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stella1751
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Gurney's Did It Again!

Way back when I lived in Cheyenne, I ordered two bare root apple trees from Gurney's. They shipped them while the ground was still solid. I was able to hill them, and they survived until I was able to break the ground to transplant.

I finally got the nerve to order from Gurney's again. Their price for bare root strawberries was too good to pass up, and they had the exact variety I need. I just received the email telling me the strawberries have been shipped. Ack. At least the ground is thawed this time :lol:

I've been studying this online. These are ever-bearers, Ft. Laramies. According to the research I've done thus far,
  • these must be planted after the last frost, which is May 22 if we are lucky
    these can only sit for one or two days before being planted.
    if unable to plant, they should be potted, all 25 of them, and placed in a warm place with sufficient light.
None of the above is practicable. Any ideas? Shall I just plant them and hope for the best?
"Imagination is more important than knowledge." -- Albert Einstein

cynthia_h
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Do they have an 800 phone number? I'd call them and put the onus on THEM. They've put you into this situation; let's see them get you out. Maybe they should send a proper batch of plants when proper planting time is here??? :evil:

Cynthia H.
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applestar
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I'm not sure your information is correct Stella.
The strawberries have been green for some time now, and when I ordered mine a couple of years ago from Starks Bros., I got the bareroot plants the week of March 7 (my last average frost is 3rd wk of April). Most of them had healthy mature dark green leathery leaves. Thought it was way early but the ground WAS thawed and workable, though cold. It took me two weeks until the 3rd wk of March to plant all 75 plants.

You want to plant the bareroot plants while they are still semi-dormant, so they'll have the chance to set down roots before the new leaves start to grow.

I just received a small order from another source during the week. These didn't have leaves on them, and the roots were much less developed. I couldn't plant them right away so I just covered them in a tray with moist potting soil, put them in a bag to keep from drying out, and left them in the unheated garage. They've started to leaf out under the seed growing lights so I have to plant them within the next couple of days -- at this point, we're week and a half before last avg frost.

If you are at all uncertain, you might do what I did with my 75 after planting them and protect them with a floating row cover until severe freeze/frost is past.

If you still want to hold off planting them, you can keep them in a (perforated I think) plastic bag in the vegetable bin of your fridge -- according to JONA's post a while back. I believe he said not to keep apples, etc. Ethylene gas producing fruit inthe same drawer. At least it's easier to put strawberry plants in the veg drawer than an apple tree. :wink:

JONA878
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As you say Star...they would keep ok in the fridge providing the roots were not allowed to dry out.
However I think that at this time of year I would plant them out regardless of of the risk of any frost.
They could not be advanced enough to suffer flower damage unless you had some really hard ones.
One thing I would add here if you straw up your plants for cropping.
Do not straw up the plants until you are sure that all the frosts have gone.
The straw will stop the retained heat of the soil from protecting the flowers and the damage done will be more severe.
An apple a day.....keeps me in work.

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stella1751
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Thanks for the advice. It's really a rock and a hard place. On the one hand, the odds are high we will have at least one more really hard frost before our last frost, which is six weeks away. On the other hand, six weeks in the refrigerator is asking a lot of any plant. (I've read two weeks is the optimum duration.)

It snowed yesterday. Today is supposed to be extremely nice. I don't know when they will arrive; I received only a notification of shipment. After tomorrow, we get rain for several days.

If I can work the soil, I will plant them, then. If not, I'll refrigerate them. Even if only two or three survive, that will be more strawberries than I had last year.
"Imagination is more important than knowledge." -- Albert Einstein

JONA878
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Get a large pot and just plant them in the pot in a bunch. Then keep them somewhere that's just frost free for the few weeks needed.
They'll be fine
An apple a day.....keeps me in work.

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stella1751
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JONA878 wrote:Get a large pot and just plant them in the pot in a bunch. Then keep them somewhere that's just frost free for the few weeks needed.
They'll be fine
I've been thinking about this. I imagine I have enough sterile potting soil around here to fill at least a good-sized pot. If I shook them out so they weren't one huge clump and planted them so I covered the surface, I could put them inside, perhaps close enough to my light table that they would benefit from the light.

If it weren't that they are Ft. Laramies, I would cut my losses and buy strawberry starts locally at the end of May. The price was good, and I wouldn't be out a lot of money.

However, you can't find a Ft. Laramie in Wyoming to save your soul, well, except for the obvious: the city after which they were named. I ordered early to make certain I could get some because I have seen them sell out quickly in past years.

In all fairness to Gurney's, they sell incredibly healthy bare root plants. Those apple trees I bought from them, the ones I had to hill, bloomed the year I planted them, and one of them actually produced a single apple. I've never seen anything like that before. I am confident these strawberry plants will be equally healthy.

Thanks for the good advice, JONA878. I might try all three approaches, just to see what happens: 1/3 in the fridge, 1/3 in the bed, and 1/3 in a pot. I grew these before, decades ago, and they send out tons of runners. Even if I lose 2/3's of them, I'll have a full bed by next year 8)

Hey, here's another idea: Could I trim the roots enough to pot them individually in 4" square nursery pots? Then they could have their own trays right on the light table.
"Imagination is more important than knowledge." -- Albert Einstein

JONA878
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I wouldn't trim their roots and I wouldn't put them under the light table.
Until they can be planted out you really don't need them to grow away too strongly.
Give them a chance to get a good root system going in their true planting stations so that the fruit has a good strong supply waiting there to feed it when the time comes.
An apple a day.....keeps me in work.

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