Albion plants arrived! [2016]

Albion plants arrived! [2016]

A dormant bare-rooted Albion plant.

A dormant bare-rooted Albion plant.

With the arrival of our dormant bare-rooted Albion plants early May, it was time to get them in the ground!

Keeping plants moist during installation.

Keeping plants moist during installation.

Dormant bare-rooted day-neutral strawberries can be planted very early in the season, typically being planted between mid-April and mid-May. At the University of New Hampshire's Woodman Farm (zone 5B), we were able to get on the field and plant by May 9 in 2016.

The 'Plasticulture Tool' 

The 'Plasticulture Tool' 

In our trial, a plant spacing of 16" in-row and 12" between rows, was used. Rows were staggered, with two per bed.

Aside from measuring out the spacing, we did not puncture the plastic prior to planting. We found the "Plasticulture Tool" to be fantastic for planting straight through the plastic and also on un-mulched beds. We purchased our tools from Nourse Farms along with the dormant bare-rooted Albion plants, but they may be available elsewhere and growers throughout the Northeast have long been engineering their own.

We found planting to be quick and easy. If you are new to strawberries, do not be discouraged by the site of the dormant bare-rooted plants. It's hard to imagine they will thrive, but they do!

It was a windy day when we planted this year, so it was important we kept the roots moist while in the field. We did this by lining a five-gallon bucket with water and placing the plants in the bucket. Beds were also irrigated thoroughly in the days prior to planting, as well as immediately following planting. And from here, it is just a waiting game! Our next posting will address low tunnel installation over these little guys!

Row 9, Plot 1 - - Plants in the ground!

Row 9, Plot 1 - - Plants in the ground!

This project is funded by the New Hampshire Agricultural Experiment Station and Tunnel Berries, a USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture Specialty Crops Research Initiative grant titled "Optimizing Protected Culture for Berry Crops" in collaboration with the following universities:

Low-tunnel installation [2016]

Low-tunnel installation [2016]

And it begins! [2016]

And it begins! [2016]