By Karen Carter

There are three different types of strawberries: June bearing, everbearing and day neutral. All these strawberry cultivators need to be planted as soon as the ground can be worked in the spring. Planting in the early spring allows the strawberry plants to establish themselves before the heat of summer appears. Do not plant them if the soil is too wet or if the ground is still frozen. If you cannot plant your strawberry plants right away, then you will have to hold the strawberries until you can plant them.

Soak your strawberry plant roots in a tub of water for 2 hours. This will help ease the stress of transporting the plants from the nursery to your garden.

Dig a V-shaped trench with a shovel in an area protected from direct sunlight and wind. It needs to be deep enough to spread out the strawberry plants’ roots.

Place each bundle of strawberry plants into the trench with the crowns at ground level.

Cover the roots firmly with soil and water the area well.

Spread a 4-inch layer of wood chips over the strawberry plants. This will protect the plants from drying out and help keep the plants from being overgrown with weeds. Leave the strawberries in the trench until you are ready to plant them in your permanent strawberry bed. Water regularly to keep the roots moist but not soggy.

Store strawberry plants in the refrigerator for a couple of days instead of planting them in a trench. Do not store them near ripening fruit because the fruit gives off a gas that is harmful to strawberry plants.

Purchase certified plants that are free of insects, diseases, nematodes and viruses. Inspect the strawberry plants looking for insects, diseases and dry roots.