Planting Strawberry Starts

If you have new strawberry plants and don't have time to plant them in the bed right away, no problem. The new plants will await your convenience if you the the method called "heeling in" (which just means storing newly arrived plants in a shallow trench). Here's how to do it:


If the plant roots are very dry, put them to soak for a few hours. Meanwhile, dig a v-shaped trench deep enough to let the root systems of your young strawberry plants spread out below ground level while the crowns remain above the surface. Then set the new arrivals in the ditch, leaning against one side of the "v" and far enough apart so their roots won't get tangled together. Fill in your temporary storage space with earth and press the soil down firmly. Your plants should be perfectly comfortable in this shelter until you have their final location ready for them. If the strawberry plants' roots were all dried out when they arrived, it's a good idea to leave the newcomers heeled in until they get a new start on life. If you do, though, you'll need to be especially careful not to damage the fresh growth when you remove the plants from the trench.


Strawberries are great favorites of many back-yard gardeners, until it comes time to cut runners from the plants. If you'll take an old galvanized bucket and trim out its bottom, sharpen the edge all the way around, fasten a board across the top for a handle, and chuck the improvised tool right down over each plant, you'll zip off all its runners at once.

By Ron from Cortez, CO

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April 9, 20150 found this helpful

'Heeling in' is an old practice, not in use much, today. It is a wonderful technique with lots of applications. Glad to see you sharing this information with others.

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