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Preparing Strawberry plants for winter

Posted by amprice 5 (My Page) on
Sat, Sep 27, 08 at 13:40

This was our first growing season in our new home so we are not sure how to care for the mature strawberry plants that were in a raised bed when we moved in. They did not produce very many fruit this summer but we think it was because they were not covered over the winter. We are now noticing alot of brown (dying) leaves and would like to know if we should cut those plants back before covering them or just let them be? We have been able to get several to produce sister plants that have rooted and need to know how to care for those as well. The news is saying there is a chance of frost in the next week so any help would be greatly appreciated.

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RE: Preparing Strawberry plants for winter

  • Posted by timcad zone 5 Chicago (My Page) on
    Sat, Sep 27, 08 at 17:59

You mentioned in the other post that they are June bearing. I generally cut mine back in July, after all the fruit are picked. Last season I used a lawn mower. This year I got in there with clippers and cut them back by hand. I pulled out any remaining berries at the same time. Theyve since sent out runners that Ive trained into some of the bare areas. Ive also planted a half dozen or so seedlings. Theres plenty of new growth that I will just let be over the winter. If I change my mind I might cover them this fall with mulched up leaves. Of course, then I would need to clean them out next spring.

Is it possible they have been there quite a few years? They may be a bit too mature. I would think the daughter plants would produce next season, but Ill let someone else comment on that. They should come through our sub-zero winters well, especially if they get a layer of snow to insulate them. If you have a fence or something blocking the snow (on the west side) you may want to mulch. This time of year, I would only trim the ones that are growing "out of bounds".

RE: Preparing Strawberry plants for winter

so now it is late September is that too late to cut them back? Which would be better for the plants? We moved into the house in late March so there was still plenty of snow and they didn't get covered or cut back last year as the previous owners had moved out prior to the first frost and there were several plants that were obviously dead come spring so we pulled those out and left the healthy ones. I have been able to get about 6 daughter plants to root so I hope that will help fill in the gaps but you mention planting seedlings can I still do that now or am I too late?

RE: Preparing Strawberry plants for winter

  • Posted by timcad zone 5 Chicago (My Page) on
    Sun, Sep 28, 08 at 1:55

With four weeks to go until average first frost, it may be too stressful to cut them, IMHO. I hope someone with more experience will give you their advice. I hear strawberries dont do well after three years so, I plan to renovate a third of my patch each year with new plants. Im experimenting with seeds I harvested from this seasons berries. If they dont work out Ill buy plants next year.

If your plants look healthy now, I would just cover them with leaf mulch (sounds like youll have plenty of that) later this fall, and see what they look like in the spring. Make a note of where the new runners are rooted to check for any variations.

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