Planting in milk crates or bags need to be started in pots or cups first. Just call if you have a question 919-696-0328.
Plant Basics: When you receive your plants, they will be on the dryer side. We do not send with a lot of moisture because they can start to mold inside the package. Dry roots will not hurt the plant. It will usually be the last inch that are dry and the rest will be good. You can cut them if you like to 3 inches if you like. If you see no growth you can hold the plant upright with two fingers and pull straight down a plant stem and you will expose a healthy crown. You will know the plant is alive within 3 days.
Where to plant: If it is 78 degrees or higher they need to be started indoors first. Until you get at least 4 leaves and then you can transplant outside. Planting outside they need to have a layer of mulch on the topsoil. Non acidic mulch (cedar, hemlock, most Home Depot or Lowes mulch)
The Soil: The way we plant them is to first make sure we have well draining soil. Add a minimum 30% and 40% sand mixed into your soil. The soil can be any potting, compost soil you have. Just make sure you do not add any peat moss, pine bark or needles to the soil. This will lower the acidity and kill your plants.
Cups Planting: When putting soil in cups pack it 80% full. Form your soil so it looks like an island with a mote. So when you water the plant, the water runs to the side of the cup. Make it a flat island and not Teepee the soil. After watering, soil can run off and expose the roots.
Container Planting: One plant needs a 1 gallon pot for each plant. Still form the island as stated above. Make sure you mulch the soil. The top inch of soil has to be protected from drying out. When it dries out it can dry out the roots just below the crown and kill the plant at the neck. This can happen in one day.
Stackable containers: make holes bigger on the Mr. Stacky put the soil well. The areas were the plant is exposed to grow, make your island so water runs from the plant and gets caught on the lip. Then also mulch everything. Just do not cover the crown. Never Ever put a stackable in full sun unless it has an automated watering system. They can cook and dry out in one day.
Planting in the garden: Bare root strawberry plants should NOT be planted on a flat surface in containers or on land and a raised bed is still considered flat planting. You want the planting surface to be raised. Such as a raised covered rows of 4" tall and 6" wide as a long row. The same you see at strawberry picking farms on how they plant there strawberry plants. You will get the best results this way.
The crown is the next important aspect of planting. The crown is where the roots meet together in a hard bulb form. This is the crown and when planting they have to stay completely dry at all time. Only the roots are planted below the surface. If the crown stays wet for a period of time they will start to rot and the smallest crowns will die off first. The next important part of protecting the crown is mulch. Do not have the mulch cover the crown this will keep extended moisture.
Mulch Basics: Mulch helps protect the top inch of soil by retaining moisture and preventing the roots below the crown from drying out. Uncovered soil on a hot day will dry out quickly. On a 90 degrees day, the sun will dry out your soil very fast and can killing the roots. I would not recommend planting on a flat surface. You will always loose plants because the plant tends to sink when they start to settle in the soil and if water pools to that area. It can rotten the crown. Plus flat planted plants will tend to have lower production and berries touching soil will rot before you get them.
If you do not see what you need to help you plant, please call. For an questions or concerns do not hesitate to call 919-696-0328. You can also send pictures to this number. So I can help you with the entire process.