Picking strawberries is a fun past occasion for all seasons, but you have to know when to pick them to get the perfect berry. However, picking the best strawberries can only be accomplished during warmer months of the year. Between April and June of each year, strawberries around the U.S. begin to ripen. The time of year when strawberries are best for picking varies by region.
In Florida and Texas, strawberries peak during mid April. Throughout the Southeast, strawberries ripen during the month of May while in the northern states and Canada, strawberries peak in mid to late June. Growers rely on ideal spring weather conditions to get the best strawberries.
Strawberries should be picked when they are at their ripest. Generally, when a strawberry is plump and firm it is nearly ripe. The color of the strawberry, however, gives you the best indication of its ripeness. The strawberry should be fully red in order to produce the best taste. Smaller, deep red strawberries are also often full of flavor.
Picking strawberries during peak season is the best time to ensure you get an ample supply of strawberries. Strawberry farms often host strawberry festivals during peak season for buyers to come and pick their own strawberries. Call ahead to the farm to find out the earliest times to pick strawberries. Festivals are popular times of year for many small towns, which means the locals are accustomed to getting an early start picking strawberries. In some areas, strawberries are fully picked before noon.
Strawberries should be picked on cooler days if you plan to store them in your refrigerator or freezer after picking. If you pick strawberries on a warm day, they should be consumed immediately as they are usually more fragile and susceptible to bruising than firm strawberries. Avoid washing the strawberries until you are ready to eat them as water can cause them to spoil prematurely.