By: Mary H. Dyer, Credentialed Garden Writer
If you’re a northern climate gardener and you’re in the market for hardy, disease-resistant strawberries, Northeaster strawberries (Fragaria ‘Northeaster’) may be just the ticket. Read on to learn about growing Northeaster strawberries in your garden.
Strawberry ‘Northeaster’ Info
This June-bearing strawberry, released by the U.S. Department of Agriculture in 1996, is suitable for growing in USDA plant hardiness zones 4 through 8. It has gained favor for its generous yields and large, sweet, juicy berries, which are delicious baked, eaten raw, or incorporated into jams and jellies.
Northeaster strawberry plants reach heights of about 8 inches (20 cm.), with a spread of 24 inches. (60 cm.). Although the plant is grown primarily for sweet fruit, it is also attractive as a groundcover, along borders, or in hanging baskets or containers. Dainty white flowers with bright yellow eyes appear from mid- to late spring.
How to Grow Northeaster Strawberries
Prepare the soil ahead of time by working in a generous amount of compost or well-rotted manure. Dig a hole large enough to accommodate the roots, then form a mound in the bottom of the hole.
Plant the strawberry in the hole with the roots spread evenly over the mound and the crown slightly above soil level. Allow 12 to 18 inches (12-45 cm.) between plants.
Northeaster strawberry plants tolerate full sun to partial shade. They are fairly picky about soil, performing best in moist, rich, alkaline conditions, but they don’t tolerate standing water.
Northeaster strawberry plants are self-pollinating.
Northeaster Berry Care
Remove all blooms the first year. Preventing the plant from fruiting pays off with a vigorous plant and healthy yields for several years to come.
Mulch Northeaster strawberry plants to conserve moisture and prevent the berries from resting on the soil.
Water regularly to keep the soil evenly moist but not soggy.
Northeaster strawberry plants develop lots of runners. Train them to grow outward and press them into the soil, where they will root and develop new plants.
Feed Northeaster strawberry plants every spring, using a balanced, organic fertilizer.
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Read more about Strawberry Plants
List of Strawberry Types
Prior to browsing our table of strawberry varieties, it is important to review the three types of strawberries. Strawberry plants can be either June-bearing (June bearing), everbearing (ever-bearing), or day-neutral (day neutral).
June-bearing strawberry varieties:
Any list of strawberry varieties will probably contain more June-bearing strawberry varieties than any other. June bearers are tremendously popular and common. They typically produce the largest strawberries, and do so over a period of two to three weeks, on average. Most June bearing strawberry varieties produce a harvest around the month of June, hence the name. However, strawberry varieties are further classified into Early Season, Midseason, and Late Season. By selecting strawberry plant varieties that produce during different parts of the season, you can prolong your harvest and enjoy fresh strawberries for an extended period of time. June bearing strawberries are most often of the Garden Strawberry variety (Fragaria x ananassa). June bearing strawberries are often planted using the matted row system.
For reference, each of the June bearing strawberry types generally sets fruit for a total of 10 to 14 days. Early Season strawberry varieties usually begin fruiting in late spring. Early Midseason strawberry varieties begin fruiting about 5 days after Early Season varieties. Midseason strawberry varieties begin producing approximately 8 days after Early Season varieties. Late Midseason strawberry varieties begin fruiting about 10 days after Early Season varieties, and Late Season strawberry varieties begin their berry production about 14 days after the Early Season varieties.
Everbearing strawberry varieties:
Everbearing strawberries aren’t really “everbearing.” They generally produce two harvests per year: one in the spring and another in the late summer or fall. Under ideal conditions, it is possible for some everbearing varieties to produce three berry harvests. Most everbearing strawberry types are also Fragaria x ananassa hybrids, but some are of the species Fragaria vesca. In general, everbearing varieties put out less runners than the June bearing varieties, as most of the plant’s productive energy is directed toward producing multiple strawberry harvests. Everbearing strawberries are often planted using the hill system or in locations where space is limited.
Day-neutral strawberry varieties:
Day neutral strawberry plants are unique. Unlike June bearing varieties, day neutral strawberries will produce a good yield in the first year they are planted. They flower and set strawberries whenever the temperature is between 35 and 85 degrees. They will still be producing fruit in October during milder years. The drawback to day neutral strawberry plants is that they produce smaller strawberries than do the June bearing and everbearing strawberry varieties. Their fruit is usually small to medium in size, rarely exceeding one inch. Day neutral strawberry varieties are often planted using the hill system or in locations where space is limited.