When to transplant strawberries | Fall and Spring Transplanting Guide

Strawberries can be transplanted successfully in fall and spring. Dig up and transfer new plants that have grown from runners by snipping them off from the main plant and moving them. Spring and Fall are great times for transplanting strawberries because the weather is mild and the soil will stay moist as they establish.

Transplanting strawberries is an easy job that can be done on a weekend when you have a spare moment. This guide will explore when to transplant strawberries and the benefits of doing it in spring and fall.

How to know when strawberries are ready to transplant

Strawberry plants will grow new plants by sending out runners from the mother plant. These new strawberry plants can be trimmed of and transplanted once they have established roots. I like to leave them on until the runner stem has started to turn brown.

This is a sign that the baby strawberry plant has established its own roots and is no longer drawing nutrients and water from the mother plant. That is how you know that it is ready to trim off and transplant.

Strawberry plants can be dug up and transplanted in Fall or Spring when the weather is mild.

How to transplant strawberries in spring

Transplanting strawberry plants that have grown from runners will be more successful if done in Spring. Spring weather is mild but warming so will support the plant to establish a new roots system. Here are the easy steps that I follow to transplant strawberry baby plants in spring.

1. Prepare the soil or pot

The first step is to prepare the space that you will be transplanting your strawberry plant to. Find a pot and fill it with good quality potting soil that is made for vegetable gardens.

If you are planning to move your strawberry plant to a garden bed or raised garden improve the soil first with compost and aged cow manure. You can mound the soil slightly to increase drainage for the plant and keep the crown clear of the soil.

2. Cut the runner

Once your pot or garden bed is prepared you will need to separate the new baby plant from the mother.

Use sharp secateurs to cut the stem that joins the mother plant to the new strawberry plant. Cut the stem when it has gone brown.

If you are transplanting an established plant that is not growing from a runner, you can skip this step. Larger, more established plants will not transplant as easily as new plants as they will have large established roots.

3. Dig up the plant

The next step is to take a small trowel and dig around the plant. Dig into the soil at least 2-3 inches away from the plant all the way around. Try a to keep as much soil around the roots as possible as this will help the plant recover quicker.

You can buy bare rooted runners from garden centers that also transplant well. However, when I am doing this at home I always like to keep soil around the roots as I find the plant recovers quicker.

Once you have done this, stick the trowel in the soil and lift the plant. This can be then placed in your prepared pot or garden bed.

4. Sprinkle some pelleted chicken manure

Add pelleted chicken manure to the plant by sprinkling a small handful on the soil. This will slowly release nutrients to the strawberry plant when you water or when it rains.

5. Mulch your strawberry plant

The next step is to add some mulch around the plant. You can use straw, sugar cane or fine bark mulch to keep weeds away and water in the soil for longer. You can layer newspaper first to keep weeds away for even longer.

6. Water it well

The final step when transplanting your strawberry plants is to water the plant well. This will help the plant to settle into its new home, will fill air gaps that may have formed around the roots and settle the soil.

Water the plant every 1-2 days for the first 1-2 weeks and this will help the plant to establish. If you are transplanting in fall, your new plant will have a few months to settle in before the weather cools and the growth slows.

If you are transplanting in Spring, your new plant will grow new leaves and stems and establish into a larger plant quicker. Both times are fine for transplanting strawberries just avoid winter and summer as the weather will be too extreme.

Strawberries growing on my new plant 3 months after being transplanted

Transplanting strawberries in fall

Fall is a perfectly good time to transplant strawberries grown from runners at your home. I transplanted my baby strawberry plants coming from a single mother plant in Fall and they  are now large, with flowers and setting fruit.

It is only the beginning of spring and these strawberries were given a head start, ready to flower as soon as the weather warmed only slightly.

While plants only grew a small amount in winter, they burst to life when the temperature increased. They were able to establish their roots over winter with very little water from me.

Can you dig up strawberry plants and replant them?

You can dig up strawberry plants and replant them and it is usually more successful with smaller plants. Large plants will have large, established root systems and can be difficult to move them without damage.

They tend to take longer to recover. The best thing to do is to transplant the baby plants coming from the mother plant. These will have smaller root systems but will be easier to move without damaging them.

I have had great success digging up new strawberry plants when they are small, after the point the joining stem goes brown.

When to transplant strawberries | Summary

Transplant strawberry plants in fall or spring to give them the best chance of establishing before the weather becomes too extreme. Baby strawberry plants grown from a mother plant can be trimmed off when the connecting stem goes brown and transplanted to a new space in your garden.

I hope this experience has helped you to work out the best way for you to transplant your own strawberries at home.

For more information on growing strawberries, check out more articles below.