All Posts   Posted:   February 15, 2017 by Nicole Forbes - Education

Oregon strawberries are legendary to berry-lovers all over the country but some of us locals tend to take them for granted. Our mild climate is perfect for growing sweet, juicy berries and strawberries are a fun, low-maintenance edible crop for all ages and skill levels. Starter plants are inexpensive and easily multiply over time to form a ‘patch’; although it is good to revitalize it by adding a few new plants every year or so.

I was fortunate to inherit a small patch of strawberries when I bought my house fifteen years ago, I have no idea what variety they were but I remember finding the first ripe, red berry and marveling at the fact that I had done nothing to ‘earn’ it – it was just there! Even better was that nearby I could see several more berries in varying stages of ripening; this was certainly incentive for me to pull some of the encroaching weeds and provide some much-needed water to the area… next thing I knew I was considering adding a few more plants and studying up on different types of strawberries – eager to try them all.

Flash forward fifteen years and my strawberry patch is thriving – it has moved at bit over the years and covers more space now as I am always adding to it. I grow a combination of June-bearing and day-neutral or ever-bearing varieties so I have plenty of fruit for jam or shortcakes but can also go out every other day thru mid-summer and pick at least a pint of fresh berries. Just when I think I have tried all the best varieties for our area I stumble across another one that is “new” to me. Last year I loved adding the ‘Hawaiian’ Pineberry, an albino-white strawberry with pinkish-red seeds that tastes like a cross between strawberry and pineapple – I definitely plan to add more of this one to my garden this spring as I didn’t get enough last year!

‘Hood’ strawberries are always a popular and well-known variety; they are used as almost an industry standard for the classic, June-bearing large Oregon berry but I think that many of the other varieties have even better flavor. One I am eager to plant this spring is called ‘Honeoye’ and has similar sounding qualities to ‘Hood’ but its described as being “very winter hardy and vigorous” which sounds good to me after the winter we have had. The fruit is large with sweet-tart flavor; excellent for freezing… perfect for my winter smoothies!

This past summer I had a short email correspondence with a gentleman from Indonesia who was planning to visit Portland and wanted to know if I could help him select and take back strawberry varieties that he could grow in his tropical garden at home. There were many complications to his plan but one major one was that I could not find information on growing strawberries in tropical climates. Unless it was done at high elevations or in climate-controlled environments growers struggled with varying degrees of success getting fruit to fully ripen. It turns out, strawberries don’t really grow in the tropics. Life is full of cruel trade-offs. I was sorry to disappoint a fellow gardener and identified with his wanting to grow something that’s just not right for your climate (I’m talking to you avocado tree). The experience however, reminded me of how grateful I am to live here where berries grow out my back door.

We have our best selection of strawberries (and all berries) February through early May and carry around 10 varieties from tried and true to this year's newest introductions. Shop early for best selection and get them in the ground before May for quick establishment & a flourishing berry patch.

Oregon strawberries are legendary to berry-lovers all over the country but some of us locals tend to take them for granted. Our mild climate is perfect for growing sweet, juicy berries and strawberries are a fun, low-maintenance edible crop for all ages and skill levels. Starter plants are inexpensive and easily multiply over time to form a ‘patch’; although it is good to revitalize it by adding a few new plants every year or so.

I was fortunate to inherit a small patch of strawberries when I bought my house fifteen years ago, I have no idea what variety they were but I remember finding the first ripe, red berry and marveling at the fact that I had done nothing to ‘earn’ it – it was just there! Even better was that nearby I could see several more berries in varying stages of ripening; this was certainly incentive for me to pull some of the encroaching weeds and provide some much-needed water to the area… next thing I knew I was considering adding a few more plants and studying up on different types of strawberries – eager to try them all.

Flash forward fifteen years and my strawberry patch is thriving – it has moved at bit over the years and covers more space now as I am always adding to it. I grow a combination of June-bearing and day-neutral or ever-bearing varieties so I have plenty of fruit for jam or shortcakes but can also go out every other day thru mid-summer and pick at least a pint of fresh berries. Just when I think I have tried all the best varieties for our area I stumble across another one that is “new” to me. Last year I loved adding the ‘Hawaiian’ Pineberry, an albino-white strawberry with pinkish-red seeds that tastes like a cross between strawberry and pineapple – I definitely plan to add more of this one to my garden this spring as I didn’t get enough last year!

‘Hood’ strawberries are always a popular and well-known variety; they are used as almost an industry standard for the classic, June-bearing large Oregon berry but I think that many of the other varieties have even better flavor. One I am eager to plant this spring is called ‘Honeoye’ and has similar sounding qualities to ‘Hood’ but its described as being “very winter hardy and vigorous” which sounds good to me after the winter we have had. The fruit is large with sweet-tart flavor; excellent for freezing… perfect for my winter smoothies!

This past summer I had a short email correspondence with a gentleman from Indonesia who was planning to visit Portland and wanted to know if I could help him select and take back strawberry varieties that he could grow in his tropical garden at home. There were many complications to his plan but one major one was that I could not find information on growing strawberries in tropical climates. Unless it was done at high elevations or in climate-controlled environments growers struggled with varying degrees of success getting fruit to fully ripen. It turns out, strawberries don’t really grow in the tropics. Life is full of cruel trade-offs. I was sorry to disappoint a fellow gardener and identified with his wanting to grow something that’s just not right for your climate (I’m talking to you avocado tree). The experience however, reminded me of how grateful I am to live here where berries grow out my back door.

We have our best selection of strawberries (and all berries) February through early May and carry around 10 varieties from tried and true to this year's newest introductions. Shop early for best selection and get them in the ground before May for quick establishment & a flourishing berry patch.