Keep plants in a shady area or refrigerator until planting. Place the roots in water about 1/2 hour prior to planting. Do not allow the roots to dry out during the planting process. Strawberries should be planted in April, as soon as the soil is in good condition--well worked, without excess moisture. Planting after June 1 is not recommended.
Plant June-bearing strawberries 18 to 24 inches apart in rows at least 36 inches apart with the soil line above the roots but not covering the growing point of the crown (Figure 8.2). Day-neutral strawberries should be planted closer together, about 5 to 9 inches apart. Additionally, day-neutral plants should be mulched immediately since they are sensitive to warm soil temperatures. Mulch with about 4 inches of clean straw. Flower buds of June-bearing strawberries should be removed manually in the first year to avoid flowering and fruiting stress on the young plant. Flower buds and runners on the day-neutrals should be removed only through early July of the first year and may be allowed to fruit after this date. Removing flowers allows the plants to direct their energy into root-system establishment and the development of a healthy, large leaf canopy that will "fuel" the next year's crop. The importance of establishing a healthy stand of plants cannot be overemphasized. The planted field should be irrigated immediately. Optimal soil moisture levels need to be maintained throughout the season so that plants become well established.