s important to remember that germinating your own strawberries can be a real challenge. However, it is not impossible by any means! Just know that purchasing established plants from a nursery would be much easier.

Final Thoughts

Strawberries are generally a very easy plant to grow and care for, especially if you do not germinate the seeds yourself at home. When you buy young strawberry plants from the nursery, you can just right into it and plant them once they have been hardened off 

Germinating strawberries at home is not impossible, but it can be a lot of work. If you do choose to do this, you should aim to start the seeds around February 24th for Zone 6 and February 6th for Zone 7.

For young strawberry plants, you should aim to plant them around March 31st for Zone 6, and March 13th for Zone 7.

Further Recommendations:

Video: Growing Strawberries in Kentucky

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