The Q&A Archives: How Do The Stores Do It?

Question: when i bought my strawberry plants in the store the roots were packaged in sawdust and put in a box....i would like to do that to a few of my strawberry plants and take them with me when i move this year...could you tell me how they did it? what time of year do i dig the roots up?
also, to transplant runners-can i just cut the runner stem from the plant and transplant the part of the runner that is going to root or will that hurt it?
when is the best time to transplant runners?

Answer: Usually the plants are dug in the fall, washed, and put into cold storage. This would be difficult to do at home. Unfortunately, fall planting is not usually recommended because the plants tend to heave in the freeze thaw cycles due to insufficient rooting time. Runners are better transplanted as soon as they have a decent root system. To encourage this, remove all but one or two runners per plant. In my experience, it is better to move runners in the spring, just as it is better to plant in early spring. However, if you have no other choice, you can certainly experiment and see if it works. You could also pot up some plants to take with you and plant in the fall, or, probably the most reliable, order new plants for delivery next spring. This has the added advantage of ensuring the new plants are healthy and disease free at planting so there is no risk of importing any problems.

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