🍓 Bare Root Strawberries: How To Choose, Plant, & Care For Plants

6 Materials
20 Minutes

Looking for a cost-effective way to plant a big patch of delicious strawberry plants? Time to order some bare root strawberries! 🙌 🍓 🥰

Bare root strawberries are simply strawberry plants that are sold with the soil washed away from the roots. With no soil, the roots are “bare”, and easy to package up together in a bulk bundle. Bare-root strawberries are often priced much lower than potted strawberry plants and are available in many more varieties (including many of the top gourmet strawberry cultivars).

Read on to learn all about bare root strawberries!

Bare Root Strawberries: BEFORE

Bare root strawberries are dormant strawberry plants that have been dug up and the soil washed away, so that just the plant remains. Dormant “bare root” strawberry plants are bundled up, refrigerated, and sold. Most bare-root strawberries are sold in bundles of 10, 12, or 25 plants, held together with an elastic band.

See the big list of Strawberry Varieties to choose the right type 🍓

STEP 1: Choose And Prep A Planting Location

Start by choosing a planting location for your bare-root strawberry plants. You can plant them in the ground in the garden outside, in a raised garden bed, or in a strawberry planter ( here are some ideas for different strawberry planter containers). Look for a sunny spot (6-8 hours of direct sunlight per day) with soil that drains out water easily.

Prep the planting bed by adding a bit of homemade compost onto the top of the soil. Strawberries grow best in a deep, sandy loam soil rich in organic matter. For container-grown strawberries, choose a lightweight planting mix enriched with organic fertilizer.

Bundle of bare-root strawberry plants

STEP 2: Un-Package The Bare Root Strawberry Plants

Carefully unpackage the bare root strawberry plants. Usually there is an elastic band which needs to be removed from around the bundle of roots. Once this is off, the plants can be “unrolled” from their bundle.

STEP 3: Soak The Bare Root Strawberry Plants

Carefully separate the plants, pulling each plant out one-by-one. Soak the plants in clean water to hydrate the roots, for a period of 30 minutes to 4 hours (depending upon how dry they were in the package). Cut off any flowers that have grown (we want the plants to focus on growing roots at this point).

STEP 4: Plant The Bare-Root Strawberries

Plant each bare-root strawberry plant in your prepared planting area or container. Take care not to plant the strawberry plants too deep. While the thin, yellow-white roots should be covered with soil, the brown papery “crown” around the bottom of the stems should be sticking up above the soil. Don’t bury the whole crown! Leave most of it peaking up above the soil.

Water the bare-root strawberry plants deeply after they’ve been planted in the strawberry bed. Keep them well-watered as they become established in the soil.

Here's a video tutorial version that explains all about what bare-root strawberries are and how to plant them - showing all these steps (and why these little plant bundles are awesome 🙌)

AFTER: Newly-Planted Bare Root Strawberry Plant

Enjoy Your New Strawberry Plants!

Keep the baby plants well watered. Drip irrigation is extremely helpful in providing consistent water to the young roots. A good strawberry mulch will help keep the moisture in the soil, as well as keeping weeds down.

Remove the first flowers from newly-planted bare-root strawberry plants to allow them to put their energy into growing roots in their new spot. Once the strawberries are established, the plants can be fed with a high-quality organic fertilizer (tomato fertilizers work well for strawberries).

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Home for the Harvest | Mary Jane Duford
Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!
Frequently asked questions
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  1 question
  • Hope Hope on Aug 09, 2021

    Hi Mary Jane...

    The only thing I know about strawberries is that they are delicious and I have always wanted to have a strawberry patch!! : )

    I live in Zone 6. How should I proceed..? Do these bare-root plants get planted in fall..? Please tell me what I need to do for my zone and, where I can get some bare-root berries. Do I need to order them from a catalog..?

    Thank You!! Have a great day!! : )

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4 of 5 comments
  • Jp Jp on Aug 09, 2021

    anyone can come to my yard and pick from hundreds of starts. I learned you don't put strawberry tops in the compost pile where the birds can get to them They're EVERYWHERE!!☺️

    • See 1 previous
    • Chris Hano Chris Hano on Aug 12, 2021

      Yes. What a wonderful problem to have.

  • Bev49420966 Bev49420966 on Aug 15, 2021

    My friend is a landscaper and at the college he planted strawberries here and there in the flower beds for ground cover. They were big and beautiful clumps of greenery and the students could pick strawberries at random