Many strawberry farms in the Northeast and Central Ohio thrive, thanks to their mild spring temperature that helps these cold-season plants grow well.
However, since Ohio is one of the coldest regions in the United States, it has extreme winters that can injure strawberries despite being hardy plants.
By reading this post, you can learn when to plant strawberries in Ohio to help you sow them in ideal climates and avoid the risk of cold and hot weather.
For optimum planting time, grow them in April at a temperature of 60-80°F for ideal growth.
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Best Time to Plant Strawberries in Ohio
1. Plant Strawberries in April
The growing season for strawberries in Ohio starts in early spring. To be specific, that is around April in sandy loam soil with low moisture levels. That said, you can start earlier by planting strawberries around the end of March.
Since these plants are vulnerable to wet soil, planting strawberry roots in such a condition can cause decaying. So, to prevent this, wait until spring comes, and the soil dries up a little.
More so, planting strawberries from seeds in spring is beneficial as it will help them grow early and fight off the high summer heat. By that time, the strawberries will become sturdier and consequently have a better chance of survival.
Contrariwise, sowing them in the fall is not ideal for colder regions like Ohio due to the risks of frost, which may damage or kill off the strawberries.
2. Grow Strawberries at a Temperature of 60-80°F
Growing strawberries in Ohio requires the proper temperature ranging between 60-80°F for successful root and fruit establishment. You need to ensure that the temperature stays within this range during the development of the plant.
If this is not possible, consider growing strawberries indoors. Greenhouses, for example, can be an excellent place for cultivating this plant. As you can control the temperatures within the greenhouse, aim to set it between 68-75°F.
- Protect strawberry plants from cold temperatures.
However, strawberry buds can survive a low temperature of 22°F as long as you give them coverings like mulch. Once the buds bloom into flowers, the plants need an ambient temperature of at least 32°F to survive.
For strawberries sown in pots, burying them in ground soil with compost is an excellent strategy since it can help them survive the cold.
But any temperature lower than that will hurt their growth, especially in temperatures so low as 10°F, which can result in the plants dying.
- Protect strawberries from the high summer heat.
When it comes to high heat, summer temperatures above 85°F will make most strawberries struggle to produce fruits, and some will have a low chance of survival.
So protecting them with shade cloth or covering them with mulch straw can help reduce heat from the sun. In addition, an overhead sprinkling system can also help to control the temperature within an acceptable range.
Since Ohio’s summers are often humid and the temperature can spark off to 90°F, it is dangerous for strawberries. That’s why knowing how to protect them from extreme heat is essential.
Best Strawberries to Grow in Ohio
There are three classifications of strawberry plants perennials. Some are June-bearing, which allows an annual harvest in June. Others are ever-bearing, whose fruits can be continually reaped before the fall arrives.
And last is the day-neutrals, which you can harvest from June to August. You can grow any of these in Ohio, but June-bearing is the ideal variety because it yields plenty of massive crops.
One of the best June-bearing varieties that Ohio produces is the Earliglow plant because it can tolerate low temperatures and can adjust to many climate types. This is why you can see the cultivar in many regions of Ohio, such as in Pennsylvania.
The Guardian is also one of the top choices because of its massive, tasty flavor, and frost resistance. A few states where you can spot the variety are in Michigan, Oklahoma, and Tennessee.
If you prefer a day-neutral plant, Tristar is an acceptable option. Although its yield is not as big as those of other June-bearing plants, it is disease resistant and can grow in almost any climate.
Related: Best time to plant strawberries in other states and areas, click these articles below to learn more:
- Planting strawberries in North Carolina (Best time, effective factors,…)
- Best time to Plant Strawberries in Zone 7
- The most suitable time to plant Strawberries in Georgia
Tips to Plant Strawberries in Ohio
The strawberries culture prospers in Ohio because of the cold climate. But the way you plant them encourages their proper development. Follow these tips to grow a healthy fruit:
- All strawberries need pollinators like bees to help them reproduce. If you grow strawberries indoors where they can’t approach your plants, you can pollinate them using an electric toothbrush or gently sweep them with a paintbrush.
- Give your strawberry plants enough space to grow so they will equally receive the proper 8-hour of sunlight they need. An 18-inch distance between them is essential, and don’t forget to trim away the excessive daughter plants.
- Add composts to the soil to improve its quality.
- Irrigate your plants with less than 2 inches of water without soaking their foliage.
- Grow strawberries in raised beds to ensure good drainage.
How long does it take for a strawberry plant to produce fruit?
Since there are four stages in their life cycle, strawberries will take about three consecutive months to yield.
However, this is just a rough estimate, as the exact time frame can vary depending on the strawberry variety itself. For instance, the June-bearing Earliglow will take up to 1 year to bear fruits. However, a day-neutral like Tristar will yield crops within three months.
Do you get strawberries the first year you plant them?
Yes. However, it depends on what variety you sow in your garden. June-bearing plants will usually yield in the second year. But you can reap your everbearing and day-neutral types of strawberries in the first growing period.
However, if you want higher yields, you can delay their blooms in the first year. By nipping all their blossoms with your fingers, they will focus on root development and hinder fruit production. Next season, they will produce plenty of high-quality crops.
Should strawberries be planted alone?
Planting strawberries alone is not a requirement. In fact, having companion plants is best for improving the soil, the quality of their yields, and their ability to withstand pest attacks.
Will a strawberry plant grow from a strawberry?
Yes. You can grow strawberries from a strawberry by cutting the ripe fruit into pieces and allowing them to dry.
After that, place the strawberry slices into the soil with the seeds facing upward and lightly cover them with more soil. Make sure you do not completely bury the pieces, however.
Planting strawberries in Ohio as early as April and when the soil is warm is ideal to have them established before the scorching summer begins.
If you prefer to reap early fruits, day-neutral Tristar is a good option, but if you are willing to wait a year to harvest large crop yields, choose the June-bearing varieties like Earligrow.
However, just ensure to water them properly to make them flourish. Hoping you found the information you need about when to plant strawberries in Ohio. If you do, feel free to share this with others!