Growing Strawberries in Ohio: Your Guide to a Bountiful Harvest

Welcome to your guide to growing strawberries in Ohio! If you’re looking to start your own strawberry garden, you’re in the right place. Growing strawberries in Ohio can be a wonderful and rewarding experience, but it does require some knowledge and effort to achieve a bountiful harvest of juicy, delicious berries.

Whether you’re a seasoned gardener or a beginner, understanding the basics of strawberry cultivation and gardening practices is essential. In this guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know about growing strawberries in Ohio, from the best varieties to plant to proper care and maintenance practices, to harvesting and storage tips.

Best Strawberries to Grow in Ohio

When it comes to growing strawberries in Ohio, it’s essential to choose the right variety that can withstand the state’s climate and soil conditions. Here are some of the best strawberry varieties to grow in Ohio:

Variety Characteristics
Earliglow An early-season strawberry with excellent flavor and firmness. Best for fresh eating, freezing, and making jams and preserves.
Allstar A mid-season variety with high yields, great taste, and disease resistance. Ideal for fresh eating, freezing, and making jams and preserves.
Jewel A late-season strawberry with large, sweet, and juicy berries. Great for fresh eating, freezing, making jams and preserves, and baking.

Other varieties that are suitable for Ohio’s climate include Honeoye, Chandler, and Ozark Beauty. It’s essential to choose disease-resistant varieties to ensure a healthy crop.

Strawberry Planting Tips for Ohio

If you’re planning to grow strawberries in Ohio, proper planting techniques are crucial for a bountiful harvest. Follow these step-by-step instructions to ensure your strawberry plants get the best start:

  1. Choose the right site: Select a location that receives at least six hours of sunlight per day and has well-draining soil with a pH between 6.0 and 6.5. Avoid low-lying areas that can become waterlogged.
  2. Prepare the soil: Clear the planting area of all weeds and debris. Mix in a balanced fertilizer or compost to improve soil quality.
  3. Space the plants: Plant strawberries 12 to 18 inches apart in rows that are 2 to 3 feet apart. Dig a hole that’s large enough to accommodate the plant’s roots.
  4. Plant the strawberries: Set the plant in the hole, making sure that the crown (where the leaves meet the roots) is level with the soil surface. Fill in the hole around the plant with soil and gently press down to remove any air pockets.
  5. Water thoroughly: Give the newly-planted strawberries a deep watering to help settle the soil and encourage root growth.
  6. Mulch: Cover the soil around the plants with a layer of straw or other organic mulch to help retain moisture and deter weeds.

Following these planting tips will help your strawberries get off to a strong start and ensure a healthy, productive crop.

Strawberry Care in Ohio

Once you have planted your strawberries, it’s important to take good care of them to ensure a bountiful harvest. Follow these tips to keep your Ohio strawberries healthy and thriving:

Watering: Strawberries need consistent moisture to grow properly. Water them deeply once a week, aiming for about an inch of water per week. Be sure to water early in the day to allow time for the plants to dry out before nightfall. Wet leaves can lead to fungal diseases.

Fertilizing: A balanced fertilizer can help your strawberries grow and produce better fruit. Apply a slow-release fertilizer twice a year – once in the spring and once in the fall. Avoid using too much nitrogen, as this can result in leafy growth instead of fruit production.

Mulching: Mulching is important for strawberries in Ohio, as it helps to suppress weeds and conserve moisture. Apply a layer of straw or shredded leaves around the plants once they are established. Avoid using grass clippings, as they can mat and suffocate the plants.

Pest Management: Keep an eye out for pests like slugs, snails, and Japanese beetles, which can damage the fruit and foliage of your strawberry plants. Use physical barriers like row covers to keep pests away, and handpick any that you see on the plants. Spraying with an organic pesticide can also help control pests.

By following these care tips, you can help ensure a healthy and productive strawberry harvest in Ohio.

Pest and Disease Management for Ohio Strawberries

As with any crop, strawberries in Ohio are susceptible to pests and diseases that can damage or even destroy your harvest. It’s important to be aware of common issues and take preventative measures to ensure your strawberry plants stay healthy.


Some of the most common pests that can affect strawberries include:

Pest Symptoms Treatment
Strawberry leafrollers Irregular holes in leaves Remove infested leaves and apply insecticides if necessary
Slugs Holes in leaves and fruit Apply slug bait or handpick and remove from the garden
Spider mites Yellow or white spots on leaves Apply insecticidal soap or other appropriate pesticide

It’s important to regularly inspect your strawberry plants for any signs of pests and take action as soon as possible to prevent an infestation.


Some common diseases that can affect strawberries in Ohio include:

Disease Symptoms Treatment
Gray mold Brown spots on fruit and leaves Remove infected fruit and foliage and apply fungicides if necessary
Verticillium wilt Yellowing and wilting of leaves Remove and destroy infected plants and avoid planting strawberries in the same area for several years
Anthracnose Dark lesions on fruit and leaves Remove infected fruit and foliage and apply fungicides if necessary

Proper watering techniques, ensuring good air circulation, and maintaining healthy soil can all help prevent the spread of diseases.

By being vigilant and taking preventative measures, you can help ensure a healthy harvest of delicious strawberries from your Ohio garden.

Ohio Strawberry Harvesting Tips

Harvesting strawberries at the right time is key to their flavor and texture. Strawberries should be fully red, sweet-smelling, and firm to the touch before being picked. Here are some tips for harvesting strawberries in Ohio:

  • Pick strawberries in the morning when they are cool and the sugar content is high.
  • Only pick strawberries that are fully red and have no green or white spots.
  • Hold the stem near the berry and twist it gently to detach it from the plant.
  • Handle strawberries carefully to avoid bruising or damaging the fruit.
  • Do not wash strawberries until just before using them.

After picking, strawberries should be stored in the refrigerator and eaten or used within a few days. If you need to extend the shelf life of your strawberries, you can freeze them.

Ohio Strawberry Storage and Preservation

After a bountiful harvest of delicious strawberries, it’s important to store and preserve them properly to enjoy their peak flavor for as long as possible. Here are some methods and tips for storing and preserving Ohio strawberries:


Freezing strawberries is a great way to preserve their flavor and texture. Begin by washing and hulling the berries. Then, arrange them in a single layer on a baking sheet and freeze until firm, about 2 hours. Once they’re frozen, transfer the berries to an airtight container or freezer bag and store in the freezer for up to 8 months.


Canning is a traditional method of preserving strawberries that can be enjoyed throughout the year. Begin by washing and hulling the berries. Then, pack them into sterilized canning jars and fill with a simple syrup made of equal parts sugar and water. Process the jars in a hot water bath for 10 minutes, and store in a cool, dark place for up to a year.

Jams and Preserves:

Making jams and preserves is a delicious way to enjoy the flavor of fresh strawberries year-round. Begin by washing and hulling the berries, and then crush them in a pot with a potato masher or blender. Add sugar and cook the mixture over medium heat until it reaches a gel-like consistency. Transfer the jam or preserve to sterilized jars and process in a hot water bath for 10 minutes. Store in a cool, dark place for up to a year.

Using these methods to store and preserve your Ohio strawberries will ensure that you can enjoy their delicious flavor all year long.

Troubleshooting Common Issues with Ohio Strawberries

While growing strawberries in Ohio can be a rewarding and fruitful experience, it can also come with its fair share of challenges. Here are some common issues that growers may encounter, along with some tips and solutions for addressing them:

Poor Fruit Production

If your strawberry plants are not producing as much fruit as you expected, there could be a few reasons why:

Possible Causes Solutions
Poor pollination Try introducing more pollinators to your garden, such as bees or butterflies. You can also hand-pollinate your plants by brushing a small paintbrush or cotton swab gently over the flowers.
Overcrowded plants Make sure your plants are spaced out properly and not competing for resources. Thin out any excess plants as necessary.
Improper fertilization Make sure your plants are receiving the right amount and type of fertilizer. Avoid over-fertilizing, which can lead to excessive foliage growth at the expense of fruit production.


Strawberry plants can be susceptible to a variety of diseases, such as leaf spot, powdery mildew, and verticillium wilt. Here are some tips for preventing and treating these diseases:

  • Choose disease-resistant varieties
  • Maintain good air circulation and avoid overhead watering to prevent moisture buildup
  • Prune off any affected leaves or stems and dispose of them to prevent the spread of disease
  • Use organic or chemical fungicides as necessary, following package instructions carefully

Environmental Factors

Ohio’s climate can be unpredictable, with hot summers and cold winters. Here’s how to protect your strawberry plants from extreme weather:

Issue Solutions
Frost damage in spring Cover your plants with blankets or row covers on cold nights to protect them from frost damage.
Heat stress in summer Provide shade for your plants during the hottest part of the day. Regular watering and mulching can also help keep the soil moist and cool.
Winter kill Cover your plants with a layer of mulch before the first freeze to protect the roots from cold temperatures. Remove the mulch in spring once the danger of frost has passed.

By following these tips and troubleshooting solutions, you can increase your chances of growing a healthy and bountiful crop of strawberries in Ohio.


Congratulations, you are now equipped with the knowledge to grow delicious strawberries at home in Ohio! Remember, successful cultivation and gardening practices are key to a bountiful harvest.

Always choose the best strawberry varieties for Ohio’s climate and soil conditions, and follow our step-by-step planting tips for optimal growth. Don’t forget to maintain proper care and pest management techniques to ensure your strawberries stay healthy.

If issues do arise, refer to our troubleshooting guide and remember that every problem has a solution.

Finally, make the most of your harvest by practicing proper harvesting techniques and preserving your strawberries for enjoyment all year round.


Q: What are the best strawberries to grow in Ohio?

A: There are several strawberry varieties that are well-suited for Ohio’s climate and soil conditions. Some popular options include ‘Allstar,’ ‘Earliglow,’ and ‘Honeoye.’

Q: How do I plant strawberries in Ohio?

A: To plant strawberries in Ohio, start by selecting a suitable site with well-draining soil. Prepare the soil by removing weeds and loosening it with a garden fork. Dig shallow trenches for the plants and space them properly. Set the plants in place and cover the roots with soil, ensuring the crown is above the soil surface.

Q: What care do strawberries need in Ohio?

A: Strawberries in Ohio require regular watering, especially during dry spells. Apply a balanced fertilizer in spring and mulch around the plants to conserve moisture and suppress weeds. Monitor for pests and diseases, and take necessary actions to manage them.

Q: How can I manage pests and diseases for my Ohio strawberries?

A: Prevention is key to managing pests and diseases for Ohio strawberries. Keep the plants healthy and monitor for any signs of trouble. Use organic pest control methods whenever possible, and consider chemical control options when necessary.

Q: When and how should I harvest strawberries in Ohio?

A: Strawberries should be harvested when they are fully red and ripe. Gently pick the berries, leaving the green cap attached. Handle them carefully to avoid bruising. After harvesting, store them in a cool place or use them immediately.

Q: How can I store and preserve strawberries in Ohio?

A: There are several methods for storing and preserving strawberries in Ohio. You can freeze them for later use, can them to make jams or preserves, or make delicious treats like strawberry shortcake. Proper packaging and storage techniques will help maintain their quality.

Q: What should I do if I encounter issues with my Ohio strawberries?

A: If you face challenges such as poor fruit production or diseases in your Ohio strawberries, consider troubleshooting techniques. Adjust watering and fertilizing practices, monitor for pests, and address any environmental factors that may be affecting the plants.