Do June-bearing Strawberries Harvest in June? – Vegetable Crops Hotline

Do June-bearing Strawberries Harvest in June?

This year, the strawberry season throughout Indiana seems to be early by about 10 days to 2 weeks, regardless of the production system. In southern Indiana, I heard the harvest lasted from mid/late April until mid-May in some fields. In central Indiana, the harvest started in mid-May and is nearing its end in early June. I was asked why the season started early, and here are my thoughts.

First, we experienced several hot days in April and May, with temperatures exceeding 80°F and even reaching 90°F on some days in southern Indiana. These high temperatures stimulate fruit ripening. Typically, it takes about 30 days from anthesis to harvest, but the process can be shortened to 25 days or less under such high temperatures.

The second reason for the early strawberry season could be the generally warm winter, especially the warm days in February, which might have caused the strawberries to wake up earlier in the spring.

In addition to weather conditions, planting strawberries on black plastic-covered beds and using floating row covers instead of straw for winter production also enhances early harvest.

Lastly, as far as I am aware, most fields did not experience major frost or freeze events that caused significant damage to strawberry blooms this year. As a result, most early blooms were able to set fruit, which may also contribute to the early harvest.

Will early strawberry harvests become a new trend? This will largely depend on the weather. In recent years, we’ve seen longer warm periods in the fall and milder winters, which could lead to more early blooming. However, whether these early blooms will result in an early harvest will depend significantly on whether we have frost/freeze events during the bloom period and our ability to protect the flowers from these weather events.

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