From the mountains to the coast, pick-your-own strawberry farms dot the Georgia landscape. Three varieties of strawberries - Chandler, Cameron and Sweet Charlie - are planted in September and October, and Chandler is the most popular. In south Georgia strawberries are ready for picking as early as late February. As spring moves northward, so does the strawberry harvesting season, which can span anywhere from six to ten weeks.
Strawberries rank third in Georgia's small fruit sales, trailing muscadine grapes and top-ranked blueberries. The number of acres devoted to pick-your-own strawberry farms has increased dramatically since 1985. In 2009, Georgia grew 288 acres of strawberries.
Strawberries will continue to turn red after they are picked, but they will not ripen further or turn sweeter. Flavor is influenced by growing conditions such as the weather, stages of ripeness, harvest time and variety. Size, however, does not determine flavor.
Most Georgia strawberries are grown in raised rows, mulched with black plastic and watered with drip/irrigation feeding systems. Called plasticulture, this intensive-management method enables growers to maximize their yields and enhance fruit quality.
Strawberries are fat-free, low in calories and are a good source of folic acid, potassium and fiber. Eight medium-sized strawberries contain 160% of the U.S. recommended daily amount for Vitamin C.
Edible fruits in the landscape
Homeowners looking to add something new to their landscapes this spring should consider something edible. A University of Georgia small fruits expert suggests berries as a delicious and easy addition.
For the latest news about Extension, visit Georgia FACES. News you can use about Georgia family, agricultural, consumer and enviromental sciences.
- Consumer, farmer opinions sought on FDA's proposed new food safety act
- Fruit-bearing plants and trees should wait a year to provide fruit
- Grow Your Own Organic Strawberries
Brief recommendations for growing strawberries organically at home.
- Impact Statements: Strawberries
Descriptions of Extension efforts to improve knowledge and practices related to strawberries.
- Southern Region Small Fruit Consortium: Strawberries
Newsletters related to the production and marketing of strawberries.