When Strawberries Should Be Planted: Your Complete Guide

If you are wondering when to plant strawberries, you have come to the right place. 

As long as I can remember, we have had fresh garden strawberries during the summer. As a little girl, my mom had planted strawberries in her garden, and as soon as we moved onto our acreage, I planted some.

Store-bought strawberries cannot compare to freshly picked ones. 

Strawberries are one of the earliest fruits of spring and are a delicious and healthy snack that everyone benefits from.

My little one year old knew what a strawberry was, and how delicious they were from a very young age! He did not find it fair when he could not eat strawberries. 

Strawberries are like healthy candy.

Strawberries are usually planted as bare rootstock, or at least where I live.

They are easy to find in greenhouses, and can also be found from other local strawberry growers if they are willing to sell you some of their strawberry plant runners.

While some have tried to plant strawberries from strawberries, the success rate with this is much lower.

Strawberry plants should be planted as early as possible, as soon as the risk of frost is over.

Early planting will allow the shallow roots of the strawberry plant to establish well the intense heat of summer. 

Things you need to consider when planting strawberries.

Keep the bare roots cool and moist if you do not immediately plant.

In the Spring of 2020, we planted close to 1500 strawberry plants.

We received them in April when it was still too cold and because of how many we had, we could not store them indoors.

What worked really well for us was to store them in our root cellar. It was approximately 6 degrees celsius in there, and cool and moist.

Setting the roots in some water, out from the sun also works really well. Just make sure they don’t get dry.

Ensure stock is disease free.

Check that your stock looks healthy. It may have some dead leaves, which you can remove, but that’s fine and does not mean the plant is dying.

Make sure that there is no fungus or diseased looking roots. You do not want to contaminate your garden with something that will kill the rest of your strawberry plants.

Plant in the evening, or during a cloudy day to prevent transplant shock.

This tip alone can make or break your success with planting strawberries.

Make sure you choose a day that is not too hot, otherwise transplant shock can kill your young, and tender plants.

Water them well when you plant them to ensure they get a good start.

Before planting, remove all but 2 or 3 of the healthiest leaves. 

Do this just before setting them in the soil.

We did not do this (because I wasn’t aware), but I’ve heard that it helps the plant put its energy into the roots rather than the leaves. Definitely something to try next time we plant strawberries. 

Strawberry Plant Spacing

The spacing of your strawberry plants is not that important. It is still good to have a guideline, especially if you are one to go by the book.

We have always planted our strawberry plants anywhere from 8 to 12 inches apart. Strawberry plants produce a lot of runners, and will therefore completely cover the dirt in between the plants with a little time.

My mom once planted strawberries six inches apart, because she wanted filled row faster. However, if you have some patience, planting them farther apart will produce a longer row, with less cost, in the long run.

Plant your strawberry plants 8-12 inches apart.

Strawberry plants have shallow roots. When planting, you do not want to bury the plant completely.

Rather, the crown of the plant should be level (or just above) with the ground. Dig a 6” deep hole, and carefully cover the roots.

Can Strawberries Be Planted in the Fall?

Planting strawberries in the fall is not recommended unless there is enough time in your season for the roots to become firmly established before winterkill.

In our part of the world, planting strawberries as late as August does still work. Just make sure to give it proper mulch before winter.

Do strawberries Need to be Planted Every Year?

Strawberries are a perennial, and as such do not need to be planted every year. However, they are also not a plant like the Haskap where they produce for many years once established. 

Strawberry plants can produce fruit for up to five years.

I have a friend whose strawberry bed produced really well for seven. It depends a lot on the kind of weed pressure and disease problems you have.

Keeping your bed weed-free will help ensure that your strawberry plants do really well. Commercial growers renovate their strawberry beds more often because they need a lot of production from their plants.

Unfortunately, winter kill is also a possible problem, and that can sometimes shorten the life of your strawberry plants.

This guide will help you know when strawberries should be planted, and help you have the most success possible getting them off to a good start.

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