Grocery Guides

When Is Strawberry Season? Berry Picking, Storage & Recipe Ideas



Last Updated: Jan 20, 2023

Strawberry season is the sweetest part of the year for fruit lovers — those juicy fruits can transform any drink or recipe. It’s no wonder why so many avid gardeners grow strawberries in their backyards!

As soon as the weather gets warmer, strawberries get ready to sprout. However, thanks to transportation and advanced growing techniques, you can find strawberries year round.

But when is strawberry season and why does it differ by location?

Before you jam us with too many questions, let’s go through the basics of strawberry season and cook up a few berry recipes.

Table of contents:

When are strawberries in season?

You may be able to find strawberries in your local grocery store year round due to them being supplied from peak growing regions. In most states, strawberries are picked and readily available in April, May and June. 

However, strawberry season varies throughout the country and USDA growing areas. For example, Florida’s strawberry harvest is towards the end of February, whereas Tennessee’s peak season isn’t until May or early June.

Florida’s strawberry season can sometimes kick start in February depending on growing conditions. Surrounding southern states like Georgia, Alabama and Mississippi will follow shortly after Florida with their blooming berries popping up in April and May.

The middle of the south (North Carolina, Arkansas, and Tennessee—we’re talking about you) will typically see ripened berries in late May or early June. Folks in colder climates and mountainous landscapes (like Montana and Colorado) have to wait until summer to enter the berry season — thankfully, June and July are right around the corner.

Strawberry season by state [map]

map of strawberry season by state

Not sure when strawberry season is where you live? Here is a breakdown of the harvesting season by state.

February strawberry season

  • Arizona
  • California
  • Florida
  • Hawaii

March strawberry season

  • New Mexico
  • Texas

April strawberry season

  • Alabama
  • Georgia
  • Louisiana
  • Mississippi
  • South Carolina

May strawberry season

  • Arkansas
  • Delaware
  • Indiana
  • Iowa
  • Kansas
  • Kentucky
  • Maryland
  • Missouri
  • New Jersey
  • North Carolina
  • Oregon
  • Pennsylvania
  • Tennessee
  • Virginia
  • West Virginia

June strawberry season

  • Alaska
  • Colorado
  • Connecticut
  • Idaho
  • Illinois
  • Maine
  • Massachusetts
  • Michigan
  • Minnesota
  • Nebraska
  • Nevada
  • New Hampshire
  • New York
  • Ohio
  • Oklahoma
  • Rhode Island
  • Utah
  • Washington
  • Wisconsin

July strawberry season

  • Montana
  • North Dakota
  • South Dakota
  • Vermont
  • Wyoming

Which U.S. state produces the most strawberries?

California and Florida are the two states that produce the most strawberries in the U.S. California is responsible for producing over 90% of all strawberries in the country while Florida handles a majority of the winter crop.

chart of top producing strawberry states

How to pick ripe strawberries

Whether you are plucking fruit in your backyard or local farm, here is how to pick ripe strawberries.

Step 1: Look at color

Look out for strawberries that have a deep red color for ultimate ripeness. Fresh stems will be bright green.

Step 2: Check firmness

Your berries should have a medium firmness level — not too firm yet not squishy. The skin should be taut with just the right amount of firmness.

Step 3: Examine the skin

Just like humans, strawberries can have blemishes. Try to pick strawberries that don’t have any blemishes or markings to ensure freshness. The skin of ripe strawberries should be shiny and smooth.

Step 4: Conduct the scent test

Strawberries have a distinct scent and shouldn’t smell foul or artificial — they should have a tart yet sweet odor that is utterly delicious.

How to keep strawberries fresh

Strawberries are delicious, but this delicate fruit requires special care and handling to avoid bruises, cuts or compressions. By all means, go ahead and eat your fresh strawberries as soon as you rinse them. However, if you want to preserve your berries for as long as possible, do not wash them right away — when you introduce moisture into the mix, mold and mushiness are ready to make their grand entrance.

After you have your pick of the patch, sort through the batch and discard any that show bruising or spoilage. Transfer your strawberries from their original container to a glass storage container to ensure freshness — you can return your berries to their original container if there is proper airflow.

According to the Food Safety Department, you can freeze fresh strawberries for 8-12 months from their purchase date.

Fresh strawberry recipe

Sure, eating all the berries right from the bowl is easy and delicious, but you have all strawberry season to get creative. If you find yourself in a bind and need a few ideas, you’ve come to the right place.

Dessert is the perfect time to get your daily intake of fruit while also enjoying a slice of sweetness. Strawberry shortcake is a delectable and classic dessert your whole family will love. Want to elevate your breakfast with some fresh strawberry jam? Add some to a piece of sourdough toast for a low calorie meal.

Fresh Strawberry Jam

Recipe by InstacartCourse: RecipesCuisine: AmericanDifficulty: Easy


Prep time


Cooking time




Total time



Enjoy the tart natural flavors of fresh strawberries with this jam recipe.


  • 2 cups fresh strawberries with tops cut off

  • 1/2 cup sugar (3/4 cup if you want the jam sweeter)

  • 1 lemon, zested and juiced

  • 1 1/2 tbsp elderflower liqueur

  • 1 tsp triple sec (optional)

  • Additional recommended supplies
  • Medium saucepan

  • Mason jars


  • Put the strawberries, sugar, lemon juice, and zest in a medium heavy-bottom pot.
  • Put on medium heat and break up the strawberries with a wooden spoon.
  • Continue stirring until all the moisture is released from the strawberries.
  • Let the jam simmer for 20-30 minutes, stirring occasionally and breaking up the strawberries further.
  • Add the elderflower liqueur and triple sec.
  • Let simmer for another 5 minutes and taste.
  • Add more sugar or liqueur if needed.
  • If you’re happy with the taste, let it cool and pour it into a mason jar or airtight container.

Strawberry season FAQ

What months are strawberries in season?

Strawberries are in season from February through July, but some harvests can occur before or after this window — the exact month will depend on where you live.

Why can you find strawberries in the winter?

You can find strawberries in the winter and spring if you live in warmer climates like Florida and Texas. If you live in colder climates, you can find (imported) strawberries year-round at your local grocery store.

How can you tell if strawberries are ripe?

Strawberries are ripe if they are a deep red color with a bright green stem, don’t have any bruises or bumps, and have a medium firmness.

How do you increase the sweetness of strawberries?

You can increase the sweetness of strawberries with sugar. Add a spoonful of your choice of sugar on your berries and let them sit for 10 or so minutes and enjoy.

Sweet strawberry season summary

While strawberry season may vary depending on where you live, one thing is certain — these berries add a bit of sweetness to any recipe. Test out a slice of toast with strawberry jam, make strawberry pancakes or kick back with a fruit salad. Whatever you decide to make this berry season, make sure to pick out a ripe batch.

Not sure where to pick up strawberries locally? Enlist the help of Instacart for easy online ordering with delivery right to your doorstep. Shop all your favorite spring fruits or fall treats without the hassle.



Instacart is the leading grocery technology company in North America, partnering with more than 1,400 national, regional, and local retail banners to deliver from more than 80,000 stores across more than 14,000 cities in North America. To read more Instacart posts, you can browse the company blog or search by keyword using the search bar at the top of the page.

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