How to Store Strawberry Crowns

Overview

A home strawberry patch allows you to quickly begin producing fruit in the home garden. Strawberry plants are often sold as bare-root strawberry crowns from seed suppliers. These resemble dried brown roots. Usually leaves are not present and the roots trail down from the crown of the plant. It is best to plant the crowns right away, but if you can't due to weather or other reasons, proper storage is necessary to ensure the strawberry crowns do not die.

Step 1

Store the crowns in their shipping packaging if you must only store them for a day or two. Re-moisten the peat moss or other packing material so it is as damp as a wrung out sponge, and store in a cool room or the refrigerator.

Step 2

Dig a trench in a shaded area of the garden bed if you must store the crowns longer. Dig the trench 6 to 8 inches deep or as deep as the strawberry roots are long.

Step 3

Set the strawberry crowns in the trench so the roots are beneath soil level and the crowns sit just above the soil. Space them 4 to 5 inches apart.

Step 4

Refill the trench with soil and pack it firmly around the roots, but do not cover the crown. Water lightly so the soil is just moist and any air pockets around the roots collapse.

Step 5

Store the strawberries in the trench for one to two weeks. Cover the crowns with a 2-inch layer of straw mulch if freezing weather is predicted.

Tips and Warnings

  • Always inspect crowns upon arrival. Dispose of any that show signs of mild or fungus as these were improperly stored by the seed supplier.

Things You'll Need

  • Trowel
  • Straw mulch

References

  • Maryland Cooperative Extension: Getting Started With Small Fruits
Keywords: storing strawberry crowns, strawberry plant care, heeling in strawberries

About this Author

Jenny Harrington has been a freelance writer since 2006. Her published articles have appeared in various print and online publications, including the "Dollar Stretcher." Previously, she owned her own business, selling handmade items online, wholesale and at crafts fairs. Harrington's specialties include small business information, crafting, decorating and gardening.