Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Planting Bare Root Strawberries

My strawberry beds are seven years old. They were good producers until last year, so I removed one and cleaned out the second.

Strawberry beds need to be replenished every two to three years. But my main problem is grubs that burrow into the roots during winter. Because my garden floats on a lake, I can't use pesticides, so I decided to move one bed as a part of crop rotation. Maybe I can "outsmart" the grubs for at least one year.

I planted bare roots in the new bed and added some to the existing one to give it a boost. Bare roots are an inexpensive way to get lots of new plants. They are available in the nursery each spring and come in packages of 10-12 roots. Prepare the soil and bury the root up to the crown of small leaves. Mulch around the plants to retain moisture in the soil while the roots get established.

As the strawberries grow, remove any blossoms and runners until the plants have a chance to establish their roots and leaves. Once that has happened, you can let the flowers become berries. Later in the season, let some of the runners produce new plants to replenish your beds for the next season. Over time, the "mother" plants will be replaced by their own "babies."

There is nothing better than walking through the garden and picking a sweet, ripe strawberry to munch while you survey your domain! -- Margy


  1. Pleas excuse me for exposing myself as a total gardening newbie but...your garden floats on a lake? O.o how did that happen? Did you scoot all your dirt onto the water, or is there an underground well? Or are you into hydroponics? I'm lost.

  2. Thanks for the question uninvoked. My garden is four raised beds on a cedar log float. It floats next to my cabin for easy access and to keep the veggies away from hungry critters. Take a look under the "Gardening" topic and you can see some better pictures and stories about the floating garden. - Margy

  3. Anonymous4:30 PM

    Wonderful info! I have had good luck with bare root plants too.

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