Strawberries might some of the easiest fruit to grow in the home garden. Strawberry plants are low-lying and they tend to reproduce (send off sister plants) like crazy.
So what should you do when your strawberry patch, which started off with just a few plants, is now running over with plants? Transplant your strawberry plants! It’s easy and a great way to increase your yield and/or share with others!
Why transplant strawberries?
As I mentioned above, strawberry plants send out runners that take root and create sister plants. This is wonderful for continued strawberry growth, but these sister plants can do two things:
- Make your original strawberry plants less productive, since they’re using energy to establish new plants.
- Crowd your growing space and using up the nutrients in the soil more quickly.
Transplanting will give your strawberry plants breathing room, which they’ll need to avoid the dreaded gray mold. And this gives you the opportunity to share plants with others, replace strawberry plants that may be spent, and to start a new strawberry patch somewhere else in the yard.
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Supplies for transplanting
Transplanting can easily be done in a just an hour or less, depending on your strawberry patch size. Here’s what you’ll need:
- Garden gloves (I love these bamboo gloves from Amazon)
- Trowel or Spade
- Box or bucket (to hold strawberry plants)
- Pruning shears (for snipping off runners)
As far as the time needed, that will depend on the size of your strawberry patch. It only takes a few minutes per plant, so plan your time accordingly.
Preparing a space for strawberries
When transplanting strawberries, be sure you have a place ready for them as you dig up the sister plants. This place can be a container (like this stackable strawberry tower from True Leaf Market), raised garden bed, or even just along a fence or hedge row.
For tips on planting and growing strawberries, check out my entire article all about planting strawberries. This will give you recommendations for your soil and placement of plants. Many of these tips I got years ago from a local strawberry farm owner, and they are gold!
How to transplant strawberries
- Begin by gathering the supplies for transplanting. Have a trowel or spade, garden gloves, and a container to hold the plants.
- Choose the plants you’re going to transplant and cut any connections to the host plant.
- Use the spade 4-5 inches away from the plant and loosen up the soil all around the plant. Then use the spade to lift up the plant, roots and all. You can also use your hands to do this as well, which will allow you to feel the roots and ensure you’re getting them all.
- Place strawberry plants in a container and continue to dig up all the plans you want to move.
- Take strawberry plants to their new home. Loosen up the soil and dig a hole deep enough to take the roots of the strawberry plant. Place plant in the hole and gently fill in the space around the plant with the remaining soil. Pat soil into place gently.
- Water transplanted strawberry plants.
What to do with extra strawberry plants
Have extra plants from transplanting? Wonderful! There are several things you can do with extra plants, especially young plants that have years of life left in them. Here are some options:
- Create fun pots (like these DIY Hydrodipped Planters) and place a plant inside. This is a perfect gift for teachers, friends, and neighbors.
- Have a gardening friend? Pass a few plants off to them, especially if you’ve grown a different variety from them.
- Donate to a local community garden. Community gardens operate off of donations and local support, so this is a good way to be a part and share your plants.
- Donate to your local master gardeners. Many Cooperative Extensions have yearly Master Gardener plant sales, and some of these plants are donated. If your plants are healthy and not damaged by pests, then you may be able to donate them, which will bring in revenue for your local MG association.
I hope this helps you transplant your growing strawberry plants without a lot of stress. This really is a an easy garden task, best taken on in the fall.
Have more helpful tips for working with strawberries? Share your tips below for other gardeners to see!