Winter bare root season is the first glimmer of what is to come for spring. It gives me a purpose in the garden during a pretty dull month of cold and wet weather. If you are like me, you love your fall and/or winter garden but by January you are more than ready to start planning for spring.
Here is the dirt on bare root strawberries to help you grow with success!
- Strawberries typically come in bundles. Separate the bundled plants and remove dried leaves and soak the roots in water for an hour before planting.
- Plant early! The ground should still be cool but not rock-hard frozen. Here at Avalow, we plant our bare root strawberries in January to about the first week of February. We are located in Santa Rosa, CA.
- Spread out the roots, keeping them straight down. Trim the roots to be about 4-5".
- Avoid planting too deep or too shallow by planting the crowns even with the soil line.
- Strawberries grow best in well-drained sandy loam, but can grow in most soil conditions as long as they have good drainage.
- Containers and raised beds are wonderful for growing strawberries.
- Avoid planting near peppers, tomatoes, eggplant or potatoes (or where they have previously grown) because they are susceptible to verticillium wilt. Ew.
- As frustrating as it may be, we do recommend pinching off all blossoms during the first season. This will encourage growth for better production in the future. Not a fan? For everbearing* varieties, we would suggest pinching off the first set of blossoms and enjoying the late season second harvest.
- Expect runners. The runners will take root and become new plants! Before it roots, lift the little runner and place it where you like to encourage it to grow in the right direction.
*Everbearing strawberries produce two crops per year, typically in the second year after planting. Harvest will occur mid-summer and again in the fall.