Choose Between Two Growing Methods
Most catalogues list two basic types of strawberries: June-bearing and everbearing. June-bearing strawberries produce a huge crop of berries in late spring or early summer, then may produce a few berries here and there for the rest of the season. Everbearing strawberries produce a good-sized crop in spring, but then they continue to produce berries regularly up until frost.
In most climates, gardeners can plant strawberries as perennials. In this method, strawberry plants are planted about 1-1/2' apart, in rows about 4' apart. The plants will grow until they eventually form thick, lush rows about 2' wide. As they grow, they spread by sending out runners, which root right in the garden bed and produce daughter plants.
By carefully managing a strawberry patch, a gardener growing strawberries as perennials can have berries for years to come, without ever having to buy another strawberry plant.
Strawberry plants that are to be treated as annuals are planted closer together than those that are left to grow as perennials. For annuals, mound or hill up rows of soil about 6" or 8" tall, spacing the rows about 2' apart. Set the strawberries about 12" apart down the length of each mounded row. In areas with mild winters, plants are set out in the fall for a spring harvest; in colder climates with winter freezes, strawberries are set out in spring for a summer harvest.
With the annual system, the strawberry plants are dug up and discarded after the harvest, and gardeners replant a crop of new, disease-free berries each year. It's an easy way to grow berries that works well for most people.
If you're not sure which growing method is best for your climate, contact your local cooperative extension service. The extension service will most likely have a free brochure on growing strawberries in your area.