Length of Daylight Affects Strawberry Fruit Production

Plants flower according to the amount of light they receive in a given day, however the light that a plant needs each day to initiate flowering (the photoperiod) depends on the species and/or cultivar (variety).

Plants are either:

  1. Short day types
  2. Long day types
  3. Day neutral types

Strawberries, due to breeding programs that have produced many cultivars, fall across all the three photo-period types listed above.

There are literally thousands of strawberry cultivars available world-wide and we discuss some later in this text – here is just a short example of what is available – some are commercial varieties others domestic. When choosing strawberries it is important to choose those suitable to your region. Some are bred to withstand cold conditions and short days and still ripen others are bred to withstand warmer and more humid conditions. Knowing which strawberries suited to your regions are short day, long day or neutral day can help you to extend the fruiting season. Cultivars are discussed in more depth later in this text.

Day Neutral Strawberry Varieties

These plants will flower, plus produce fruit and also runners, all at the same time, but they produce fewer runners as compared to long day varieties. These are also commonly known as ever-bearer, the modern cultivars will produce a fruit throughout late spring, summer and into autumn. The older varieties of ‘ever-bearers’ produce a crop in spring, summer and autumn rather than continuously.

Some cultivars available (check for those available and suited to your region):
 ‘Albion’, ‘Alexandria’, Alinta’, ‘Finesse’, Flamenco’, Marie de Bois’, ‘Melba’, ‘San Andres’,
 ‘Osark Beauty’, ‘Selva Tribute’, ‘Tristar’

Short Day Strawberry Varieties

These are spring bearing i.e. in cold areas they are often planted in spring and the flowers cut off for the first season and then allowed to crop in the following season. They flower then produce fruit and then runners - in that order. They are also suited to growing over winter in sub-tropical climates.

Some cultivars available (check for those available and suited to your region):
‘Aflstar’, ‘Benicia’, ‘Camino Real’,  ‘Earliglow’, ‘Juliette’, ‘Red Glory’, Red Merlin’

Long Day Varieties
These varieties flower, produce fruit and then initiate more flower buds in the longest days of summer. They are not known for the quality of the fruit nor do they give yields as good as short day (spring) varieties. They are not commonly grown in places such as Australia but more common the parts of the USA.

Some cultivars available (check for those available and suited to your region):
‘Fort Laramie’, ‘Ogallala’.