Yard and Garden: Homegrown Strawberries

AMES, Iowa – Homegrown strawberries are a favorite of nearly everyone, relatively easy to grow and hardy throughout Iowa. Give strawberries full sun, well-drained soils, and with a little care there will be berries to harvest and enjoy. Iowa State University horticulturists answer strawberry pest, disease and harvest questions. To have additional questions answered, contact ISU Hortline at hortline@iastate.edu or 515-294-3108.

When should strawberries be harvested?  

Harvest strawberries when the fruit are uniformly red and fully ripe. Pick the berries with the caps and stems attached to retain firmness and quality. Pinch off the stem about one-fourth inch above the cap. Do not pull off the fruit.  
Strawberries should be picked about every other day in warm weather, every three to four days in cool weather. The harvest period for some June-bearing cultivars may last three to four weeks. Strawberries can be stored in the refrigerator for up to five to seven days. Optimum storage conditions are a temperature of 32 degrees Fahrenheit and a relative humidity of 90% to 95%
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