A successful late season strawberry planting on plastic, particularly mid-June - July plantings, requires close attention to the details:
1. We suggest you schedule the ship date for your order as a “will call” so there is no chance of plants arriving when you are not ready. When planting conditions are ready – call and we will ship.
2. Lay plastic and drip lines 30 days before planting to get solarization of the beds reducing weed pressure.
3. Make your beds when the soil is good and moist. If made under dry conditions, it takes a long time to get beds into proper moisture. Turn on drip prior to planting to assure adequate moisture for plant establishment. This is especially important if you do not have over head irrigation for watering directly after planting.
4. Inspect plants upon arrival. Be sure to remove bubble wrap immediately to check for plant temperature. Opening boxes will allow plants to cool if they got warm in transit. If dormant plants are cool or cold, reseal the cartons and store them as close to 28’F as possible. Do not add water or soak your new plants until you are ready to put them in the ground.
5. Dormant plants should be hand-planted. Hand planting promotes proper hole size for good root-soil contact and fewer weeds. Plant mortality is kept to minimum leading to better plants stands. Growers have had success using a plasticulture tool from Nourse Farms that was custom designed to push dormant, bare-root strawberry plants through plastic.
6. To establish good root-soil contact, overhead irrigation should be used the first week of establishment, to set plants immediately after planting. Drip irrigation is used throughout the balance of the season to maintain optimal water and nutrient levels.
7. Please contact us with any questions or concerns you have, particularly if the plants are not performing to your standard.
We suggest you also review our Plasticulture Production Guide on our website for a quick review of the process. Following these basics steps will limit plant mortality and yield a successful late season strawberry planting!