Transplanting Strawberries

I PLANTED THE ALL-STAR VARIETY OF STRAWBERRIES in spring of 2009 and got a reasonably good crop last year. I managed to prevent the chipmunks and other varmints from eating most of the berries by covering the plants with netting anchored by stones.  I’m hoping for an even better crop this year.

In case you are considering growing strawberries, All-star produces a very attractive strawberry, but they aren’t as tasty as some that I have tried.

Now that the plants are entering their third growing season I have to consider how I’m going to make sure my strawberry crop continues into the fourth and fifth years because most varieties stop producing when the plants get that old.

My original plan

Originally, I planned to use the row method for ensuring that I continue to have two and three year old plants. The row method involves:

1. Planting the original mother plants in rows, but leaving enough space on either side of the rows to make sure that the daughter plants can get established.

2. Mowing the mother plants after the June harvest to encourage that they send out shoots to establish daughter plants in the empty rows. I actually mow with a weed eater so that I can cut back only the mother plants.

3. Removing the mother plants in year four and encourage the two and three year old daughter plants to send new daughter plants into the space where the mother plants were.

The goal of this method is to ensure that you continue to have a steady stream of two and three year old plants. But the problem with this method is that it’s very hard to tell which plants are which after a while. The row system breaks down and you don’t really know how old the plants are. Plus, it’s nearly impossible to get the daughter plants to grow where you want them.

My new plan

I’ve now changed my plan for growing strawberries. Instead of having one bed with all the plants in it, I plan to have two beds and maybe even three. This year I plan to transplant a number of the very best one year old plants into a new bed.

Transplanting strawberries involves carefully digging up each plant and including some of the dirt with the roots to protect them. The next step is to transplant the plant into a hole that is big enough for all the dirt and roots, making sure to press the dirt down to eliminate any open spaces. Then water thoroughly.  The bed should be in a sunny location that is well drained and the soil should be high in organic material. Strawberry plants like soil with a pH of 5.5 to 6.5.

I feed my strawberry plants both leaf mold compost and shellfish compost after the berries have been picked and just before I mow the plants. I also apply Neptune’s Harvest liquid seaweed and shellfish fertilizer in the spring to encourage vigorous leaf growth.

As cold temperatures approach, I cover the plants with oak leaves to allow the roots to continue to grow after the ground is frozen and to protect the strawberry crowns from frost. I pull off the leaves as soon as the danger of very cold weather is gone. This seems to give the plants a running start.

When the plants in the new bed start on their third growing season, I will start the process again in a newly compost amended bed. I may even see if I can get a different variety of strawberry plant that has improved flavor over the All-star variety.

What’s your plan for perpetuating strawberries? Let us know in the comment section below.

Related articles that might interest you:

1. Don’t Count Your Strawberries
2. Mold On Strawberries
3. Comfrey Mulch for Strawberries



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7 Responses to “Transplanting Strawberries”

  1. April 14, 2011 at 6:52 pm #

    I planted ever bearing variety about 5 years ago and they just keep going…even when I dig and move them they just keep going…I also have to net them or I will get none…

    • April 15, 2011 at 7:06 am #

      Donna — I also have a patch of ever bearing strawberries, but they have never really given me very much. I was considering moving them to a new location with better sun and soil conditions. I’ve heard, however, that it would not be worth it since they are so old. They don’t really generate too many daughter plants. I may try to move the daughter plants since they are only two or three years old.

  2. July 5, 2011 at 6:21 pm #

    I bought my first strawberry plants last year,two different kinds,so i put them in two rows at the end of the garden.They did not do much last year,they only gave me a few strawberry’s.I took a load of daughter plants from them,enough for 3 double rows,around 200 plants.As i never throw away a plant pot,this is what i did.I took all my 4ins pots,some round and some square.I then mixed half potting soil and half compost in a wheelbarrow,then filled up all the pots,oh, i mixed some root fertilizer in with it.I then took a roll of thin wire and cut it into 5ins lengths,then i bent them double like a very narrow U.I buried all the plant pots in the ground, square along one row,round along the other.This was so i could tell which kind of strawberry’s were which,and they did not get mixed up.I pined all the daughter plants in the plant pots,holding them in place with the bent wire. On September the first they had all rooted so i moved them to the desired place in the garden.When you do them like this you do not disturb the roots when you transplant them.After i planted them all i covered them with a good layer of straw,ready for the Winter.This year i have loads of strawberry’s,and are they ever sweet.

  3. July 5, 2011 at 6:34 pm #,I forgot,this is my facebook page.


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