Looking for a productive strawberry variety with sweet, delicious berries? Time to try Ozark Beauty strawberries!
The Ozark Beauty Strawberry is an everbearing strawberry cultivar from Arkansas well-known for its sweet berries and productive growth. Ozark Beauty strawberry plants are easy to grow, thriving in full sun locations with well-drained soil and consistent watering. Ozark Beauty strawberries are a great choice for gardeners who want to harvest great-tasting berries in both late spring and in early autumn.
Read on for tips on planting, plant care, and harvesting Ozark Beauty Strawberries.
Ozark Beauty Strawberries: The Basics
The Ozark Beauty Strawberry was bred by J.B. Winn of Arkansas and introduced in 1955. Ozark Beauty strawberry plants were bred from the Red Rich Strawberry and the Twentieth Century Strawberry.
Ozark Beauty strawberry plants tend to set a large harvest in late spring, generally for about 3 weeks in late June to early July. The second (smaller) crop grows from buds set in the spring, which ripen into strawberries in late August through September. Runner plants start to grow mid-summer, but typically don’t produce strawberries until they have overwintered.
“Ozark Beauty (Red Rich x Twentieth Century), originated with J.B. Winn of Arkansas. Introduced 1955 for its runner-plant production, attractive, sweet good-flavored berries. Mother plant very productive, runner plants usually produce no berries.”Present Everbearing Varieties of the United States, From The Strawberry: History, Breeding and Physiology, by George M. Darrow.
Flavor Profile Of Ozark Beauty Strawberries
When it comes to flavor, the Ozark Beauty is one of the most flavorful strawberries out there. It is said to have a honey-sweet flavor but not too sickly sweet. This gives the Ozark Beauty a robust flavor that is good for many things.
Many people like to use the Ozark beauty for jams and jellies. Their sweet flavor is well suited to canning, freezing, or just eating fresh off the plant. Because Ozark Beauty strawberries are so prolific, you will have ample opportunity to do anything you want with them. You can freeze them and save them for later, or you can give them away to your friends and family.
Planting Ozark Beauty Strawberry Plants
Before you can start growing your Ozark Beauty strawberries, you will need to make sure that your soil is properly prepared for your plant. They need a slightly acidic soil ph to thrive. This will help them grow well and produce lots of fruit. When planting, make sure to not cover the crown of the plant. If you cover the crown, it will slow or halt the seed germination and make it harder for the plant to grow.
Plant Care for Ozark Beauty Strawberries
Strawberry plants need full sunlight. This should be about 8 hours of sun every day. If they don’t meet the right growing requirements, their growth can be stunted and they will not produce a good amount of strawberries. These plants will also need about an inch of water every week. If grown correctly, you should be able to harvest bright red, moderately firm strawberries that can grow up to 4 inches long!
Strawberry plants will produce many runners (daughter plants) that you can cut off and plant somewhere else to propagate your plants. If you do not want to plant these runners, that is okay, you do not have to. However, you should still cut off as many as you can. If you leave 2 to 3 runners, this will create a good base for the plant and the plant will be able to strengthen itself and establish the main plant before it bears fruit.
The Ozark Beauty is a very prolific plant and will create flowers very quickly the first time you plant it. To help strengthen the main plant even more than you already have, pick, or cut off the flowers the first time it produces them. This will allow the plant to divert energy and nutrients to the actual plant rather than the creation of the fruit. This will ensure a hearty crop the next time it starts producing flowers.
Compared to other strawberries, Ozark Beauty strawberries can grow in a wider range of areas. This makes them an ideal choice for growing in non-traditional areas. Ozark Beauty strawberries have a hardiness rating of zones 4 -8.
In the short term, they can survive temperatures as low as -30 degrees! This range is mostly in the middle of the United States. It goes from Pennsylvania all the way over to parts of Colorado. It also includes the Pacific Northwest all the way down into Nevada. This is a considerably wider range than most other types of berries.
Harvesting Ozark Beauty Strawberries
Ozark Beauty strawberries (and everbearing varieties in general) are not as firm as most other varieties of strawberries, so you do have to be careful when picking them. They can bruise easily, so when picking make sure to do it carefully.
The best way to pick the strawberries is to grab the stem between your thumb and pointer finger, pull it so that it’s taut, and twist. This will leave a little bit of the stem still attached and will help ensure that the fruit itself does not get damaged or bruised in the process. Alternatively, use scissors or pruning shears to trim the stems.
The best time to pick strawberries is in the cool morning time when the berries are still cool. Make sure not to pick any strawberries with green tips because they are not ripe.