When to plant out strawberry plants in Massachusetts, zone 6?

I know this is an odd year, weather wise, but, the weatherman is starting to sound like we are going to stay seasonally warmer now. I ordered strawberry plants from Nourse, but asked them not to ship until I indicated when I wanted shipment.

I also ordered two elderberry plants that will be in the shipment.

Is there a certain temperature range, especially at night, that I should be concerned about?
Right now my soil is still frozen.


I am no expert on strawberries but want to share with you my experience. Several years ago, I bought strawberry plants from a sidewalk vendor around Mother’s Day. I planted them and watered them. They all have survived. Then, I moved them out of the area which is now my orchard.

I replanted some of them in a semi-shade area (3-4 hrs a day). To my surprise, they have grown well and fruited every year. They have not much sunlight to speak off and also are shaded some more by my 4 ft hydrengeas. They are alive and well. I feel I should treat them better and may move one of my hydrengeas out to give them more sun and room to expand.

I plant them around mid May. But I planted fully grown plants. I don’t know how dormant will you plants from Nourse will be. I recommend you plant in a more sunny area than mine and don’t let them dry out. You may need to shade them (like putting straw over them if you plant late and the sun is strong by then). I am confident that yours will grow well.

All I can say is strawberries seem like a tough cookie, die-hard kind of plant, in my experience!!


Strawberries are tough. Mine are growing even though some nights it is freezing. Heck it was 15 degrees a week ago. They look fine. If the ground is workable, put them in. If elderberries are dormant you can put them in too. It sounds like we are almost there, so they should be fine.

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Yes, as long as they are dormant and the soil is workable you can plant them. Light freezes will kill flowers but leaves are tough. I would highly recommend to mulch strawberries in winter to prevent winter kill.


Yeah they stay green all winter, you have to cover them.

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Nourse said I could call the week before I wanted delivery, so I may wait until the ground is no longer frozen and have them shipped. I have some strawberries from the past two years and I see that with snow finally melting, the leaves are green on those plants. I did have chopped leaves around them so I guess that helped.

Thank you all!

@liz I received my June bearing strawberries from Nourse Farms the beginning of March, which was pretty late for here. They were very dormant, but sprang to life within a couple of days of being planted. Temps have been up and down since then here, with strings of days in the 80’s mostly varying between 60’s and 70’s. Also, had a late freeze event this weekend before going back to the 80’s. Those strawberries are happy right now.

I still have not received my everbearing varieties from them because they have the same issues you do - the fields are still frozen and were under heavy snow. Who knows when they will actually arrive. If I have any hope of getting berries out of these, it probably won’t be until fall when it cools here, because it’s too hot during the summer months for most fruiting plants to bother to set blooms here.

Since your weather sounds very similar to theirs, I bet they arrive just in time for you.