Answer: Plant strawberries as soon as the ground can be worked in the spring. This is usually in March or April allowing the plants to become well established before the hot weather arrives. Do not work the soil if it is wet. Wait a few days until it dries.
Try to plant strawberries on a cloudy day or during the late afternoon. Set the strawberry plant in the soil so that the soil is just covering the tops of the roots. Do not cover the crown. After four or five weeks, the plants will produce runners and new daughter plants.
the strawberry plants should be set eighteen to thirty inches apart in rows three to four feet apart. Daughter plants are allowed to root freely to become a matted row no wider than two feet.
The pine straw you mentioned is a good mulch material. Strawberries are very susceptible to frosts in the spring. Straw laid along the rows of plants will not only suppress weeds, and conserve water but you can also rake it up to cover the plants if a freeze is predicted. When weather warms up again, brush the mulch away from the plants.
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