update as of September 9, 2020 - Our master order is locked in, but we reserved extra because we were thinking about you...
Still need Strawberry Plugs? First, let us tell you a little story about how strawberries get their start and how Covid interrupted that process... All of our strawberry plugs begin as teeny-tiny, cleaned cultures in Prince Edward Island Canada where they are grown into tips and shipped to Cottle Farms in Faison, NC. Cottle takes them from tips (very small cuttings), to the plugs rooted in soil that you buy from us. Well, with international border closures due to Covid this spring and summer, the folks in Prince Edward Island had a significant labor shortage and got severely backed up in supplying tips to Cottle. The result of this agricutural supply chain debacle is as follows:
Conventional slips will now arrive ~September 28
Organic slips will now arrive ~October 12
Although we normally sell mostly organic slips, this year the bulk of our customer orders and extras have been shifted to conventional plugs so people can plant in September. We feel that planting in mid-October is just late enough that it rolls the dice on successful fall establishment for good berry production the following spring. Unless you are growing in a high tunnel, enjoy a gamble, or must buy organic due to organic certification, we recommend going to with conventional which actually are not treated with synthetic chemicals anyway during the plug growing process.
Our Surplus Availability (as of September 9)
- Conventional Chandlers - 1750 plugs
- Conventional Sweet Charlie - 275 plugs
- Conventional Camarosa - 1225 plugs
- Ruby June - sold out
- Camino Real - crop failure
- Organic Chandlers (arriving Oct. 12) - 350 plugs
- Organic Sweet Charlies (arriving Oct. 12) - 200 plugs
- Organic Camarosa (arriving October 12) - 175 plugs
Let us know ASAP if you want us to reserve some of these for you. (Varietal descriptions are below.)
SORRY BUT WE DO NOT SHIP STRAWBERRY PLANTS!
Many gardeners think spring is the time to plant strawberries. That's because spring is the busiest time in most garden centers and, thus, the easiest time for a store to sell strawberry plants. In fact, strawberry plants produce much better if planted in the fall and over-wintered for harvest the following May. We pride ourselves in selling plants during their optimal planting times, which for strawberries is late September / early October!
We order our strawberry plugs from Cottle Farms in Eastern, NC. Cottle's plugs are well established, rooted in soil, and ready to transplant when you get them. Some will already have small runners starting. They come in plug trays of 50 plants each. We also cut trays in half and sell half trays to small growers and home gardeners.
Please note that not all of the varieties below are available organically. Please read carefully...
Chandler – Available in conventional and organic. Top seller with u-pick growers; fast growing plant with high yield. Berries have good color & flavor, medium to large size, medium firmness, classic shape.
Sweet Charlie – Available in conventional and organic. Plants are vigorous and bear fruit 7-10 days earlier than Chandler. Berries are very sweet, firm & large. Easier to harvest because of large fruit size.
Camarosa – Available in conventional and organic. Plants have excellent early, mid, and late season production. Fruit is large, conical shaped, and sweet with a longer shelf life.
Camino Real - Available in conventional only! Camino real is a short-day cultivar. Plants are more compact, open, and erect, but less vigorous than Camarosa. Fruit is larger and per-plant yields are somewhat greater than Camarosa, but fruiting begins somewhat later. External and internal fruit color is also darker. Camino real is more rain tolerant than other strawberry varieties.
Festival - Available in conventional only! Firm, mostly large, conical shape, with fruiting and yielding patterns of the Camarosa. This berry is excellent for maintaining its attractiveness and flavor during and after long-distance shipments, making it an excellent choice for commercial growers and fresh market.
Merced - Available in conventional only! Merced is a short-day (June bearing) type cultivar that produces fruit over an extended period when treated appropriately in arid, sub-tropical climates. When well-tended, Merced is similar to Camarosa, but has greater productivity and higher quality fruit. The plant is less vigorous than Camarosa and does have lighter colored fruit.
BACK BY POPULAR DEMAND! Ruby June - Available in conventional only! - These plugs are special! Ruby June is a strong short-day variety that is more compact and has tighter plant architecture and leaf structure. As such, Ruby Junes can be more densely planted and don't tend to perish in extreme rain events the way other berries sometimes do because they allow for more airflow and grow more off of the ground. Ruby June has a darker exterior and interior color than most varieties. The Ruby June is known for having great flavor. This is our second year offering Ruby June, and we have had extremely favorable local grower feedback on this variety. Ruby Junes do cost a bit more. See special pricing for Ruby Junes below.
Conventional Plug Pricing (Any Combination of Varieties except Ruby June)
½ Tray (25 plants) = $15
1-9 Trays (50 plants/tray) = $27/tray
10+ Trays (50 plants/tray) = $22/tray
Certified Organic Plug Pricing (Any Combination of Varieties except Ruby June)
½ Tray (25 plants) = $16
1-9 Trays (50 plants/tray) = $29/tray
10+ Trays (50 plants/tray) = $24/tray
Ruby June Special Variety Pricing
½ Tray (25 plants) = $17
1-9 Trays (50 plants/tray) = $30/tray
10+ Trays (50 plants/tray) = $25/tray
We would appreciate a deposit of $10/tray at the time your order is placed. We can process credit cards over the phone (Store # 919-542-3353), or you can send a check in the mail to Country Farm and Home, 203 South Small Streeet, Pittsboro, NC 27312. No deposit is necessary for small, home garden 1/2 tray orders.
Important Dates to Remember
Monday, September 28 - Conventional Plugs Arrive at Store (weather pending)
Tuesday, September 29 - Orange County Delivery Route (weather pending)
Wednesday, September 30 - Lomax Delivery Route (weather pending)
Monday, October 12 - Organic Plugs Arrive at Store (weather pending)
Tuesday, October 13 - Orange Country Delivery Route (weather pending)
Order Early - Strawberry Fields are Not Forever
Every year we sell out of strawberry plugs, and that's without a pandemic! All trends point to records sales and selling out earlier than ever this year. In this case, the Beatles are wrong... Strawberry Fields are not Forever. Order early to secure your plugs!