Strawberries: Transplanting Tips
Whether your strawberries have overgrown their pot, or your ready to move them from outside to in or inside to out, transplanting strawberry seedlings and existing strawberry plants is a fairly simple process. just keep a few tips in mind.
When and Where to Plant
Strawberries are best planted in well drained soil, preferably in a raised bed to increase drainage. The soil should be enriched with organic mulch or other organic matter. To do this, simply add a 2 to 3 inch layer of organic mulch on top of the garden and till the soil up to about a foot deep. You can do this by hand with a spade or garden trowel, or with motorized equipment if available.
If you are transplanting an established strawberry patch, do it in the early fall. That way the roots have a chance to establish themselves before the plant goes dormant for the winter. For new plants, do your transplanting in the early spring, after the last frost.
TIP: Our expert gardening advisor, Susan Patterson adds, "Strawberries grow well in raised beds which make soil quality easier to control."
Adding Landscape Fabric
Landscape fabric helps control weeds and retains moisture. Cut your fabric to lie across the entire garden. If necessary, cut several pieces and overlap them a bit.
Once in place, start cutting X’s in the fabric, just big enough for the root balls of your strawberries. Obviously you’re going to cut bigger if transplanting established strawberry plants, as opposed to new seedlings. Be sure to leave between 8 inches to a foot between the holes, depending on the type of strawberries your are planting.
Digging and Fertilizing
Tuck the cut X’s underneath the fabric, and dig out a hole deep enough for your root ball. Mix an all purpose fertilizer for fruits and vegetables according to the instructions on the fertilizer. Use a measuring cup to pour about 1/2 cup of fertilizer in each hole just prior to transplanting.
TIP: Susan advises, "Strawberries prefer a soil pH of 5.8 to 6.2"
For transplanting seedlings, do so just like any other new fruit or vegetable plant. Cup the soil from your pot with the stem between your fingers, and turn it upside down. Tap the bottom and/or squeeze it gently until the plant slides out. Then, place it in the soil at the same depth as it was before, packing the soil in gently with your fingers to eliminate air pockets. Unfold the loose flaps of your fabric.
TIP: Susan suggests, "Provide at least 2 inches of water per week for healthy plants."
For established strawberry patches, try to keep as many of the roots intact as you can. For any broken roots, make a clean cut on them with pruning shears. If excess dirt coats the roots, soak them in a bucket of water until the dirt is loose and falls off, then gently fold the roots into your root ball and plant. Pack the soil in gently with your fingers.
Cover your strawberry patch with loose mulch, such as clean straw, dried leaves, or peat moss. Don’t use green grass clippings, as they tend to mold and compress the landscaping fabric, reducing air circulation, and can cause fungus growth.
For more specific information, contact a local nursery about your particular type of strawberry plants.