The strawberry is one of the easiest small fruits to grow in the home garden, yielding large amounts of fruit without needing excess care and support. There are three main varieties of strawberry: June-bearers, day-neutrals and everbearers. Quinault strawberries are classified as everbearers. Everbearers set fruit two to three times each season and are widely grown as perennial plants. Quinaults are grown as perennials in most of the U.S., but as annuals in Alaska.
Prepare the Land
Strawberries thrive on sandy soil high in organic matter that has good drainage. As soon as the land is workable in early spring, work a pound of 6-24-24 fertilizer for every 50 square feet 6 inches into the surface of the soil. Work in phosphates and potash at the same time to promote high yields.
Quinault strawberries should be planted in spring, after the danger of hard frosts is over. Plant them in a cool area of the garden, as they do not tolerate heat well. Remove any damaged leaves and trim the roots back to 5 inches before planting. Dig a hole that is wide and deep enough to accommodate the entire root system and carefully transfer the plant into it. Bury the roots, leaving the terminal bud exposed just above soil level. Leave a space of at least 12 inches between each plant. Water each plant well. In colder climates -- zones 1 through 4 -- plant Quinaults as annuals in early spring.
Keep your strawberry patch weed-free to ensure that your strawberries reach their full potential. When the first flowers appear after planting, pinch them off to encourage vigorous growth and a higher yield later on. Supply at least 1 inch of water each week to avoid blossom drop and wilting. Quinault strawberries will generally set fruit in spring and fall. If early fruits are damaged by frost, fall crops are still possible.
Strawberries are susceptible to viruses, fruit rot and diseases of the leaves, crown and roots. An all-purpose spray designed for fruit plants can be applied at the first signs of flowering and again during full bloom to combat these issues. Selecting healthy plants from a reliable source can help avoid diseases. Removing dying leaves and ripe or rotting fruit is essential to avoid pests such as aphids, slugs and root weevils. Begin a new strawberry patch in a different location at least every three years to avoid soil-borne infections.
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