When to Plant Strawberries in Seattle: The Best Time and Tips for a Successful Harvest



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When to Plant Strawberries in Seattle - Seattle at Night

Are you a Seattle gardener looking to grow your own strawberries? Knowing when to plant strawberries is key to a successful harvest. The Pacific Northwest climate can be tricky, but you can enjoy juicy, homegrown strawberries all summer with the right timing and techniques.

The ideal time to plant strawberries in Seattle is in late February or early March. This allows the plants to establish themselves before the warmer weather arrives. When planting strawberries, be sure to space the plants about 18-24 inches apart in rows that are five feet apart.

Place each plant at least three inches deep and fill the hole with soil. With proper spacing, your plants will have enough room to grow and produce a bountiful harvest.

Seattle’s Climate and Growing Season – The Best Time to Grow Strawberries

When it comes to growing strawberries in Seattle, it’s important to understand the climate and growing season in the area. Seattle has a temperate maritime climate, with mild, wet winters and cool, dry summers. 

The growing season in Seattle typically runs from March to November, with the peak growing season occurring in the summer months of June, July, and August.

If you plan to grow strawberries in the Pacific Northwest and plant strawberries in Seattle, it’s important to remember that the climate can be unpredictable.

While Seattle generally has mild temperatures, it can experience sudden temperature drops and heavy rainfall, especially during winter. This can affect the timing of when you should plant your strawberries.

If you want to plant new plants, the ideal time to plant strawberries in Seattle is early to mid-spring when the soil has a temperature of at least 40 degrees Fahrenheit.

This is typically around March or April. However, monitoring the weather forecast and avoiding planting during heavy rainfall or cold snaps is important.

During summer, strawberries in Seattle will typically ripen and be ready for harvest in June and July.

With the proper care and attention, you can extend the growing season and enjoy fresh strawberries well into the fall months of September and October.

When to Plant Strawberries in Seattle - Growing Strawberries in a nursery

Various Methods of Growing Strawberries, From the Garden to Raised Bed.

There are several methods for growing strawberries in Seattle, including:

  1. Raised Bed Method: Plant strawberries in a raised garden bed with a well-draining soil mix. The raised bed provides better drainage and soil quality and easier access for maintenance. The Land Guard Galvanized Raised Garden Bed Kit is an economical, DIYand popular raised bed option for growing strawberries outdoors.
  2. Container Method: This involves growing strawberries in plastic, wood, ceramic, or terra cotta pots. The container should have drainage holes, and high-quality potting soil and fertilizer should be used. Pots are an effective method if you want to overwinter strawberries. If space is tight, the Mr. Stacky 5-Tier Strawberry Planter Pot system is a popular verticle home growing solution.
  3. Matted Row System: This method is generally best for June-bearing strawberries, which produce ample runners. Plant the strawberry plants 1 foot apart in rows 3 to 4 feet apart, and many runners are then allowed to spread and fill in the rows.
  4. Hill System: This method involves planting strawberries in hills or mounds, with two rows of plants per hill in a staggered pattern. All runners are removed from every strawberry plant in the hill system as soon as they are identified.
  5. Greenhouse Method: This involves growing strawberries in a greenhouse nursery, which provides a controlled environment for the plants and protects them from pests, diseases, and weather conditions. Your chances of growing the best strawberries are significantly increased. Ohuhu Walk-in Plant Greenhouses is an inexpensive, popular choice for small-scale, home growing of strawberries.

The chosen method will depend on available space, soil quality, and personal preference. 

Seattle’s climate and growing season are well-suited for growing strawberries, but it’s important to pay attention to the weather and adjust your planting and harvesting schedule accordingly.

By planting your strawberries in early to mid-spring and providing them with the proper care and attention, you can enjoy fresh, delicious strawberries throughout the growing season and into the fall.

Choosing the Right Variety of Strawberries – What is the Best Type of Strawberry Plant?

When planting strawberries in Seattle, choosing the right variety is crucial. There are three main types of strawberries: Everbearing, June-bearing, and day-neutral.

Each type has unique characteristics, so choosing the one that best suits your needs is essential.

Everbearing Strawberries

Everbearing strawberries produce crops bi-annually, one in June and another in early October. They are a good choice for gardeners who want a more extended harvest season.

These varieties have smaller yields than June-bearing strawberries, but they are easier to maintain and do not require replanting as often.

June-Bearing Strawberries

June-bearing strawberries produce one large crop in June, making them popular for many gardeners. These varieties have the highest yields and are great for making jams and preserves.

However, they require more maintenance and should be replanted every 3-5 years to maintain productivity.

Day-Neutral Strawberries

Day-neutral strawberries produce fruit continuously through summer and into early fall (October). They are a good choice for gardeners who want a steady supply of strawberries throughout the growing season.

These varieties have smaller yields than June-bearing strawberries, but they are easier to maintain and do not require replanting as often.

When choosing a variety of strawberries, it’s also important to consider whether they are self-fertile. Self-fertile varieties do not require a second plant for pollination, while non-self-fertile varieties require a second plant of a different variety for pollination.

Choosing the right variety of strawberries is crucial for a successful harvest. Please consider your needs and preferences when selecting a variety, and choose one well-suited for the Seattle climate.

When to Plant Strawberries in Seattle - Growing Strawberries in Seattle

Preparing the Soil for Fresh, Sweet Strawberries

When planting strawberries in Seattle, it’s important to prepare the soil properly to ensure healthy growth and a bountiful harvest. Here are some steps you can take to prepare your soil:


First, you can choose a location with well-drained soil that receives full sun. Strawberries prefer moist, well-drained soil, so make sure the soil doesn’t become waterlogged.

If your soil is heavy clay, you may need to amend it with sand or perlite to improve drainage.

Organic Matter

Incorporating organic matter into your soil is essential for growing healthy strawberries. Organic matter helps improve soil structure, fertility, and water-holding capacity.

Add organic matter as compost, animal manure, or leaf mold. Compost like Ribbon Organics OMRI Certified Organic Compost is an excellent choice because it’s inexpensive and easy to find. It also provides a balanced mix of nutrients that strawberries need to grow.


To add compost to your soil, spread a layer over the planting area and work it into the top 6-8 inches of soil. You can also mix in a slow-release organic fertilizer at this time, following the directions on the package.

Soil-Building Conditioner

Another option is to use a soil-building conditioner, a blend of organic matter, minerals, and other nutrients. Soil-building conditioners are designed to improve soil fertility and structure over time.

They’re easy to use; spread them over the planting area and work them into the topsoil.


If you choose to use a fertilizer, make sure it’s formulated for strawberries and follow the directions on the package carefully. Over-fertilizing can damage your plants or cause them to produce fewer berries.

A popular fertilizer for strawberries is Espoma Organic Berry-Tone Natural & Organic Fertilizer.

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

A general rule of thumb is to apply fertilizer once a month during the growing season.

Following these steps, you can create the ideal growing environment for your strawberries and enjoy a bountiful harvest.

Planting Strawberries – When is the Best Time to Plant Strawberries?

If you’re looking to plant strawberries in Seattle, there are a few things you need to know to ensure your plants thrive. Here are some tips for planting strawberries in the Pacific Northwest.

When to Plant Strawberries in Seattle - Picking Strawberries in Seattle

When to Plant

The best time to plant strawberries in Seattle is from late February to early March. You can also plant them in the fall before the first frost. Strawberries need cool temperatures to establish their roots, so avoid planting them in the summer.

Planting Location and Planting in Containers

Strawberries need full sun to grow, so choose a location with at least 6 hours of direct sunlight daily. If you have limited space, you can plant strawberries in containers.

Ceramic or terra cotta pots like the Orceler 6-inch Clay Pots with Saucer work well, but make sure they have drainage holes to prevent waterlogging. Use well-draining potting soil and make sure the container is at least 6-8 inches deep.

Planting Techniques

There are two main planting techniques for strawberries: the hill and the matted row systems. The hill system is best for small spaces and containers, while the matted row system is better for larger gardens.

For the hill system, plant one strawberry plant per container or space them 1 foot apart in rows 3-4 feet apart. For the matted row system, space the plants 18-24 inches apart in rows that are 5 feet apart. Ensure to soak the roots in water for a few hours before planting.

Maintenance and Care

It is essential that during the growing season, strawberries need regular watering. Drip watering or a soaker hose is best to avoid overhead watering, which can lead to fruit molding. Make sure to water deeply and consistently, especially during dry spells.

Strawberries also need regular pruning to remove excess runners and foliage. This helps to promote healthy growth and prevents the spread of pests and diseases. If you notice any signs of pests or diseases, such as yellowing leaves or moldy fruit, treat them immediately.


Strawberries are perennials, which means they will come back year after year. However, they should be replanted every 3-5 years to maintain healthy growth. Before replanting, sterilize the soil with a bleach solution to prevent the spread of diseases.

Planting strawberries in Seattle requires careful attention to location, planting techniques, and maintenance. But with the proper care, you can enjoy a bountiful harvest of delicious, juicy strawberries.

When to Plant Strawberries in Seattle - Fresh, Tasty Seattle Strawberries

Harvesting or Gathering Strawberries

When it comes to harvesting strawberries in Seattle, timing is everything. You want to make sure you pick the berries at the peak of ripeness to get the best flavor and sweetness. Here are some tips to help you harvest your strawberries:

  • Look for berries that are entirely red and have a shiny surface.
  • Gently pull the berry off the stem with your fingers. Avoid twisting or pulling too hard, as this can damage the plant.
  • Harvest your strawberries in the morning when they are cool and firm.
  • Avoid harvesting strawberries when wet, as this can cause them to spoil more quickly.
  • If you do not eat the strawberries immediately, store them in the refrigerator to keep them fresh.

Strawberries are a versatile fruit that can be used in various ways. They are perfect for desserts like pies, cakes, and ice cream, but they can also be used in salads or as a topping for yogurt or oatmeal.

When using strawberries in desserts, make sure to adjust the amount of sugar in the recipe based on the sweetness of the berries. If the strawberries are very sweet, you may need less sugar to balance the flavors.

Harvesting strawberries in Seattle is a fun and rewarding experience. With a little bit of patience and care, you can enjoy sweet and delicious berries all summer long.

Frequently Asked Questions

If you plan to grow strawberries in Seattle, you might have questions about when to plant them, how to care for them, and what to expect from your harvest.

Here are some frequently asked questions to help guide you:

How do I care for my strawberry plants?

To care for your strawberry plants, you should water them regularly, especially during dry spells. Be sure to water at the base of the plants, rather than overhead, to avoid wetting the leaves and causing disease.

You should also fertilize the plants every four to six weeks with a balanced fertilizer and prune off any dead or damaged leaves or runners. In addition, you can cover the plants with row covers or netting to protect them from birds and other pests.

How long does it take for strawberries to mature?

Strawberries typically take about four to six weeks to mature when they bloom. However, the exact timing can vary depending on the variety of strawberries, the weather conditions, and other factors. Once the berries are fully ripe, they should be picked promptly to avoid spoilage or pest damage.

How do I prepare the soil for planting strawberries?

Remove any weeds, rocks, or debris to prepare the soil for planting strawberries. Then, add a layer of compost or well-rotted manure to the soil to improve its fertility and drainage.

You can add a balanced fertilizer, like the Espoma Organic Berry-Tone Natural & Organic Fertilizer, to provide additional nutrients. Mix the amendments into the soil thoroughly, then rake the soil smooth before planting.

What are some common pests and diseases that affect strawberries?

Common strawberry pests include slugs, snails, aphids, and spider mites. You can use organic methods such as handpicking, trapping, or spraying with insecticidal soap to control these pests. Common diseases affecting strawberries include powdery mildew, gray mold, and verticillium wilt.

To prevent these diseases, you should avoid planting strawberries in areas where they have previously been grown and practice good sanitation by removing and destroying any infected plants or debris.

Final Thoughts

Congratulations! You now know the ideal time to plant strawberries in Seattle. Remember, the best time to plant strawberries is early to mid-spring when the soil has a temperature of at least 40 degrees Fahrenheit. Choosing well-drained soil and avoiding planting in areas with standing water is also essential.

When planting strawberries, space them 12-15 inches apart in mounded rows. Maintenance consists of removing all the runners that grow between the rows before they root, allowing the mother plant to focus on producing bigger and better fruit. Fertilize when planting and annually in April with an all-purpose or small-fruit fertilizer.

After 4-5 years, replant with new strawberry plants, as older plants will likely have diminished yields. It’s best to wait a few years before planting in the exact location due to pests and diseases that can build up in the soil. Raised beds are perfect for strawberries, but they can also be grown in containers if you don’t have enough space.

Overall, planting strawberries in Seattle is a simple and rewarding experience. You can enjoy delicious, juicy strawberries from your garden with the proper preparation and care. Happy planting! 

Further Recommendations:

Video: Pacific Northwest Strawberries

(Reference: UMN ExtensionPenn State Extension)

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6 responses to “When to Plant Strawberries in Seattle: The Best Time and Tips for a Successful Harvest”

  1. strawberry_shortcake Avatar

    OMG, this is so cool! strawberries are literally my life. can’t wait to grow my own and make endless strawberry shortcakes!!

  2. MoonBeam99 Avatar

    The idea of harvesting my own strawberries under the moonlight just feels so magical. Thanks for the inspiration!

  3. EcoWarriorx9000 Avatar

    Really appreciate the focus on organic matter and compost for enriching the soil. It’s crucial for sustainable gardening practices. Kudos!

  4. BerryLover76 Avatar

    Strawberries are my fave! I didn’t know there were so many ways to grow them. Can’t wait to try in my tiny garden.

    1. KitchenQueen Avatar

      Yesss, strawberries in every meal, please! 🍓

  5. GGuru92 Avatar

    Excellent breakdown on the strawberry varieties! I’ve had great success with June-bearing strawberries in my Seattle garden. Keep up the great work with these guides.

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