HomeLocal NewsWhen to Plant Strawberries in Michigan: The Ideal Timing

When to Plant Strawberries in Michigan: The Ideal Timing

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Growing strawberries at the right time can increase yields; hence, many people often want to know when to plant strawberries in Michigan. 

The Great Lakes state is among the best for cultivating strawberries, with yearly yields reaching over 45,000 tons on 750 acres.

However, you must have the right tips for great results. Late April or early May is the ideal time for growing strawberries for those who prefer spring cultivation, and late August or early September is suitable in northern Michigan for fall growers.

Let’s dive in to share tips on growing strawberries in Michigan and the varieties that thrive in Michigan.

When To Plant Strawberries In Michigan

In general, the planting season is usually in late spring or early fall.  During the summer heat, the conditions are unsuitable for cultivating the strawberries.

Most of the regions in Michigan have the right planting conditions, but farmers choose to plant either in late April or Early May. In Northern Michigan, fall planting season begins in August or early September.

Planting during the fall allows the plant to form a strong root system just before the unbreakable winter weather begins. In Southern Michigan, cultivation may occur a bit late in September. 

Note that strawberries, like the everbearing variety, are designed to withstand extreme weather conditions such as the winter cold.

Basics For Growing Strawberries in Michigan

Michigan soil conditions support the growing of the different varieties of strawberries. Begin by selecting the specific variety of strawberry seeds that suit your environment.

It may also depend on whether you are looking for the type that produces fruits all year round on a one-time variety. Sprouting seeds are delicate and need care when handling them during germination. 

The strawberries require light and may need at least 8 hours for growth. While planning to plant, ensure the position of the farm allows the light patterns to reach your plants.

The strawberry plants require a consistent supply of water when the fruits begin to blossom and fruits appear. As the plants move into dormancy, late-season watering is encouraged as it lowers cold snaps and stress.

As you wet the plants, ensure they do not remain in standing water that will quickly soak the root. You may practice mulching to retain water in your garden.

Have the proper soil conditions in place. Usually, well-draining soil is ideal for growing strawberries. Avoid wet soil that will retain plenty of water, damaging the plants.  Loam soil with a PH of 5.5-6.5 is suitable for strawberry planting.

Michigan’s Northern and Western parts are known for sandy soil suitable for planting strawberries. The lower part has clay and loam soil.

The plants need helpers and hinders. In most cases, strawberries thrive well when planted with legumes and asparagus. Avoid planting the strawberries with tomatoes, potatoes, and eggplants as they spread fungal diseases.

Why Michigan is Ideal For Cultivating Strawberries

Michigan soil is well-draining and sandy, hence ideal for growing strawberries. Strawberry cultivation largely depends on the region’s climate, soil type, and available resources. 

Michigan has been growing strawberries, and below are some reasons the area supports strawberry farming.

Michigan has a variety of climate conditions. The summer and cold winters are cycles that suit the berries.  The fruit buds grow during winter, and the warm summer temperatures promote the berry’s optimal growth.

Michigan has the best soil for cultivating strawberries. The well-drained loam soil favors strawberry cultivation. In most cases, strawberries do not thrive in water-logged soils, and since the Michigan soil is sandy, it offers the right conditions for strawberry cultivation.

The availability of water resources makes growing strawberries in Michigan doable. Michigan has rich water resources, and these great lakes offer fresh water, which is ideal for irrigating the plants. Water is ideal during the fruiting state; hence, the available water makes growing easy.

Furthermore, Michigan’s climate makes it hard for pathogens to survive and, hence, ideal for managing plant diseases.  Diseases like June Yellows attack berries, but the colder climate helps manage pest and disease outbreaks.

Comprehensive research and extension services in Michigan help farmers access the required knowledge about strawberries. An institution like Michigan State University has extension services where the community can benefit from the research on strawberries.

Farmers in the community hence get information regarding the latest techniques used in strawberry cultivation, how to manage pests and additional crop production techniques.

Lastly, the Michigan soils support a variety of strawberry cultivars.  Plenty of cultivars have been developed to suit the short and long planting seasons. The types have been created to thrive in Michigan’s local climate and growing conditions.

The Types of Strawberries Grown in Michigan

Different strawberry types can grow in Michigan, with each requiring specific conditions. The key aspects to consider are the soil type, temperature, light, and water. The Michigan Northern climate provides the most suitable conditions for strawberries to thrive.

Considering your home’s climate before selecting the type of strawberry to grow is highly recommended.  Below, we discuss the main varieties available for the season.

The two main varieties of strawberries are the June-bearing and everbearing. The June cultivars bloom in May, and by the middle of summer, you can harvest a single and largest produce.

The everbearing produces about two or three crops in the early summer. The yields are not as large, but the advantage is that the strawberries give multiple harvests throughout the year.

Before deciding the strawberry varieties to grow in your garden, you must check your goals. If you want to cultivate the June variety, you’ll need to be patient for two years when the plants are ready. The berries for June are large and suitable for users who want to make jam.

The everbearing strawberries are suitable if you aim to have multiple harvests throughout the year. However, the type produces small fruits. The cultivar is steady throughout the year and may not require freezing for later use, as you have the berries when you need them.

Let’s look at the specifics of each cultivar.

Michigan’s June-Bearing Strawberry

Earliglow variety is popular and performs well in various soil and weather conditions. It delivers large and sweet berries. The strawberry is suitable for beginners.

Allstar is a type of strawberry that produces large fruits.  It grows well in the East and Central Midwest.  The type is hardy and resists red Steele and is also tolerant of wilt. Because of its vigorous growth and productivity, most farmers prefer it.

Honeoye cultivar is known to resist diseases and hence suitable for gardens that need a dependable crop. The Honeoye is a product of the Cornell Research Station and has existed for 30 years.

Jewel is suitable for both commercial and home growers. The plant has remarkable winter hardiness. It produces high yields during harvest, with the berries among the sweetest. In addition, the fruits are large as well.

Old North Sea is a variety from Denmark known for its large and flavored berries. The type has a good shelf life and can be ideal for farmers who prefer berries that last.

Everbearing strawberries

The Ozark Beauty is a type of Everbearing strawberry developed initially in Arkansas. It’s hardy and known for high yields. The cultivar has flavor barriers and grows through the growing season.

The Ogallala strawberry cultivar ripens early and produces sweet fruits. It is soft and good for processing.

Tristar is another variety of the everbearing strawberry with notched leaves and produces white flowers. It is disease-resistant, and the fruits produce medium-sized berries.

The Quinault is large with deep red berries. It is a midseason cultivar and is popular among growers in Michigan.

Lastly, the Albion cultivar is a high-yielding type with sweet berries. It is a variety from California characterized by long, symmetrical fruits that burst with sweetness.

FAQs

Can One Plant Strawberries in the Fall in Michigan?

Yes, if you are located in the northern part of Michigan, the fall planting season begins in late August or early September.

What is the Best Climate to Grow Strawberries?

The ideal climate to grow strawberries in depends on the variety of the strawberries you plan to cultivate. However, the pants require between 50°F–80°F of temperatures and about 8 hours of sunlight.

What Is The Difference Between Everbearing and June Bearing?

The two are named based on the seasons they take to deliver fruits. Large fruits and large yields characterize June-bearing, while everbearing has small fruits and can be harvested throughout the season. 

Conclusion

Now that you know when to plant strawberries in Michigan, it is time to prepare your seed for the coming season. You probably need to understand the type of soil and prevailing conditions before you plant the berries.

Michigan weather allows planning the June bearing strawberries and the everbearing strawberries. The Early bearing takes a short time to mature and will have a single harvest. 

The second one yields throughout the year and is suitable for most home gardens. You can now grow your plants during the right season and enjoy Michigan’s massive harvest of juicy strawberries.

Jason Cooper
Jason Cooper
Jason Cooper is a dedicated news blogger with a zeal for storytelling. Enthusiastically covering current events, he constantly seeks fresh angles and innovative ways to refine his craft and engage his readers.

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