This everbearing cultivar did well last spring — until summer hit.

Here’s a little quiz for Tucson-area gardeners: When is the best time to plant strawberries: September, January or March?

If you guessed now — September — you win.

Last year, upon advice from the folks at The Magic Garden Nursery and Landscape, I planted strawberries in the early fall.

By March, I was harvesting some of the best strawberries I’ve ever had. They were much tastier than you’d find at any supermarket.

The plants — an ever-bearing variety — continued fruiting into May, but by summer every plant had croaked, even though I had moved them into the shade and watered them every day.

Was it a waste of money? Not for me — I adore fresh strawberries and don’t mind planting them as annuals every year.

But Tony Sarah of The Magic Garden Nursery says you can keep strawberry plants alive during the hottest months by watering twice a day — and at the same time of day.

That last bit of advice goes for many plants, he says. You can’t water in the morning on a Monday and in the evening on a Tuesday, for example.

Read on for more tips:

Contact me at onesnowpea@tucson.com or call 573-4163.