When To Plant Strawberries In Virginia

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Strawberries are a delicious and versatile fruit that can be enjoyed fresh, used in desserts, or made into preserves. If you’re a resident of Virginia and want to grow your own strawberries, you might be wondering what is the best time of year to plant them. 

The best time to plant these delicious fruits is in early Spring, between mid-March and early April, after the last frost, giving the strawberries time to establish their root systems before the warmth of Summer arrives.

When To Plant Strawberries In Virginia

You can set your strawberry plants up for success by understanding the ideal planting window and considering Virginia weather patterns.

In this article, we’ll look at when to plant strawberries in Virginia, provide growing advice, and answer some frequently asked questions to help you with this topic. 

When Is The Best Time Of The Year?

Strawberries are best planted in Virginia in early spring. The exact timing will vary depending on your location within the state, but as a general rule, plant your strawberries in March or early April. 

This timing allows the plants to establish their roots before summer’s warmer temperatures arrive. Planting strawberries in early spring gives them a head start and increases their chances of a bountiful harvest.

Weather Patterns In Virginia

It’s critical to consider Virginia weather patterns when deciding when to plant strawberries.

The state has a humid subtropical climate with hot, humid summers and mild winters. Virginia is divided into three distinct climatic regions: Tidewater, Piedmont, and Appalachian.

Compared to the Piedmont and Appalachian regions, the Tidewater region, including coastal areas, has milder winters and longer growing seasons.

Strawberries can be planted as early as March in the Tidewater region, taking advantage of the warmer temperatures and longer growing seasons.

The Piedmont region encompasses the state’s central region and has mild winters. Strawberries should be planted in this region in mid to late March when the soil has thawed and is workable.

Compared to the other regions, the Appalachian region, located in the western part of the state, has cooler temperatures and shorter growing seasons.

Strawberries are best planted in this region in late March or early April after the last frost date has passed

When To Plant Strawberries In Virginia

What Are The Best Types Of Strawberries To Grow In Virginia?

When choosing strawberry varieties to grow in Virginia, ensure they are well-suited to the region’s climate and conditions. Here are some suggestions we would recommend: 

  • Chandler
  • Sweet Charlie
  • Ozark Beauty
  • Allstar

When choosing strawberry varieties for your Virginia garden, consider taste preference, yield, and disease resistance. For specific recommendations based on your location within the state, contact local nurseries or cooperative extension offices.

Growing Tips

So, now that we’ve covered some of the most common weather patterns in the State of Virginia and the best time of year to plant strawberries let’s look at some additional tips for planting strawberries throughout Virginia.

Here are some important things to remember to get great, healthy strawberries.

Choosing A Site

Strawberries require at least six to eight hours of direct sunlight daily, so choose a location with full sun exposure. Ensure the soil is well-draining to prevent waterlogged roots.

Soil Preparation

Ensure you treat the soil with organic matter like Ribbon Organics OMRI Certified Organic Compost before planting to improve fertility rates and drainage. Try to get to a slightly acidic soil pH of 6.0 to 6.5.

Planting Technique

Make a hole large enough to accommodate the strawberry plant’s roots, ensuring the crown (where the leaves meet the roots) is flush with the soil’s surface.

Plants should be spaced 12 to 18 inches apart in rows, with rows 3 to 4 feet apart.

Watering/Mulching

Maintain consistent moisture levels in the plants, particularly during dry periods. Mulch the plants with straw or pine needles to keep weeds at bay, conserve moisture, and protect the fruit from direct soil contact.

A popular mulch is the Wood Smith USA 100% Natural Cedar Shavings.

Pest And Disease Control

Regularly inspect your plants for signs of pests, for example, aphids or slugs, and deal with any infestations as soon as possible.

Gray mold (Botrytis fruit rot) and powdery mildew are two common diseases that affect strawberries. Consult your local cooperative extension office for appropriate control measures if necessary.

Bonide Captain Jack’s Copper Fungicide effectively controls and prevents a wide range of plant diseases and is approved for organic gardening.

Fertilizer

Follow the package directions when applying a balanced strawberry fertilizer like Espoma Organic Berry-Tone Natural & Organic Fertilizer.

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

Overfertilization should be avoided because it can result in excessive foliage growth and decreased fruit production.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is It a Good Idea to Plant Strawberries In Containers In Virginia?

Growing strawberries in containers is a good way of creating a successful crop. Use a potting mix with draining capabilities and a container that is at least 12 inches deep.

Ensure that your container receives adequate sunlight and that no part of the plant is obscured, as well as water your plants regularly. 

Can I Grow Strawberries From Seeds In Virginia?

While it’s possible for you to grow strawberries from seeds, it’s not the most efficient method for getting good fruit.

Strawberries are most commonly propagated through runners or by purchasing young plants from a nursery.

Check above in the article for some of the best varieties that are suited for growing in the state of Virginia. 

How Can I Protect My Strawberry Plants From Frost?

Frost is something that can affect plants if you get an unlucky late bout predicted.

To combat this, you’ll want to cover the plants overnight with row covers, cloths, or blankets to protect them from these freezing temperatures.

CJGQ Freeze Protection Plant Covers are a popular and effective method to protect your outdoor plants from cold winter weather.

Make sure to remove the covers during the day to allow for sunlight and air circulation.

Final Thoughts 

We hope that this article has told you everything you wanted to know. Growing strawberries in Virginia can be a rewarding and fruitful endeavor.

By planting at the right time, considering the weather, and considering some of the above tips, you can avoid many common pitfalls that novice gardeners fall into.

Good luck and happy planting.

Further Recommendations:

Video: How to Plant Strawberries in Zone 7

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