Normally, early spring is when strawberries are planted in Michigan.
One reason for this is the potential for soil heaving during late fall or early winter. The alternate freezing and thawing of soil which causes soil heaving can damage newly planted plants.
The other reason is too short of time left for strawberry plants to fully develop their crowns, which are the solid part of strawberry plants where the leaves and roots come together.
Strawberry flowers that grow in the spring arise from the crowns so it is important to get the crowds as developed as possible before the daylight hours become too short to allow for additional plant growth.
If you need to move your strawberries anyway for some reason, it might be worth trying transplanting strawberries in the fall.
I have a small patch that needed to be moved so I opted to move them this fall rather than wait until spring.
If you decide to try fall transplanting, there are a few things you need to keep in mind to improve your odds for success.
First, never plant strawberries in a newly tilled sod area. Underground insects that feed on grass roots will also feed on strawberry roots.
Also, tilling sod stimulates germination of weed seeds causing you to have a large flush of weeds that will be difficult to remove. Weeds can completely overwhelm strawberry plants very quickly.
Moving your plants to a spot in your garden can be a viable option since an existing vegetable or flower garden usually has comparatively few weeds and most of the root insects have been eliminated.
If you decide to move your strawberry plants to a spot in the garden, make sure they will not be in an area where the plants from the nightshade family were growing. These include tomatoes, potatoes, peppers, eggplant, petunia, flowering tobacco, etc.
Nightshade roots harbor diseases that will infect strawberry roots.
Because the crown is the most important part of a strawberry plant, it must be situated at just the right level in the soil. Place the plants so that the mid-height of the crown is right at the soil line. If you are digging up an entire plant, simply planted at the depth it was growing in its original spot.
Strawberries are usually planted about 1 to 2 feet apart in the row. Rows, in turn, are about 3 feet apart from each other.
Be sure to water well immediately after planting. Additionally, if there is not much rain, make up for it so that the plants get about 1 to 1 ½ inches of rain water equivalent per week.
It will be necessary to mulch your plans later in the fall. Line up some nice clean straw now so that you have it on hand when it is time to mulch.
When several hard freezes in the low 30s to upper 20s occur, mulch your strawberry plants. Fluff up your straw and cover your plants 3 to 6 inches deep.
Daylight hours are rapidly diminishing, so if you decide to transplant strawberry plants this fall, do it now. One week can make the difference between success and failure at this time of year.
Imagine all of those luscious strawberries from your new strawberry patch!