If you haven’t planted strawberries yet, you may still have time, especially if you plant Everbearing Strawberries which bear fruit all summer.
The key to success with any plant is the soil. Prepare your strawberry bed by mixing in a good amount of compost and turn it into the existing soil with a shovel to create a light, airy soil and raise the bed up just slightly from the surrounding soil.
If soil is too alkaline, add a little aluminum sulfate to bring the pH down. These plants will spread and put down roots wherever the vines touch the soil, so give them plenty of room to roam.
June bearing strawberries should be planted about 3 weeks before last frost, which means they should start bearing fruit in early June. However, if you can only find June bearing strawberry plants now, and you are willing to risk waiting for fruit, you can plant them now and see what happens.
Or you can plan ahead and plant June bearing strawberries in the fall for a 2018 crop.
Place plants at least 12 inches apart and 24 inches between rows. Mulch around plants with compost, straw, or chopped leaves.
In the fall, trim plants back to about 2-3 inches above ground and mulch 3-4 inches deep to protect them from winter snows and cold temperatures.
You may need to protect your crop from birds and small critters. One way is to use row covers, lightweight fabric that lets light and air through, or build a chicken wire or small gauge fence around and on top of the bed. You can also buy bird netting that works well.