The Q&A Archives: Transplanting Strawberries

Question: I want to transplant my everbearing strawberries and my normal strawberries to a different spot in my garden.I had my normal strawberries in that spot for about 3-4 years and I planted my other strawberries in the spring, they still didn't produce fruit. I want to know when I should transplant them and if they will have fruit this year if I transplant them.

Answer: Strawberry plants actually form their flower buds in the fall, for fruit the following spring. After fruiting, the plants set runners which can be used to form new plants (either in place or transplanted) and which in any case should for the most part be removed to preserve the strength of the mother plants. As you have discovered, mature strawberry plants do run out of steam and the soil also becomes somewhat depleted over time.

To be honest, it is probably better to start new beds with new certified plants, but you can certainly try transplanting some of the younger plants if they are healthy. To try for a crop in new beds this year, the best time to transplant them would be very early this spring, when the weather is still cold and the plants are still dormant, about the time you would plant bare-root plants.

However, this will stress the plants and may even reduce yields further. In any case it will not increase your fruit production for this year because that was already determined last fall. Since your new plants did not fruit, I suspect they had been "disbudded" prior to shipping. Many gardeners will remove the flower buds from their new plants the first year so that the plants can devote their energy to establishing themselves rather than to producing berries. Another possibility is that stress such as a dry spell caused the crop to fail, or perhaps a cold snap froze the blossoms after you planted the plants -- it's not always easy to grow strawberries!

Good luck with your new strawberry beds!

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