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Do Strawberry Plants Produce Fruit the First Year?

Some strawberry varieties, such as ever-bearing and day-neutral types produce a small crop the first year, while June-bearing varieties do not. With proper care, though, all strawberry varieties produce a vigorous crop the second year and continue producing fruit for three to eight years. Renovate a strawberry patch after five to eight years, when yields decrease, by planting new strawberry plants.

  1. Variety

    • June-bearing strawberries produce large quantities of berries in June or July. They are a good choice for home gardeners wanting to process berries for jams or preserves. June-bearing strawberries may bear unpredictably in areas prone to late spring frosts, which kill the blossoms and potentially destroy an entire season's crop. Ever-bearing strawberries produce two smaller crops, one in summer and one in fall, with a few berries sporadically throughout the growing season. Ever-bearing strawberries are the preferred variety for many areas with cold springs because they produce a second crop if the first crop is damaged by frost. Day-neutral berries produce smaller amounts of fruit throughout the growing season, making them a good choice for gardeners wanting a steady supply of berries.

    First Year's Harvest

    • After planting strawberries, remove all the flowers and fruit until July 1. Removing the flowers encourages the plant to put energy into forming strong roots, which will increase yields the following year. June-bearing types do not produce a crop the first year, although day-neutrals and ever-bearing types produce a small crop in late summer.

    Growing Strawberries

    • Plant strawberries in a location that receives at least six to eight hours of sunlight per day. Amend the soil with compost, peat moss or shredded leaves. Plant strawberries in spring, spacing them 1 foot apart in rows 1 foot apart. Plant the strawberries so that the midpoint of the crown -- or area between the roots and the foliage -- is at soil level. Keep the soil evenly moist and apply a balanced fertilizer midseason when the plants begin producing blossoms. Meticulously weed the strawberry patch, since weeds can quickly overtake and ruin your strawberries. Mulch in the winter with straw to protect the strawberries from the cold.

    Yearly Pruning

    • After the last harvest at the end of the summer, remove small plants so that the rows are 6 inches wide. Cut or mow the foliage down. While this process may seem painful, unpruned strawberries quickly become a tangled, unproductive mess.