Thinning and Mulching Strawberries

Planting Strawberries:

How to Plant Strawberries in the Spring


Anyone can plant strawberries, even beginner gardeners!  You can purchase your bare-root strawberry runners from a reputable nursery, or arrange to pick up some strawberry plants from the Binghamton Urban Farm (Speak with your Community Garden Site Coordinator or Build A Garden Coordinator to arrange this- supply is limited and there is no guarantee of variety!)   

What variety of strawberries should I plant?

If you like to make big batches of jam or pie, you might prefer to plant a June-bearing strawberry variety.  If you like to graze or just add a few fresh strawberries to your meals, ever-bearing varieties will offer a small, continuous harvest throughout the season.  

When should I plant strawberries?  

Plant strawberries in early spring, as soon as you can prepare the soil.  April is a good time to plant strawberries here in Zone 5.

Where should I plant strawberries?

Strawberries prefer full sun.  Strawberries grow best in well-drained, reasonably fertile soil. Strawberries can be grown directly in the ground, in raised beds, or containers.  If you are planting directly in the ground in an urban area, you should always get your soil tested to avoid lead poisoning.  Visit to apply for free soil lead testing

How should I plant my strawberries?

1. Dig a hole for each strawberry plant that is 6-8 inches deep and 15 inches apart.

4. Place the roots into the soil and fill in the hole with dirt, or a mix of dirt and finished compost.

5. You want to insert the plant just up to the crown (see the labeled diagram at the top of this article). If the crown is too high (not buried enough) the plant will dry out. If the crown is too low (buried too deeply) the plant will rot

4. Water the plants as soon as they are in the ground.  Throughout the growing season, make sure to keep your plants’ soil moist. You don’t want them to be sitting in water, but you do want to make sure the soil doesn’t dry out or feel crumbly to the touch.

5. Pick white flowers that bloom the first year to encourage root growth. If you are patient and wait to harvest the second year, you will have a stronger, healthier strawberry plant that will produce fruit for up to 5 years!

How to care for established strawberries in the Spring

If you already have an established strawberry patch, April is a great time to weed, thin out, and mulch your strawberry bed.  Check out this great video from last year’s Pine Street Site Coordinator Jess Barbini to learn what to do for your more mature strawberry plants 🙂