It’s Strawberry Season in Wayne County!

— Written By
en Español / em Português

El inglés es el idioma de control de esta página. En la medida en que haya algún conflicto entre la traducción al inglés y la traducción, el inglés prevalece.

Al hacer clic en el enlace de traducción se activa un servicio de traducción gratuito para convertir la página al español. Al igual que con cualquier traducción por Internet, la conversión no es sensible al contexto y puede que no traduzca el texto en su significado original. NC State Extension no garantiza la exactitud del texto traducido. Por favor, tenga en cuenta que algunas aplicaciones y/o servicios pueden no funcionar como se espera cuando se traducen.


Inglês é o idioma de controle desta página. Na medida que haja algum conflito entre o texto original em Inglês e a tradução, o Inglês prevalece.

Ao clicar no link de tradução, um serviço gratuito de tradução será ativado para converter a página para o Português. Como em qualquer tradução pela internet, a conversão não é sensivel ao contexto e pode não ocorrer a tradução para o significado orginal. O serviço de Extensão da Carolina do Norte (NC State Extension) não garante a exatidão do texto traduzido. Por favor, observe que algumas funções ou serviços podem não funcionar como esperado após a tradução.


English is the controlling language of this page. To the extent there is any conflict between the English text and the translation, English controls.

Clicking on the translation link activates a free translation service to convert the page to Spanish. As with any Internet translation, the conversion is not context-sensitive and may not translate the text to its original meaning. NC State Extension does not guarantee the accuracy of the translated text. Please note that some applications and/or services may not function as expected when translated.

Collapse ▲

Strawberries are in season now around Wayne County! Local growers have been busy harvesting and selling strawberries.

Strawberries at Farmers Market

North Carolina is a leading producer of strawberries with North Carolina ranking 3rd in the nation for strawberry production. North Carolina has around 1,600 acres of strawberries grown with a farm income value of $29.4 million (2012, USDA). North Carolina is unique in that almost all of the strawberries grown in the state are sold for fresh market directly to consumers as pick-your-own, farm stands or local supermarket chains.

Strawberries are perennial plants, but are grown as annuals with harvest only 7 to 8 months after planting and new plants set out each year. Strawberry growers typically start in the fall of the year setting plants into black plastic (plasticulture). Drip tape is laid under the plastic at the time of planting and used to irrigate and fertilize plants. The plants will grow during the winter, especially during warmer periods in the fall and winter. In late winter and early spring, strawberry plants really begin to grow and start flowering.

Late spring frost and freezes can be a big challenge for strawberry growers to protect plants, flowers and developing fruit. Growers can use row covers which are blankets of thin polyester that insulate the plants. Overhead irrigation can also be used by continuously spraying water on plants creating a film of ice on plants and insulates them. Overhead irrigation has to run continuously while temperatures are at and below freezing to keep a layer of ice on plants leading to long hours and all-nighters for growers checking temperatures and equipment.

The harvest of strawberries generally starts in early to mid-April and, depending on the weather, goes into May. Cool spring weather can prolong the season, while hot weather, especially in May slows it down.

Homeowners can grow their own strawberries but use a different method and planting schedule. A matted row method is recommended for homeowners. Plants are set out instead in the spring or early summer on bare ground. Plants are allowed to send out runners to create a wider, matted row. The first crop of strawberries comes about a year after planting. Plants will produce strawberries for 3 to 5 years and is then replanted and started over.

So as we welcome in spring, be sure to support our local strawberry growers and enjoy some fresh strawberries soon! There are many local farms, roadside produce stands, grocery stores, and the Farm Credit Farmers Market offering locally grown strawberries this season.

 Jessica Strickland is an agriculture extension agent, specializing in horticulture for North Carolina Cooperative Extension in Wayne County.

Learn More!