Jewel Strawberry: A Richly-Flavored, Easy-to-Grow Variety

When you think of the classic deep red, big, juicy strawberry, you could be imagining the Jewel Strawberry.

The Jewel Strawberry is a June-bearing garden strawberry cultivar from New York State known for its big, deep-red berries with exceptional flavor. Jewel Strawberry plants are easy to grow and are well-adapted to a variety of climates. Jewel Strawberries are well-deserving of their consistent placement as one of the best-tasting varieties of strawberries.

Read on to learn all about Jewel Strawberries!

ripe Jewel cultivar strawberries

What Is a Jewel Strawberry?

The Jewel Strawberry was bred by Cornell AgriTech (New York State Agricultural Experiment Station) and introduced in 1985. Jewel Strawberries are descended from several selected varieties, including Senga Sengana Strawberries and Holiday Strawberries.

Jewel strawberries are categorized as June-bearing strawberry plants and are among the best type of strawberries to grow. Jewel strawberry plants will produce very large and wide fruit. It’s known for its high-quality fruit that are fantastic for eating fresh, freezing, or preserving in other ways.

The Jewel strawberry holds strong against extreme weather conditions you might run into during the year. Bred in New York state, it can survive cold snaps and blazing hot days, which has made it perfect for a variety of areas. With this plant being so resilient, it is understandable why this strawberry is highly recommended for growing at home.

This particular type of strawberry grows best in zones 4 to 8. They actually have a moderate winter hardiness and can withstand colder temperatures than some other plants. This type of strawberry will grow well throughout the United States, especially in the Northern States. However, the berries will typically thrive and grow best in Northeastern and upper Midwestern United States.

The Jewel variety of strawberry plant will produce its fruit in the late midseason – generally around mid-June to early July. The berries it produces are of great quality and usually large and glossy. It’s a popular variety and will produce some of the largest strawberries over a harvest period of about 2 to 3 weeks. This type of strawberry is great for pies, jams, freezing, and especially eating fresh.

jewel variety strawberries

How to Grow Jewel Strawberries at Home

Jewel Strawberry plants are grown from bare-root plants or from potted nursery strawberry plants. Jewel strawberry seeds do not breed true, and therefore cannot be grown from seed. Try to get Jewel strawberry plants into the ground in early spring, preferably in April or May.

Plant Jewel Strawberry plants in a sunny location with well-drained soil. Take care not to bury strawberries too deep (the soil line should be about half-way up the crown at most). A top-dressing of homemade compost will add nutrients to the soil while allowing water to drain out. While these strawberries adapt to different soils, they tend to grow well in soil with a pH in the range of 6-7 (slightly acidic).

After planting, all there is left to do is stay consistent with the watering and keeping the bed clear of any weeds that you may see. To minimize weeds, lay down mulch when you plant. Avoid using a spray weed killer because you can get that on your plants and kill them as well. If you stay consistent with plucking out weeds, then it won’t create a problem for the strawberries.

It’s important to make sure that your strawberry plants stay well hydrated by watering them often. The plants require a lot of water if you want to enjoy full, red, juicy berries when harvest time comes around. If the days are getting hotter than normal, you might need to water a bit more than normal to prevent them from drying out.

Though strawberries are relatively easy to grow and care for, they are still susceptible to other problems. Some of these issues include root rot, foliage disease, gray mold, fruit rot, and other issues. There is also the problem of plant bugs, mites, aphids, and slugs as well. One way to avoid these problems is by setting traps around the strawberry beds to repel slugs and snails. It can also be helpful to make sure you don’t get water on their leaves if plants won’t be able to dry out before darkness arrives.

June-bearing strawberries like Jewel send out lots of runners and young plants after berries ripen in the spring. These plants tend to benefit from a strawberry patch renovation every few years, in which the oldest plants are removed and space is left for the new plants that develop off runners from mother plants.

When Do Jewel Strawberries Ripen?

Jewel strawberries typically ripen over a three week period in mid-June to early July. These plants typically only produce one big harvest per year, making them perfect for those who like to make strawberry jam or freeze a year’s worth of strawberries for smoothies in one big batch. June-bearing strawberries tend to have greater yields than everbearing or day-neutral strawberry varieties.

jewel strawberries

Tips For Harvesting Jewel Strawberries

When it comes time to harvest your strawberries, you should do it in the mornings while the berries are still cool. It will be easier to harvest them when they’re cooler. You’ll know it’s time to harvest when the berries are fully formed and completely red-colored. If you’re wanting to have berries with the sweetest flavor, make sure to only pick berries when they are fully red in color (so no pale spots that are white, green, or pink).

It’s important to note that once strawberries have been picked off the plant, they won’t get any riper. This is why you need to wait until they’re completely red and done growing. This is the opposite of many other types of fruit, like bananas or mangoes, so it’s important to time your harvests correctly. Harvest frequently and eat or store the berries quickly.

When you’re actually picking the berries off of the plant, you need to carefully pull the strawberries from the plant. You’ll want to make sure that you leave about an inch of the stem connected on the top of the strawberry. To do this, just snap the stem about a half inch above the ripe berry.

You should also make sure you’re careful when placing berries in a container and not overload it. Though Jewel strawberries are more resistant to bruising, you should still be careful with strawberries and take care when storing them.

Mary Jane Duford

Mary Jane is a home gardener who loves creating healthy, welcoming spaces (indoors and out!) - About Mary Jane (https://www.homefortheharvest.com/authors/about-mary-jane-duford/)

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