The Albion strawberry is one of the most common commercial varieties of this fruit grown in California, particularly in the northern half of the state. Farmers harvest this large, juicy fruit for much of the year -- from March or April through late fall, with the largest harvests occurring between April and June. The Albion is cone-shaped with a dark red hue and very sweet flavor. If you have fertile soil and love strawberries, the Albion is a rewarding variety to grow and enjoy.
Things You'll Need
- Iron phosphate (optional)
Plant bare-root Albion strawberry plants in spring, after your final frost. Before you plant, dig in 2 lbs. of 6-24-24 fertilizer for every 100 square feet of garden. Dig it in at least 6 inches deep and afterward water with a sprinkler for about 20 minutes to disperse the plant food.
Prepare planting holes with your trowel that are large enough to easily accommodate the root system of your young plants. Dig holes 12 to 15 inches apart. Set one plant into each hole, fill with the soil you dug out and then water for 20 minutes.
Spread a 2- to 3-inch layer of mulch over the soil surface to keep weeds away and to keep the soil moist and cool. Organic compost, sawdust, wood chips or black plastic all make acceptable mulch materials.
Water your Albion strawberry plants once a week. Either drip irrigation or a soaker hose works well with strawberries because the fruit can easily rot if it gets wet. Give the equivalent of 1 inch of water each week.
Fertilize your Albion strawberry plants in early spring and late summer every year after the first year. Watch for signs of fresh new growth before you fertilize in spring and use 1 lb. of a plant food with an N-P-K content of 12-12-12 for every 50 feet.
Protect ripening berries against slugs and snails by scattering organic iron phosphate granules on the soil surrounding your growing area.
Tips & Warnings
- Albion strawberries prefer fertile soil with a pH between 5.8 and 6.5.
- If you grow 25 plants, expect them to produce 50 qts. of berries when they mature.
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