Why plant bare root?
- The plants are somewhat dormant so they are less subject to transplant shock.
- There are more varieties available.
- Best of all: plants are cheaper in the bare root stage!
How to start a strawberry bed (using either bare root plants or plants in 6 packs):
1. If mail ordering bare root plants, research the best type for your area. Schedule delivery for a time when you will be able to plant. Bare root plants need to get in the ground sooner rather than later. If they dry out, they can die. If purchasing from a local nursery, find out when your nursery stocks bare root strawberry plants. Or plant from 6 packs.
2. Prepare soil by tilling in plenty of soil amendment and organic fertilizer (in an amount per package instructions).
3. Mound soil in 4" - 6" high rows if planting at ground level, or plant in raised beds or containers. Strawberry plants need good drainage.
4. Lay plastic sheeting over each row or raised bed if desired. (plastic preserves moisture, keeps weeds down, warms soil, and prevents berries from touching soil and rotting).
5. Plant strawberry plants taking care to plant crown slightly above soil level to prevent it from rotting. Plant 12" apart. (if using the plastic sheeting, use box cutter to cut slit in plastic to insert plant).
Note: If using plastic sheeting, lay soaker hose or drip irrigation under the plastic. Instead of plastic sheeting, straw can be used as a mulch.
Fun Fact: How did strawberries get their name? Prior to plastic sheeting, straw was used as a mulch, and the berries were called 'straw' berries!