For folks living in the mid-Atlantic and southern United States, Delmarvel strawberry plants were at one time THE strawberry. It isn’t any wonder why there was such hoopla over growing Delmarvel strawberries. To learn why, read on for more Delmarvel information and tips regarding Delmarvel strawberry care.
About Delmarvel Strawberry Plants
Delmarvel strawberry plants bear very large fruit that has excellent flavor, a firm texture and lovely strawberry aroma. These strawberries flower and then fruit in late spring and are suited to USDA zones 4-9.
Besides being a prolific producer, Delmarvel strawberries are resistant to most leaf and stem diseases, fruit rots, and the five eastern strains of red stele caused by the fungus Phytophthora fragariae, a serious disease of strawberries.
Delmarvel strawberries grow to 6-8 inches (15-20 cm.) in height and about 2 feet (61 cm.) across. The berries are not only delicious eaten fresh out of hand, but are excellent for use in the making of preserves or for freezing for later use.
Growing Delmarvel Strawberries
Despite all of its advantages, Delmarvel strawberry plants appear to be discontinued. If your heart is set on growing Delmarvel strawberries, the best bet would be to find somebody in your area that is growing them and then beg for a couple of plants. Otherwise, good alternates for strawberries might be Chandler or Cardinal.
Select a site in full sun to plant the strawberries. The soil should be sandy-loam but strawberries will tolerate sandy or even heavy clay soils. Incorporate plenty of organic matter into the soil to help retain moisture.
Remove the strawberry plants from their nursery pots and soak them in cool water for an hour or so to reduce the potential for shock. Dig a hole in the soil and position the plant so that the crown is above the soil line. Tamp the soil down lightly at the base of the plant. Continue in this vein, spacing additional plants 14-16 inches (35-40 cm.) apart in rows that are 35 inches (90 cm.) apart.
Delmarvel Strawberry Care
Strawberries have shallow roots that need frequent watering. That said, don’t overwater them. Stick your finger a half inch (1cm.) or so into the soil to check and see if it is dry. Water the crown of the plant and avoid wetting the fruit.
Fertilize with a liquid fertilizer that is low in nitrogen.
Remove the first flowers to give the plant a chance to grow more vigorously and to produce a stronger root system. Let the next batch of flowers grow and fruit.
When winter is approaching, protect the plants by covering them with straw, mulch or the like. Well-tended plants should produce for at least 5 years before they will need to be replaced.