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On-farm Trials Test Strawberry Planting Dates

Northeast SARE reports that recipients of one of its Farmer Grants tested alternative planting dates for strawberries on a West Virginia farm. Kent and Jennifer Gilkerson of Sunset Berry Farm and Produce tested three different planting dates for strawberries in plasticulture, beginning two weeks after the current recommended August planting date. Plantings on September 5 and September 20 had favorable branch crown development and fruit production. As a result of the project, the Gilkersons have changed their strawberry planting dates to the first week of September. This helps them spread labor to a less-busy time, and helped them have healthier strawberries with less weed pressure and lower labor requirements for removing runners and weeding.