Let’s talk subarctic strawberries! Our hands down favorite berry in our garden, we’re always thrilled when we start seeing these fruit mature in our garden!
Our one and only recommendation for USDA zone 2-4 strawberries is the Toklat variety. Developed by UAF’s extension service, this strawberry was developed specifically to survive our harsh climates. It does that exceptionally so, always coming back in a raised bed with little difficulty.
This variety can be a bit challenging to find outside of Fairbanks, but they can be located since they’re so prevalent across Alaska. It is a great tasting berry, but does have limited field hardiness and must be harvested quickly after ripening. In most years, it is exceptionally prolific, putting on a dozen+ berries per plant. We have no troubles with producing extra plants every year, the plant will spread anywhere and everywhere!
We knew this variety was the right one for us. When we originally established our beds, we planted three different strawberry varieties with the intent to diversify a bit. However, only one variety remains and that is Toklat. It simply took over our space and has definitely taken the gladiator title in our strawberry beds.
There definitely are other subarctic hardy strawberry varieties out there, so if you can’t find Toklat, it’s not the end of the world. That said, if you have the choice, Toklat is a strong choice that will bring an ear-to-ear grin to your face every year!