Strawberry transplants start showing up in these parts, around late February. I have purchased and planted these February strawberry plants. I have also purchased bare root strawberries from several sources over the years. www.willisorchards.com is my current go to for bare root berries and blackberry plants. Bare root strawberries are just that – bare root. There is little or no plant to speak of, just a tangle of roots. The plants are dormant, and come to life once the roots come into contact with soil and water.
In my experience, the bare root strawberrys, planted in late Fall/Early Winter, produce greater yields in the Spring, than the Spring planted transplants. I believe their root systems have a better chance of getting established, and for that reason, they produce more fruit. They do need to be covered in freezes, if the leaves have sprouted.
This past weekend, I made room for about 30 strawberry plants, in two 4×4 raised garden beds. I amended the existing soil with Turkey Compost and decomposed granite – the turkey compost for nutrients, and the granite for drainage. Strawberries like a well drained soil.
Once planted, I mulched heavily around the plants, in an effort to keep them warm all winter. I used Texas Native Hardwood Mulch, because it is shredded and contains very few large chunks. This mulch will break down easier than chunkier mulch, and I won’t have to scrape it out of the beds once strawberry season is over.
Hard to see, but they are in there!
They are fond of food in the later winter, early Fall, and consume lots of water. But, these beauties taste better than any store bought strawberries. Something else to look forward to.