How to Plant Bare-Root Strawberries


Strawberries are a sweet addition to an edible garden. Buying mature plants allows you to harvest the berries sooner than if you planted from seed. Many seed companies and nurseries sell bare-root strawberries as they are easier and lighter to ship and store. These are mature roots that are dormant. Once properly planted they quickly begin producing leaves and return to health. Grow bare-root strawberries in a prepared planting bed or plant them in large pots and containers.

Step 1

Prepare the growing bed by removing any weeds or large rocks. Apply a 2-inch layer of compost and till it in to improve soil nutrition and drainage. Fill pots for container gardens with a quality potting mix and thoroughly moisten it prior to planting.

Step 2

Cut off any damaged roots from the strawberries using clean scissors. Avoid cutting into healthy looking roots as this may inhibit growing.

Step 3

Fill a bucket with lukewarm water. Set the roots of the strawberries in the water and allow them to soak for 20 minutes.

Step 4

Dig a 5-inch deep hole for each plant. Space garden bed strawberries 12 inches apart and container grown plants 6 inches apart.

Step 5

Set the bare-root strawberry plant into the planting hole so the crown of the plant, where the leaves emerge from the roots, is right at soil level. Ensure that the roots are pointing down and not curving up or to the side.

Step 6

Fill in the hole with soil and gently firm it around the base of the plant with your hands. Water the bed until the soil is evenly moist or water the container until the water begins to drip from the bottom drainage holes.

Step 7

Keep the soil moist but not soggy at all times. Fertilize with a general purpose fertilizer, following label instructions, four weeks after the plants begin actively growing leaves.

Tips and Warnings

  • If you can't plant immediately outside due frost or other concerns, the roots must be planted in pots and kept in cool place so they don't die.

Things You'll Need

  • Compost
  • Potting mix
  • Scissors
  • Bucket
  • Spade
  • Fertilizer


  • Penn State Extension: Planting Bare-root Plants
Keywords: bare-root strawberries, growing strawberry plants, small fruits

About this Author

Jenny Harrington is a freelance writer of more than five years' experience. Her work has appeared in "Dollar Stretcher" and various blogs. Previously, she owned her own business for four years, selling handmade items online, wholesale and via the crafts fair circuit. Her specialties are small business, crafting, decorating and gardening.