Planting bare root strawberries is a popular choice among gardeners as it allows for the quick establishment of plants and leads to a healthy yield of delicious berries. In this post, we will explore the best techniques for how to plant bare root strawberry plants to ensure a bountiful harvest.
One of the main benefits of using bare root plants is that they are less expensive than buying potted strawberry plants. However, planting bareroot strawberries requires careful attention to ensure the roots are properly planted and established. To get the most out of your strawberry plants, it is crucial to understand the proper techniques for planting and caring for them. With the right knowledge and techniques, you can enjoy a healthy and bountiful harvest of delicious, organic strawberries from your own backyard.
We’ve been growing bare root strawberries for over 12 years and have experimented with growing methods and growing locations and will share everything we’ve learned about how to plant bare root strawberry plants.
Choosing Bareroot Strawberry Plants
Choosing healthy and vigorous bareroot strawberry plants is essential to ensure a successful harvest. When selecting plants, it’s important to look for ones with firm, healthy roots and no signs of damage or disease. Popular varieties to consider include June-bearing, everbearing, and day-neutral varieties. When ordering bareroot plants, be sure to do so from a reputable source and have them shipped at the right time for your planting zone. To store the plants before planting, keep them in a cool, dark place with moistened sawdust or newspaper to prevent the roots from drying out. By choosing high-quality bareroot plants, you can set yourself up for a productive and healthy strawberry patch.
Below you can see 7 of the most popular strawberry varieties.
- Chandler – A June-bearing variety known for its large, sweet, and juicy fruit.
- Seascape – A day-neutral variety with a long fruiting season and a sweet, delicate flavor.
- Albion – A day-neutral variety that produces large, firm, and sweet fruit with a hint of tartness.
- Jewel – A June-bearing variety with a sweet and tangy flavor, perfect for making jams and preserves.
- Earliglow – An early-season June-bearing variety with a rich, sweet flavor and excellent disease resistance.
- Tristar – A day-neutral variety that produces sweet, juicy fruit throughout the growing season and is resistant to many common diseases.
- Ozark Beauty – A June-bearing variety known for its bright red fruit and sweet, juicy flavor, with excellent disease resistance.
See everything you need to know about choosing the best variety of strawberry plants including link of where you can order these plants online.
The best place to get bareroot strawberry plants is either in your local nursery of by ordering them online. You local nursery will likely sell just one of two varieties of strawberries so if you are looking for a specific variety, you may want to order online. If you are purchasing your plants in a nursery, look for plants that are mostly dormant with few if any green leaves, long and robust roots, and no mold or mildew.
If you are ordering your strawberry plants online, most nurseries will take orders over the winter and then send the plants to you in early spring. There are many places to order strawberries. We like to order from Fedco since it is located nearby with similar growing conditions. There are also an increasing number of nurseries selling plants through Amazon or Etsy.
When to Plant Bare Root Strawberries
The best time to plant bare root strawberries is in the early spring, as soon as the soil can be worked and the danger of frost has passed. This allows the plants to establish their root systems before the heat of summer arrives. In some areas with mild climates, fall planting is also an option. It’s important to avoid planting strawberries during the hottest parts of the summer, as this can stress the plants and reduce their fruit production.
When you are planting in the spring, your bare root strawberry plants should be dormant or just coming out of dormancy.
Preparing the Planting Site for Bare Root Strawberries
The Ideal Location for Planting Strawberries
Choosing the right location is important for growing strawberries, especially since they are perennials and will be in the same location for several years. Strawberries thrive in a sunny spot with at least six hours of direct sunlight per day. Ensure that the area has good air circulation to prevent the growth of fungus and pests. It’s also important to avoid planting strawberries in areas where other members of the nightshade family, such as tomatoes or peppers, have grown in the past year.
Preparing the Soil for Planting Bare Root Strawberry Plants
Preparing the soil is one of the most important steps in growing strawberries. Before planting, clear the planting area of any weeds, rocks, or debris. Strawberries like a slightly acidic soil with a pH level between 5.5 and 6.5 but are also fairly forgiving so don’t get too hung up on your soil pH unless you know that your soil is already known to be very basic. Organic matter, such as compost or aged manure, should be worked into the soil to increase soil fertility and nutrient availability for the plants.
Amending the Soil and Ensuring Good Drainage for Bare Root Strawberry Plants
To ensure good drainage for bare root strawberry plants, consider planting them in raised beds or mounds. This allows for better air circulation and water drainage, which can prevent root rot and fungal diseases. We’ve also grown bareroot strawberries in containers and towers.
When planting, one additional option is mixing in a handful of bone meal or rock phosphate into the soil to provide slow-release phosphorus for the plants. To further amend the soil, add a layer of organic mulch around the plants to help retain moisture and suppress weed growth.
How to Plant Bare Root Strawberry Plants
When it comes to planting bare root strawberry plants, it’s important to handle them carefully and plant them properly to ensure their success. In this section we will share the exact steps for how to plant bare root strawberry plants.
Before planting, soak the roots in water for about 30 minutes to help rehydrate them. If you can’t plant your bare root strawberry plants immediately when you get them, keep their roots moist and keep them in a cool dark place.
Depending on the length on the roots of your bare root strawberry plants you can cut the roots back up to 1/3 of their length. This works well if you are planting in a container.
Space plants about 12 to 18 inches apart in rows that are about 2 to 3 feet apart. If you are growing in a raised bed where there won’t be soil compaction, you can grow them closer to 12 inches apart.
To plant your bare root strawberries, dig a hole about 6 inches deep and 6 inches wide. Place one handful of soil in the center of the hole to create a small mound. Spread out the roots around this mound and position the crown of the plant just above the soil level. Cover the roots with soil and gently firm the soil around the plant to ensure good contact. Avoid burying the crown of the plant, as this can cause it to rot.
Immediately after planting your strawberry plant, water the plant thoroughly. This helps the roots and soil settle and gets your strawberry off to a good start. Cover around the plant with a mulch to help with moisture retention and weed control.
Over the next few days and weeks, keep your strawberry well watered and remove any weeds. Within a short time you will see leave forming and growing from the crown of the strawberry plant.
Caring for Bareroot Strawberries
After planting your strawberry plants, it’s important to properly care for them to ensure a healthy and productive harvest. One important aspect of strawberry plant care is pruning. Remove any dead or damaged leaves or runners. This is especially important in the first year and will promote new growth and help prevent disease.
In the first year after planting, it’s important to remove any flowers or fruit that the plant produces. This may seem counterintuitive, but allowing the plant to produce fruit in the first year can divert valuable resources away from establishing strong roots and healthy growth. Instead, focus on allowing the plant to grow and develop a strong root system – you will thank yourself in the second year when you have an amazing harvest.
Pests can also be a problem for strawberry plants. To protect your plants from pests, consider using organic methods such as companion planting or physical barriers. You can also try using natural pest control methods such as spraying the plants with a mixture of water and neem oil or planting garlic or chives nearby to repel pests. Regularly inspecting your plants for signs of pests and taking action as soon as possible can help keep them healthy and productive. If you grow strawberries long enough you will have a problem with pests. It’s best to keep an active eye and address each pest problem as it comes along.
See more about growing strawberries in our complete guide to growing strawberries.
Conclusion for How to Plant Bare Root Strawberry Plants
Learning how to plant bare root strawberries is an excellent way to ensure a healthy and abundant strawberry harvest. By selecting the right location, preparing the soil, and planting the strawberries correctly, you can give their plants the best chance to thrive. Once planted, it is important to provide adequate care, such as regular watering, proper pruning, and protecting the plants from pests. With these tips and techniques, you can enjoy a bountiful harvest of delicious, organic strawberries.
So why not give it a try and see for yourself the rewards of growing your own strawberries?
Common Questions about Growing Strawberries from Roots
How long does it take for bare root strawberries to grow?
The growth rate of bare root strawberries can vary based on several factors such as the variety of the plant, the weather conditions, and the quality of the soil. However, on average, bare root strawberries will start to grow within a few weeks after planting. It takes about four to six weeks for the plant to establish its roots and start producing leaves. The plant will continue to grow throughout the summer and will produce fruit in its second year. To ensure the health and productivity of the plant, it is important to provide it with proper care and maintenance, including regular watering, fertilization, and pest control.
What to do with bare root strawberries when they arrive?
When bare root strawberry plants arrive, it is essential to handle them properly to ensure their survival and success. The plants should be immediately unpacked and inspected for any signs of damage or disease. If any damage is detected, it should be reported to the supplier immediately. The roots should be kept moist but not soaking, and the tops should be kept cool and protected from the sun. If planting must be delayed, the plants can be temporarily stored in a cool, dark place, such as a refrigerator or a cellar. By taking care of the plants upon arrival, gardeners can set themselves up for a successful strawberry harvest.
Is it better to buy bare root strawberry plants?
In my opinion after years for growing both bare root strawberries and strawberries from plants, it is generally better to buy bare root strawberry plants. Bare root plants are often less expensive than potted plants and have a higher success rate when planted correctly. They are also easier to handle and transport than potted plants, and they tend to establish roots more quickly in the ground. Additionally, bare root plants are typically less likely to harbor pests or diseases since they are not confined to a container with limited space for root growth. Overall, if you are looking for a cost-effective and efficient way to grow strawberries, bare root plants are a great option to consider.
Have more questions about how to plant bare root strawberry plants? Drop a comment below.