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What Are Strawberry Bare Roots?

Strawberry Bare Roots

Strawberry bare roots have become somewhat of a “craze” in the horticulture world. So what are strawberry bare roots?

Simply, they are plants that have gone dormant. And like their name might suggest, they are not in the soil when you get them. They are bare but dormant.

Is this possible? Plants being able to survive outside of soil. Well yes. And this is good news for you when you order them to be delivered.

That’s because as soil-less plants, they are going to be less expensive to transport or deliver. There’s less weight to worry about so that will be less cost.

But once you receive them the real work starts because unless you plant them properly, bare or not bare, they will be a costly failure and you’ll be out of pocket.

So in this article, I want to provide an easy guide on how to plant bare roots strawberry plants without losing them.

Why Choose Bare Roots Over Potted Strawberry Plants?

bare roots strawberriesFirstly, before we look at how to plant bare root strawberries you have to ask yourself a very important question before you start. Are you going to grow a lot of strawberries or just a few plants?

This is important because if you are just going to grow a few plants then you are better off buying potted strawberry plants.

Yes, this is going to be a little more expensive but by doing this, the plants are already rooted and they will take less time to reward you with big, juicy strawberries.

Using bare root strawberry plants will take longer for the plants to bear fruit. That’s not a problem if you have the time to wait.

But the big advantage with growing strawberries the bare root way is you get much more “bang for your buck”.

For example, I can get two strawberry plants already rooted in pots on Amazon for about fifteen to twenty bucks.

However, I can buy just ten strawberry bare roots for a little more than thirteen bucks.

As you can see, it’s much cheaper to purchase strawberry plants the bare root way. But that’s why you have to decide how quickly you want your plants bearing fruit.

Personally, I prefer the bare roots method because it’s cost effective and let’s face it, people always tell me I have plenty of time on my hands.

How Do You Plant Strawberry Bare Roots? (Part 1)

how to plant strawberries from bare rootsPlanting strawberry bare roots is not a difficult task. I have never lost one so to speak and this short tutorial should have you brimming with confidence.

Here are the steps:

1. When you receive your bare roots plants simply separate them and line them up.

2. Before you plant them, they will require hydrating. I like to grab a bucket and fill it with water.

Then I place the plants inside the water and let them hydrate for forty five minutes to an hour.

The reason you want to do this especially if you ordered them online is that they have made a long trip from somewhere and will be crying out for a little hydration. Plus they will do much better when you plant them.

3. When you are ready to plant your strawberries, consider the area you’re choosing. How much sunshine will the strawberries have access to?

I recommend six to eight hours a day as strawberries thrive in sunshine. Use a good soil.

Strawberries do like a little acidity in their soil. Also, water the soil before planting. this can be a light cover just enough to lightly soak it.

Time To Plant (Part 2)

planting strawberriesNow it’s time to plant your strawberries. Please don’t be intimidated by this if you have never planted a strawberry plant before. It’s quite straightforward.

1. The roots can be anywhere up to six to eight inches long. Make a hole about a foot in from the edge of the bed boundary.

The hole should be at least twelve inches deep and a little wider than the width of the roots on the plant when you fan them. For measurements sake, about four inches wide.

Look for the base of the plant (the crown) which the roots join to and remember that when you put it in the soil that this base should be exposed above it. Make sure it’s just the roots that are below the surface.

2. Plant the strawberry bare roots anywhere form 12-18 inches apart depending on how many you have and space you are working in.

Once the strawberry plants are in, add some mulch. There’s no science to mulch but as you’ve gathered in previous articles on this site, I like to use straw.

And that’s it.

From here on, maintenance is all that’s required. And watering is ultra important for strawberries because they are what I like to term, “thirsty little suckers”.

How much water? I water daily but make sure not to go overboard. About a half inch to an inch during the growing phase and when they start to bear fruit, you could up this to two inches.

The Best Time To Plant?

strawberry plantsThis will depend in what hemisphere you live in. In the northern hemisphere, March or early April are a good time to plant.

This will give you plenty of time to plant and nurture the plants before the real heat of summer sets in.

In some areas, late frosts can be an issue and unfortunately, that’s something we can’t control. Just keep an eye on the weather forecast. A rule of thumb I received as a child by parents was plant when the frosts are done.

That’s all well and good but sometimes Mother Nature loses her sense of timing. But generally, mid March to early April in the northern hemisphere is a good guide for planting bare roots strawberries.

In the southern hemisphere, think late August to mid September. Again, be guided by the weather forecast. Today, long range forecasts are pretty accurate and with so much technology available to predict it weeks in advance, you should be okay.

One more thing, there are different varieties of strawberries. I may write another article on strawberry varieties but know there are three prime varieties.

– Summer bearing strawberries which are larger than most other varieties. They produce during a window of about two months during June and July.

– Two-time varieties is a name I came up with (I think!) with this type producing twice during summer and into the fall/

– Everbearing varieties churn out fruit from the time they ripen all the way through to and during the fall.

That’s a brief description but if you love the bigger strawberries, then the first variety should be your choice. Here’s a video with some extra tips for planting your bare root strawberries.


Bare Roots Strawberries
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JD Dean

Growing up on a farm gave me and my family some huge advantages. One of them was learning to grow our own food. Apart from acres and acres of crops, we had a magnificent fruit and vegetable garden plus, we canned our own food. I’m hoping to pass on some of this expertise and experience to you.

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