Fragaria X ananassa Quinault, commonly known as Quinault strawberries is an everbearing variety of strawberries. This variety produces large fruits and gives twice harvests per season.
Quinault strawberries are very easy to grow and can easily be taken care of. A large amount of harvest is an added benefit of this plant. Even if you are a beginner gardener, this plant will definitely make this journey very pleasing for you.
You can start the plant directly from the seedlings and they are also best for growing in small pots and containers. You can expect a yearly crop of 200 plus strawberries from a single plant of Quinault strawberries.
HOW TO GROW QUINAULT STRAWBERRIES
The best and the most effective way to start the Quinault strawberry plant is to start them from small plants, which you can easily buy from any plant care store nearby. When you are searching for small plants, try to find those with peat pots that do not have bare roots or any flowers on them.
Quinault strawberries are sun-loving plants and they need full sun for the complete ripening of their fruits. So it would be best if you placed them accordingly, to provide full sunlight to them.
They are effortless to grow and the most important thing is that they are mostly disease-free plants. These strawberries need well-drained and rich soil. The pH level of this soil should be between 5.5 to 6.8 in the range. The use of proper fertilizer is also important for their growth.
WHEN TO PLANT QUINAULT STRAWBERRIES
Start the Quinault strawberry plant in early spring, after the last frost has passed. The benefit of growing it in containers is that you can place it on a sunny spot and that’s the most important need of this plant.
Start the plant from the small plants you bought from the garden store. Transplant them in the containers. Do not overcrowd them as this plant does not like this. Standard planting should have only three plants in every square foot of space.
It is important to prepare the soil by adding some fertilizer to it. The best practice is to add around 0.2 pounds of fertilizer per foot of the soil being used.
Before planting the small plants into the container, soak them in water for some time and make sure that the plant gets plenty of water before planting it in the soil. Dig a hole in the container and place the peat-potted strawberry plant in it.
Keep the plant at a depth where only the crown of the strawberry plant remains above the ground. This will make sure that the root system of your plant remains strong. After this step water the plant thoroughly.
GROWING STRAWBERRIES IN CONTAINERS
Quinault strawberries are one of the most delicious crops you would ever grow. They are easy to grow, inexpensive, and do not have a lot of space. So you can plant them very easily in the containers and you would get a large crop even from a small container.
Expect from the Quinault strawberry, which is an ever-bearing variety, other varieties of strawberries can also be grown in containers. The Quinault strawberry would give you two harvests in a season, even if you are growing it in containers.
CHOOSING THE RIGHT SIZED CONTAINERS FOR STRAWBERRIES
A few things are important to keep in mind before choosing the container for your strawberry plant. First of all, is that it must have good drainage. Your selected container must have multiple drainage holes in it. If it is a plastic container then you can do the holes yourself too.
The minimum size of the container should not be less than 10 inches in depth and a foot in diameter, that’s a pretty small space for such a delicious fruit. The plant grows to the maximum height of 8 to 10 inches.
The container should also be light-colored so that it may not absorb much heat. Because the plant does not like extremely high temperatures
Your selected container should not be made of much porous material because it could dry up the soil very fast. Plastic containers having drainage holes in them are a good option.
GROWING STRAWBERRIES IN HANGING POTS OR BASKETS
Besides containers, growing strawberries in hanging pots, planters, and, baskets is also a very good and effective idea. The dimensions of a grown-up Quinault strawberry plant are 8 to 10 inches in height and 1 to 2 feet in width.
Choose the hanging pot or basket by keeping these dimensions in mind. Throughout the season you will have a beautiful-looking small strawberry plant hanging in your space. That will give a very pleasant effect whenever you will have a look at it.
SOIL PREPARATION FOR QUINAULT STRAWBERRIES
Soil preparation is an important step in planting the Quinault strawberry. The soil should be loamy and must hold the moisture for a longer period of time. The soil must not retain the water for a longer period of time. It must have well drainage.
The soil with a 50 percent potting mix and 50 percent of quality compost will produce high yields. At the time of planting, you can also use organic berry fertilizer.
Using gravel at the end of your potting soil also helps to provide the plant with good drainage.
PLACING THE CONTAINERS
Quinault strawberry needs a minimum of 6 hours of sunlight per day. This much light will help produce plenty of fruits. Falling short of this limit will affect the harvest of your plant.
You can adjust the place of the container according to the sunlight availability in your space.
Water the plant gently when it is in its initial growth stages. Do not damage the plant while watering. Careless watering can result in the loss of nutrients from the soil. Keep the soil slightly moist all the time.
While growing in containers, the soil gets dried up quickly, so keep an eye on it and don’t let it dry out completely. Especially on hot dry days, be very careful about the water requirement for the plant.
Check the soil first before watering the plant. Stick your finger and check if it’s dry enough to water the plant. Water the plant more often but do not overwater it. Less water but more often is the key to providing balanced water for the plant. Excessive water will result in soggy soil which will, in turn, invite the deadly microbes to your plant.
Near the harvest period, water the plant regularly to ensure good quality strawberries.
FERTILIZING THE STRAWBERRY PLANT
Fertilizing the strawberry plant is important to get the highest yield. At the start of the planting, it’s good to add some fertilizer to the potting soil. Adding compost at later stages is good or you can also use 5-10-5 fertilizer.
Feeding the Quinault strawberry with a balanced liquid fertilizer can also be very productive.
PRUNING THE QUINAULT STRAWBERRIES
Look for the runners near your strawberries because they get the nutrients that were meant for your strawberry plant. Therefore it is important to snip them when you see them.
When growing strawberries in containers these runners prove to be more damaging to the plant because of the space shortage. So prune them as soon as you see them. Use pruners to cut them and this will ensure maximum fruit production.
CARING FOR THE QUINAULT STRAWBERRIES
In order to prevent the plant from fungal diseases, do not let the water stay on the leaves of the strawberry plant. Providing the plant with a high potash feed at the flower appearing stage also boosts productivity.
Another important factor to consider is to provide the proper sunlight to every part of your plant. For this purpose, you need to rotate the container, every two weeks.
The part facing the sunlight will get enough light and its adjacent part will be left out. So rotating the plant will ensure full sunlight to every part of the plant.
As this plant produces attractive and sweet fruits, this is more likely to attract birds which can damage the fruit. Using bird netting helps to keep the berries safe from these birds.
WINTER PROTECTION OF STRAWBERRY PLANT
If you are living in the planet’s colder regions then it’s best to move the containers under shade to protect the plant from the winter cold. This is important because the roots of strawberries might freeze in extremely cold weather.
In the cold weather, do not water the plant too often. Look for the soil to dry out completely and then water your strawberry plant only to moisten the soil. Mulching is also a good option during those days. This retains the moisture in the soil for a longer period of time.
HARVESTING THE QUINAULT STRAWBERRIES
After all this joyful journey, finally, it’s time to get the fruit for what you worked this far. When the strawberries start to appear first, keep an eye on your fruits. If they look ripe, pick them right away to experience the fresh and sweet strawberries.
If you see any berry that is not looking perfect in shape and look ripe too, pick them up to avoid any spread of disease. Because this may become the reason for the spread of disease.
STORING THE STRAWBERRIES
What could be more refreshing than eating the freshly picked strawberries from your own container garden? But if you still want to store them for later use, the taste will also not disappoint you either.
Pick the strawberries and do not wash them before storing them. Also, do not remove the green part from the head of the Quinault strawberry. If you remove the green part, it will cause the strawberries to spoil very sooner.
These strawberries can now be placed in the refrigerator to save for later use. Use can also freeze them. Remember to wash them whenever you are to consume the berries.
WHEN TO REMOVE QUINAULT STRAWBERRIES PLANT FROM THE POT
Producing two harvests every season, this strawberry plant can live and keep producing the fruit for up to three years. After this time period, the yield of this plant starts to fade and this eventually moves towards the death of the plant.
After every fruiting season is over, the foliage of the plant can be reduced to only young leaves. This would maximize the yield in every season.
BEST CONTAINER GROWING STRAWBERRY VARIETIES
Besides Quinault strawberry, any type of strawberry can be grown easily in pots and containers. It’s only the harvest capacity that depends on different types of strawberries. Some give more fruiting seasons while others only produce once a year.
Varieties Of Strawberries
There are three main varieties of strawberries, including day-neutral, June, and ever-bearing strawberries.
As the name indicates, this variety produces fruit in June. they produce large and sweet berries.
These strawberries produce the fruit in the late spring season. The size of the fruit is comparatively smaller than that of June strawberries.
Everbearing strawberries produce the fruit throughout the year. That is the reason they are named everbearing. This variety has a medium-sized fruit and it keeps on producing it for a few years.
The size of the fruit is smaller than the June strawberries. They are perfect to be grown in small spaces and in containers and pots.
Quinault strawberry is also one of the ever-bearing strawberries. Another known ever-bearing strawberry is Ozark beauty. Both of them give the fruit for about 3 years and they can have two harvest seasons per year.