Transplanting strawberry plants is not as hard as many beginner growers think. You should just know the right time to do it, identify healthy plants, dig up the chosen runners, prune them, create planting beds, plant the runners and finally water them.Transplanting Strawberry Plants

Strawberry plants produce large numbers of runners during their lifetime and they fill up the plant’s confined space. If you want to transplant your strawberry plants using simple steps, see more detailed information below.

How to Best Transplant Strawberry Plants?

To best transplant strawberry plants successfully you should do it during fall. You should get healthy runners from the parent plant, prune them, create planting beds, and finally, plant them in nutrient-rich soil. You should follow the strawberry transplanting system afterward to maintain the strawberry plants’ life cycle.

1. Know the Right Time for Strawberry Transplanting

The best time to remove younger plants from mature ones is during the fall season. In most United States regions, fall begins in late August. The southern zones are generally warmer and strawberry transplanting should be done a bit later. If you live in cooler climates, you should consider transplanting strawberries much earlier.

When strawberry plants are transplanted during fall, fruit production during the incoming growing season will be very high. This happens especially when the strawberry plants are exposed to the right soil moisture, sunlight, and soil. Even though these plants do not tolerate cold weather, transplanting them amid the hot summer season will stress them out.

2. Identity Healthy Strawberry Runners

Take a look at your plants and identify healthy strawberry runners that you can remove, especially the rooted ones. Ensure that the runners are well-established and disease or pest free. Bear in mind that a weak-looking runner has slim chances of making it whereas healthy ones have high survival chances.

3. Dig up the Chosen Runners

Carefully use a hoe or garden fork to dig up and detach the runners from the mother plant. Whichever way you execute this process, try to avoid damaging both the parent plant and the runners. If you choose to use some other tools to remove the runners from a parent strawberry plant, just ensure that they are well-sanitized to prevent pathogen transmission.Growing Juicy Strawberries

Check the runners closely and see if their health is excellent. If not, choose a place with all the necessary growing conditions. This should help you in producing an improved, thriving plant.

4. Prune the Runners

You should neatly trim the runners of excess leaves and leave about two or three leaf sets. You may also find the need to prune your strawberry plants but with no intention to throw away the runners. If you are not yet prepared to plant them in beds, you can grow these extra strawberries in pots awaiting transplanting.

5. Create Planting Beds

If you do not have ready-made garden beds, you should make new ones. You should know that strawberries grow best in a spot that has access to at least six to seven hours of sunlight. Also make sure that the soil is loamy, nutrient-rich, and well-draining. Also, ensure that you should plant strawberries in soil that has a pH ranging from 5.5 to 6.5.

In case you wish to use existing garden beds for replanting of these young strawberry plants, you should be sure that they did not contain Solanaceae family plants. Such plants include potatoes, bell peppers, tomato plants, and eggplant. These plants’ residues and soil harbors dangerous fungal diseases that can affect your plants.

If you do not want to rush into planting the runner directly into the soil, you can transfer them to pots. Transplanting strawberry plants into containers buys you some extra time while looking for the best spot to grow them. All you need to do here is to get small pots and fill them with rich, loamy soil.

6. Plant the Runners

Make a hole on the raised bed and plant strawberry plants that are rooted inside. You should keep the leaves of the new plant above the soil line. If there are any leaves close to the ground, just snip them off. The space between the plants should be between 12 and 24 inches in rows that are 12 to 36 inches apart.Strawberry Plants in Vegetable Beds

Remember that if you are growing the ever-bearing strawberry type, they need more room to maximize their growth and productivity. A confined space reduces their ability to flourish.

Position the pots close to the parent strawberry plant and direct a healthy runner over each pot. Just ensure that the soil is dampened and the runners’ root nodes are in direct contact with the growing medium.

7. Water the Plants

Deeply water each young strawberry plant until the growing medium has gained enough moisture. During hot and dry weather, make sure that you water the soil at least one to one and a half inches each week. Watering should be done early in the morning to give the soil and leaves enough time to dry up. You should water the soil such that it remains slightly moist but not waterlogged.

How to Best Use the Strawberry Transplanting System?

To best use the strawberry transplanting system, you need to transplant young plants to new beds yearly. The first year you transplant runners from parent plants, the second year you transplant fruiting strawberry beds. In year three transplant to another bed and in year four you can remove them completely.

Remember, the transplanting of a strawberry plant is done to keep the vigor as well as fruit production high. This system gives strawberry plants more years of healthy growth as well as a good harvest.

– First Year: Transplant Runners From Parent Plants

If you bought a strawberry plant online or from a nearby nursery, and did spring planting, it will not be established enough to bear fruit until the next spring. During the last month of the first year of fruiting (the strawberry plants’ first year of their life cycle), you should transplant some healthy and well-established runners to bed two during fall. Take note that bed two should be winterized.

– Second Year: Transplanting Fruiting Strawberry Beds

During the second year, you should transplant runners from bed one to bed two. Remember that the strawberries that are in bed one will now be in the second fruiting year and if they are too thick, you should thin them. Kindly note that strawberry plants perform and yield well when they are still young. However, when they produce runners, you will need to thin out the older plants giving room for the new ones to fill in.Caring for Strawberry Plants

After thinning the plant, you should plant the excess runners into bed two. This way the productivity of bed one will be increased. This concept also applies to June-bearing strawberries, as they produce massive runners that need management.

– Third Year: Transplanting From Two Beds

Now that bed one is in the third year of fruiting, it is most likely that the strawberry plants are getting old and begin losing their productivity. This calls for beds two and three to cover up by giving out ample harvests. As fall approaches, get ready to transplant the runners once more. This will be time to thin bed one and two and transplant healthy runner plants into bed three.

– Fourth Year: Bed Renewal Before Transplanting

After the third year of production, you can remove the plants in bed one after they are completely done with fruit production. You should renew the bed as soon as they are done producing fruit. Gather aged manure, rich organic compost, and any other soil enhancers that you can get. Generously add these components and till them the strawberry bed. You can alternatively add an organic or non-organic fertilizer to the soil.

During the fourth year, you should add rich organic matter to the soil two or three times throughout spring and summer. Bed two, three, and four will produce fruits during the fourth year while the first bed is being renewed. As fall approaches in the fourth year, you should transplant healthy runners from bed two, three, and four to bed one. As long as you keep your plants disease-free, using this system will give you enough harvests from the three beds during their active production years.

Rotating strawberry plants in the same beds increases the risk of having them succumb to the same infections or diseases. Preventing diseases and re-introducing nutrients into the beds should theoretically maintain the health and productivity of strawberry plants. Consider adding Burpee’s Premium Organic Potting Mix, the miracle gro all purpose gardening soil, or FoxFarm ocean forest potting soil when growing strawberries on a raised bed.Harvesting Strawberry Fruits

Frequently Asked Questions

– Can You Transplant Strawberries in October?

Yes, you can transplant strawberries in October. Although we recommend transplanting strawberries in spring, these plants are quite hardy and can be transplanted anytime of the year when the ground is tillable. So, you can also plant strawberries in October once you have assessed the availability of the care requirements.

– When to Transplant Strawberries in Zone 8?

You should transplant strawberries in zone 8 by waiting until the last frost. Frost is one of the greatest threats that strawberry growers face as it suppresses the performance of these plants. The last frost is usually seen in February or early March.


Hopefully, this detailed guide has given you the know-how about strawberry transplants. Before you leave,take a quick look on the main points below:

  • You can transplant runners that are healthy into new places where they grow and become independent plants.
  • Transplanting of strawberry plants is done to keep the vigor as well as fruit production high.
  • If you bought a strawberry plant online or from a nearby nursery, and did spring planting, they will not be established enough to bear fruit until the next spring.

If you already have established strawberry plants, get some runners and transplant them into your desired space. With this article stop procrastinating, grow strawberries, and enjoy the bumper yields!

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