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We are wanting to plant about 300-350 strawberry plants (8 in family) and I was wanting to see what kind of strawberry others would recommend for flavor. We are in Central WA, Zone 5 at 2800 ft elevation.

Also if you have a favorite company to use for ordering. The only catalog that I have is for the Indiana Berry Co. Has anyone used them before?

One last question: What is the best mulch to keep the weeds down?

Thanks so much! Marie in Central WA
 
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Maybe this will answer some of your questions, if not, then you can contact the Ext Office if no one has/offers the information/advice that you are seeking:

http://archive.tri-cityherald.com/HOME/GARDEN/garden0126.html
Marianne C. Ophardt is a horticulturist for the Washington State University Cooperative Extension Office in Benton County

“Keep in mind, regional breeding programs develop varieties that do well under local conditions. Many fine strawberry varieties do great in other places but not under our soil and climate conditions.”
“The best June-bearing varieties for the Mid-Columbia include Hood, Benton, Shuksan and Rainier.
Another kind of strawberries includes the day-neutral varieties. These tend to produce fruit all summer and early fall. Their production declines during the hottest parts of summer but picks up again as the weather cools in late summer.
They usually keep producing right up until frost, but the berries generally lack the size and full flavor of the June-bearing plants. The best day-neutral varieties for the Mid-Columbia are Tillikum and Tristar.
A third kind of strawberry - the everbearing varieties - don't perform well in the Pacific Northwest.
These varieties tend to produce two crops, one in the summer and a second in early fall. If you must try an everbearing strawberry, try Quinault. However, you'll get your best quality berries from the June-bearing varieties.”
 

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Do June bearing strawberries produce the first year?
 
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Well I am using the Tristar day neutral strawberries this year. They are transplants and are doing VERY well. I am told their flavor is real good, we will see.

Kathy
 

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We bought 200 Sparkle Strawberry Plants (June bearing) this year from www.eburgess.com (least expensive place I could find to buy strawberries from). They are supposed to be the best strawberry for eating, jam making, pie making, etc.


They will soon be 7 in our family and well those 200 plants I planted are going to multiply greatly. Guess I will be selling strawberry plants sometime next year if these do what they are supposed to by making suckers. LOL We eat quite a bit of fresh strawberries as well as make pies, jams, and jellies, and even can whole berries, so we will definately be using the berries, but the strawberry plants will multiply.

We used straw as mulch to help keep weeds down as well as to help retain moisture.

Most strawberries will produce the first year, but you are SUPPOSED to pinch off any and all blooms the first year in order to give the roots time to root well and make runners aka suckers.


Speaking of runners/suckers, I bought 200 plants but after reading something in a gardening book I have, I could have easily just bought about 100 plants as each plant will send off suckers, thus making more plants.
 

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keep it simple and honest
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To answer your other question: I have bought from Indiana Berry
Co. and am satisfied with their products. Another good berry company
is Krohne Plant Farms, Inc. ([email protected]).
I agree with previous posters that you should investigate the
varieties that do well in your climate. I could make a suggestion,
but I am in Pennsylvania and don't think that would be helpful.
Ann
 

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My favorite is Cardinal but I'm in the midwest. They do great for me, have excellent flavor, aroma, color and pretty good disease resistence.

You might want to also look into using corn gluten meal as a pre-emergent herbicide in addition to using a mulch. CGM is not a hard chemical herbicide but a high protein product used extensively in poultry and livestock feeds. I couldn't begin to tell you how it works but it does then produces nitrogen as it decomposes to fertilize the plants you want in the garden. I have used it despite there being some question of its being an organic product since most of the corn from which it is derived isn't organic. All I know is that it's a major time/work saver by keeping weeds from germinating. If you get the "GardensAlive" catalog, they sell it as WOW (with out weeds). I've also gotten it special order from a feed store for much less than in the catalog. Just be sure you have the yellow CGM, not the brown.
 
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