Spring is the ideal time to transplant berry plants like strawberries, raspberries, blackberries and loganberries for healthy summer harvests. As soon as the ground is workable in your area, you can either divide up existing berry plants from your garden or a friend’s plot, or invest in some from an organic nursery. Use our short guide on planting berries into your garden to successfully get them growing!
There are nearly a thousand varieties of strawberries, and each type has slightly varying preferences when it comes to thriving in the ground. Make sure you know your variety, what type of soil it prefers and whether the berries themselves are best for jams, fresh eating, juice or a combination (if there’s something you prefer). You will also want to choose between everbearing types that produce berries all summer long, or types that bear only once, often producing larger and sweeter berries.
Strawberry starts are hardy, so they can be planted bare root (meaning that they don’t have to be dug up and planted in a pot before transplanting into the ground). If you already have a strawberry patch that you want to expand or want another one, simply dig up the plants that have run off into your paths, over the edge of your box, or are crowded, and transplant them in your new plot.
The most important factor to consider in location is that strawberries need at least 8 hours of sun per day for best results, and prefer slightly acidic soil. Space the berries about 6 inches apart, preferably in a 5-point pattern if you are planting in rows. You can place some compost and bone meal around you plants to help them out, but this is not necessary. Water immediately after transplanting, and continue to keep them moist but not soggy.
The cane fruit family includes blackberries, raspberries, loganberries, ollalieberries alongside several others. The care and growing habits of these cane fruits are similar: all cane fruits need plenty of water, and thrive in rich soil that is compost fertilized on a regular basis.
To transplant berries from existing canes, you can dig up and cut off canes that have set roots where the cane has hit the ground. A friend that grows cane berries may also have taken cuttings of the plants and potted them so that they can set roots for spring planting.
When transplanting, keep in mind that prier air circulation keeps cane berries healthiest, as it prevents mildew from growing on the surface of leaves and spreading to the cane and eventually the fruit itself. This means that you should space each plant about 2 to 3 feet apart, and provide a trellis for them to climb on. Two-year old canes will produce better than first year ones, but will continue to produce for at least 5 years. Keep your berries moist after transplanting them, and aim to install a drip irrigation system to keep from sun burning the leaves or attracting airborne mildew.
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Image: Ikhlasul Amal