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Strawberries

 
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I am starting a big garden this year (2,000 sq feet), I have gardening experience but not so much with my new area. I want to get some strawberry slips that will produce strawberries this year-
I’m in Northern Arkansas:
1. What is a good variety for producing first year2. When should I plant them out? 3. What is a good place to purchase?
Thanks!
 
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strawberries are really easy and very forgiving, you should be good.

it really depends on what you like, as far as varieties. i could recommend a few but they would be less conventional. one is the simple wild strawberry. tiny berry, with all the flavor plus of a full strawberry crammed in there somehow =) super easy, spreads rapidly, nice ground cover, grows in shade, in sun, in wet and in dry.
but many people wouldnt consider this to be good, not a lot of strawberries, super tiny. they might even not like the taste since they are very strong flavored. theres actually 4-5 varieties, sub species within "fragaria vesca" var....one that is white, and a yellow ish one...and many localized differences, very subtle...but they are all good =)

one i love that i have grown is this hybrid - 'Marie des bois'. it seems maybe old timey, and in part since they are small medium sized like old school strawberries...but its actually a relatively recent hybridized strawberry variety.
i've grown a dozen other varieties as well, but nothing sticks out too much, they were all pretty good...but none where i was like wow! except for the marie des bois cultivar.

i believe theres some good ozark type strawberries...and usually your local nursery is good for getting stuff thats well adapted to your climate. i wouldnt turn my nose up at some big box store super cheapy deal either...though...and often times the big box stores get their strawberries from local ish nurseries...so they also are well adapted to local conditions...do pick carefully, they dont treat their plants well...you know places like home depot, costco, walmart, etc...but sometimes theres some good deals to be had.
plant in spring, or fall...though since its now...wait till spring...or keep indoors till you are ready to plant in early - late spring...
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I too have been thinking strawberries, but the wild type! I am hoping to plant them under an area that has a large Oak, several privet & Ligustrum growing. Thinking I could lay down mulch of pine needles, which is abundant here in our zone 8-Al., then dig into the soil & plant ! The birds would love this I think and so would little critters.
 
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