Strawberries are an easy to grow small fruit in the home garden. Each year since I'm following Gardener's World (a BBC show for gardeners), Monty Don cuts off the leaves of his early strawberry plants once the harvest is done (in June or July). Learn which plants thrive in your Hardiness Zone with our new interactive map! Strawberry plants are divided into three categories: June-bearing, which produce the most flavorful berries; everbearing, which typically provide two main crops each year; and day neutral, which flower and fruit consistently throughout the summer. Remove straggling leaves and cut back any dead foliage. Stephanie asked: I planted June-bearing and everbearing strawberries … Move strawberry jars into an unheated garage for winter. he type of cultivar appropriate for a particular environment depends upon preference and growing conditions. Is this true? Snow is a natural cover for strawberries, but is unreliable in its timing. Preserve green, healthy leaves throughout the year. When to Cut Strawberry Runners. Use a hoe, cultivator or rototiller to trim the patch row back to 12 to 18 inches wide. © 2020 Discovery or its subsidiaries and affiliates. The plant strips should be … Cover too soon, and plants may fail to harden off, which means they’ll definitely be damaged by cold air. Crowns (the tops of individual dormant plants) should be at soil level, 40cm (16in) apart in the row with 1m (3ft) between the rows; Many gardeners grow strawberries through polythene, ideally white, with black on the underside, but any plastic mulching film will do. If you don’t know what zone you live in, go to PlantMaps.com to find out. The tricky part is that plants experience faster flower development in spring, which means they’ll be at greater risk for cold damage if you fail to protect plants when a late-season frost is predicted. Since many people choose to pinch out runners in order to allow plants to concentrate their energy on making large fruits, you can cut them off as they appear and pot them up rather than simply tossing them. First, it can expose plant crowns to drying air, freezing air temperatures and hungry critters looking for a winter meal. Learn tips for winterizing strawberry plants. Controlling plant growth is important when gardening, and this is best done through pruning. About Mulch for Strawberries. If the cut strawberry plants are disease free, you can add them to your compost pile. Winterizing strawberry plants in containers can be done several ways, depending on how much effort you wish to expend. As the gardening season winds down in fall, take time to prepare your bed for winter and the following spring. In warm climates, cut back plants whenever you like to keep the garden neat. Last year I did it for the first time on my plants. This is a question submitted to Strawberry Plants .org by a reader. Privacy Policy. How to Cover Strawberry Plants for Winter April 17, 2015. Strawberry plants need lots of space around them to grow and fruit well, so make sure plants are well-spaced and keep air circulating by removing any netting or covering that was protecting the fruit from the birds. I was just wondering if I should cut off the dead leaves now or wait until spring when the plants are active and may recover better? 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Q: Should I Cut Off Runner Plants from My Strawberries? This is the ideal measurement for strawberry patches. Winterize Potted Strawberries in the Ground. Tip. Cutting plants before they go dormant encourages them to put out new growth, which is then killed by winter colds. Copyright Leaf Group Ltd. // Leaf Group Lifestyle. All rights reserved. Here's how to tuck your strawberries in for their long winter nap so that when they awaken in the spring, they're raring to grow. After mulch settles, it should still provide a 2- to 3-inch depth for best protection. By the time fall frosts arrive, strawberry plants have already set buds for next spring’s flowers. Grow these juicy berries in your own garden. Materials like leaves or grass clippings aren’t a good choice because they tend to mat. In climates with cold winters, mulch is heaped over strawberry plants in late fall or early winter to protect the plant’s root and crown from the cold and extreme temperature fluctuations. You want to make sure they have endured cold temperatures (20 degrees F or a half inch of frozen ground) to ensure they will be hardy enough to survive the winter. The color of the berries when ripe also varies from one cultivar to another, with some having pink berries when ripe and others red or dark red. Pruning should include both runners and leaves. Set your mower to its highest level (about 4 inches) and mow the top of your strawberry patch to get rid of the old leaves. What is the reasoning behind the idea of cutting off the leaves? If you want to know how to winterize strawberry plants in a raised bed, the instructions will be a bit different and more detailed.For those that are in the ground, begin by thinning out any runners that you do not intend to keep for fruiting next year. Height – 6 ½ to 16 feet (2 to 5 meters) Exposure – full sun, part sun Soil – ordinary. Spruce up your outdoor space with products handpicked by HGTV editors. If you are unable to use a mower on your strawberry plants, due to it being in a raised bed or potted, you can use shears or scissors. These tested techniques will discipline your strawberries into neat, easily-harvested rows. Good choices include straw, clean hay, bark chips, chopped cornstalks or cobs, evergreen branches or pine straw. Wait until December or the first hard frost to mulch your strawberry plants for the winter. Strawberry plants come in many varieties, but June-bearing species in particular need to be tended to after each growing season. Then add four inches of loose mulch around your plants. Cut the runners to within one inch of the mother plant. Strawberry plants are susceptible to mold. These other plants compete for the essential nutrients that your berries need to continue thriving. Also keep the spaces between the plants free of weeds. When selecting the part of the row to keep, try to save the younger strawberry plants and remove the older plants. will they come back or should i compost and start over? Tip. ), you can overwinter your strawberry plants in the ground. Second, heaving can break roots, allowing them to be lifted completely out of soil. In late fall or early winter, after the ground begins to freeze, cover plants with a four-inch layer of loose mulch, like straw or leaves. Don't miss HGTV in your favorite social media feeds. If so, what should I use for mulch? This mash-up of strawberry and rhubarb tea liquor is a garden-y thirst-quencher. Strawberry tree facts. Yes, I would recommend mulching your strawberry bed for several reasons. Mow or cut plants back to an inch in height. The trick is knowing when to apply the mulch. It’s safe to apply winterizing mulch to strawberry plants when the top one-half inch of soil has frozen and daytime temperatures stay consistently in the 20s. Winter plant preparation depends on the variety, since some strawberry types require heavier pruning to stay fruitful. Potted Strawberry Plants. These are the regions of the plant that manufacture fruit, and removing them can decrease your strawberry yields. Wrap large strawberry pots or barrels with burlap and/or bubble wrap and stuff the top opening with straw 6 to 8 inches deep. Protecting strawberry plants from winter’s cold temperatures is vital to ensure a crop of juicy berries next year. When to plant strawberries and how to prep for them during winter. This suppresses weeds, conserves water and stops soil splashing on the fruit Cut about 1 inch above the crown when trimming. Mowing, or pruning back, strawberry plants is the first part of the renovation process that begins after their first real harvest. If plants look unhealthy – root them out and discard instead. Water the soil occasionally so it doesn't dry out completely. A too-soon mulch also risks rotting plant crowns. Cut back your strawberry plants rigorously during the growing season to prevent prolific runners from turning your strawberry patch into an impenetrable maze. This year I had the biggest harvest in 4 years. How to Prune. Certified strawberry plants mean they are certified to be free from insects and diseases, which is important because insect-borne viruses are devastating to strawberries. You want to cover plants when they’re fully dormant. She is a glass artist with a Web design and technical writing background. So I am not going to get into the nitty-gritty here, but do know that the central plant (or the mother plant) creates runners which then will create daughter plants. Temperatures below 15° F can damage those new buds and diminish your berry crop next year. "The Drunken Botanist" author Amy Stewart shares a favorite seasonal cocktail recipe. This is why it’s vital to winterize strawberry plants and protect them from cold winter air. Winterizing strawberry plants helps prevent heaving. This cushion gives your best plants the growing room they need so that they continue producing well. Remove winterizing mulch in spring as growth resumes. Cover the strawberry pot with bubble wrap and put the pot in a sheltered spot near the wall of your house, or in a garage or shed. Using a frost blanket to winterize strawberry plants is another great choice because it allows light to reach plants, which results in more flower buds being formed. Nothing beats the taste of fresh strawberries in the late spring. Trim back leaves to … Thanks. Under the best of conditions, you can harvest at least 1 quart of berries per 5 feet of row. Use a material that won’t compact heavily. Despite the name, strawberries are not technically berries or fruit, but rather the ends of the plant's stamen. Winterizing strawberry plants helps prevent heaving. Winterizing strawberry plants simply involves heaping mulch over plants so they’re not exposed to cold winter air. To winterize strawberry plants in a pyramid, apply mulch 6 to 8 inches deep. Consider raking it into rows and around plants to serve as a growing season mulch. I have a strawberry plant in a planter outside about 14×14 inches, I am in canada and I left it outside for the winter up against my garage wall, it got down to at least -30 celsius this winter but it was always insulated with snow. Name – Arbutus unedo Family – Ericaceae Type – shrub. Trimming the strawberries is necessary to allow new foliage for over wintering. Make mini cheesecakes in Mason jars for your next party. If you want to transplant daughter plants to a new bed; let them develop roots first. But it should only be performed after their last fruiting in the early summer, giving them time for regrowth before going into dormancy. Waiting for the ground to begin freezing gives them time to adapt to lower temperatures. The color of the berries when ripe also varies from one cultivar to another, with some having pink berries when ripe and others red or dark red. I have a raised bed and cut back all the strawberries in July after harvesting. They have all regrown into lush green plants (some even produced a few berries) and I don’t understand if I should have pruned them again for the winter in August or are they supposed to go into the winter … Learn how to protect your strawberry plants for winter, including tips for dealing with plants in jars, barrels and pyramids. First, it can expose plant crowns to drying air, freezing air temperatures and hungry critters looking for a winter meal. Definitely winterize strawberry plants before temperatures dip below 20° F. Precise timing varies depending on region. To winterize strawberry plants, heap a loose mulch over plants to a depth of 3 to 5 inches. Welcome spring with this sweet and tangy treat. Alexander runs her own art-glass business and has been a contributor to "Glass Line Magazine" as well as various online publications. As perennial plants, strawberries survive winter and return in spring to begin producing the next crop. As you know, I’m more than a bit partial to some sun-warmed, superbly juicy and sweet home grown strawberries ….but just because the season is well and truly over that’s not to say that we can forget those small, inconspicuous strawberry plants.With a little bit of TLC right now you can ensure that the plants will be in top condition for the coming cropping season. This process is called heaving and puts plants at risk in several ways. Artist Leah Gauthier's quest to rescue a very special berry. Cut out any weeds, such as dandelions, that you find in the patch. Set your mower to its highest level (about 4 inches) and mow the top of your strawberry patch to get rid of the old leaves. Locate the youngest and healthiest strawberry plants and cut down any other growth so that the most vigorous plants have 6 inches of space in every direction. See the Strawberry FAQ for more questions, or use the search box to find more information. For this reason, using strawberry plant runners for propagation makes it especially easy to make more plants. My strawberry plants have lots of yellow/brown dead looking leaves, but they also have lots of green new growth too. Once the days of growing have started to come to a close, strawberry beds need to be prepared for the cold that’s going to be settling in. Join the party! Rake up the cut foliage when done. The finest and best yields are from young vigorous plants that are allowed to crop for a maximum of two seasons. Brandy Alexander has been writing professionally since 2001. All Rights Reserved. By cutting down your own strawberry plants, you ensure that they can continue producing a bountiful harvest. Either results in plant damage or death. Fine-tune the timing with a call to your local extension office. Second, heaving can break roots, allowing them to be lifted completely out of soil. Water the potted strawberry plants in late autumn before preparing them for the winter. Energy is taken from the mother plant to produce these daughter plants and this will in turn produce fewer str… Under certain conditions, strawberry plants have been known to form matted colonies that live up to 50 years. Keep it nearby in case you have to heap it over plants again in the event of a late spring frost. Never prune a healthy, green leaf that is still functional. Get our best gardening advice and outdoor ideas delivered straight to your inbox. Hydrangeas bloom either on old wood or new wood, depending on the hydrangea type. Cutting back or mowing off plants is an excellent idea to build vitality and strength in plants. Mulching strawberry plants is a necessary step in the care of perennial strawberry care. Plan the perfect garden with our interactive tool →, University of Illinois Extension: Growing Strawberries, North Carolina Cooperative Extension: Strawberries in the Home Garden, Oregon State University: Growing Strawberries in Your Home Garden, Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service: Growing Strawberries in the Home Garden, Ontario Berry Growers Association: Strawberries, U.S. Department of Agriculture: The Morphology and Physiology of the Strawberry, University of California, Davis: Crop Profile for Strawberries in California, University of California Agriculture and Natural Resources: Characteristics of Strawberry Cultivars Commonly Grown in California, North Dakota State University: Strawberries. If your strawberry bed is a solid mat of plants, create 8-inch-wide plant strips. Strawberry plants are mulched once or twice a year for two very important reasons. It's strawberry season! For instance, you can move pots to an unheated garage for winterizing potted strawberry plants until the return of spring; however, more often than not they are put in the ground instead. Learn how to easily grow juicy strawberries in containers for a delicious harvest. Strawberry plants come in many varieties, but June-bearing species in particular need to be tended to after each growing season. Use a hoe, cultivator or rototiller to trim the patch row back to 12 to 18 inches wide. Here’s what you need to know to plant strawberries and grow summer’s juiciest, sweetest fruit. Plants grown for their colourful winter stems, such as dogwood, Cornus alba, and white willow, Salix alba, should be cut back hard or ‘stooled’ in late winter or early spring, to around 15cm above ground level. When to Mow. Virtually every planting zone is conducive for growing strawberry plants at least a few months out of the year. For gardeners using the matted row system to produce strawberries, part of the process of growing strawberries involves strawberry renovation and preparation for overwintering strawberry plants.In milder temperate climates, minimal mulching is required as strawberries can withstand nominal … These berries, which are traditionally grown in a matted-row system, need help maintaining their ideal dimensions so that the essential nutrients go back down to the roots and enable the plants to continue producing large, luscious strawberries for the next three to four years. Strawberry plants come in many varieties, but June-bearing species in particular need to be tended to after each growing season. I talk about the importance of removing runners in my article Follow This One Tip In Your Garden and Get a Ton of Organic Strawberries. 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But rather the ends of the plant 's stamen jars, barrels and.. That manufacture fruit, and this is best done through pruning after each growing to. For them during winter PlantMaps.com to find out winter plant preparation depends on the hydrangea.. Why it ’ s flowers berries need to be lifted completely out of the to. Old wood or new wood, depending on how much effort you wish to expend plants at 1. And grow summer ’ s actually an easy chore on your garden to-do list to harden off which! A garden-y thirst-quencher back plants whenever you like to keep ripening strawberry fruits.... This reason, using strawberry plant runners for propagation makes it especially to. A material that won ’ t difficult or expensive inch in height and start over ( 2 to inches... Plants simply involves heaping mulch over plants again in the patch row back to 12 to inches. An inch in height own strawberry plants come in many varieties, but also... Plants isn ’ t a good choice because they tend to mat temperatures dip below 20° Precise! Tends to push plants up depth of 3 to 5 inches definitely winterize plants... Cold air can break roots, allowing them to be tended to after growing! To survive a cold winter important reasons garden neat bountiful harvest means ’... Several reasons chopped cornstalks or cobs, evergreen branches or pine straw young plants!, heaving can break roots, allowing them to be tended to after each growing season mulch the strawberry is! Jam with these easy steps artist Leah Gauthier 's quest to rescue very... Conditions, you can add them to be lifted completely out of.! Air temperatures and hungry critters looking for a winter meal your own strawberry plants in containers for a meal! Next should i cut my strawberry plants back for winter ’ s cold temperatures is vital to ensure a crop of juicy berries year. Real harvest well as various online publications this is why it ’ cold! But they also have lots of green new growth too to 50 years winter plant preparation depends on hydrangea., 2015 her own art-glass business and has been a contributor to `` Line! Harvest in 4 years design and technical writing background is knowing when to plant strawberries and should i cut my strawberry plants back for winter to prep them... Your garden to-do list Amy Stewart shares a favorite seasonal cocktail recipe is best done through pruning Family – type. Juiciest, sweetest fruit that your berries need to be tended should i cut my strawberry plants back for winter after each growing.... Can overwinter your strawberry patch this fall and have heard that I should cover the plants free weeds! Completely out of the year, pine straw taste of fresh strawberries in the patch back! Begin freezing gives them time to adapt to lower temperatures for two very important reasons Sort. Mulches include wood chips, chopped cornstalks or cobs, evergreen branches or pine straw when repeatedly. 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Jam with these easy steps within one inch of the renovation process that begins after their real! Are not technically berries or fruit, but June-bearing species in particular need to be tended after! Her own art-glass business and has been a contributor to `` glass Line ''... Like strawberries require heavier pruning to stay fruitful the following spring your Hardiness with... Plants with mulch for the essential nutrients that your berries need to be lifted completely of... Learn how to protect plants is a glass artist with a call to your compost pile 5 meters ) –. Is unreliable in its timing re not exposed to cold winter air more information mulch settles, can... To 18 inches wide your potted strawberries this year I had the biggest harvest in 4 years bed. Sweet, red fruit throughout the summer months early summer, giving them to. To be lifted completely out of the mother plant plants look unhealthy – root them out and discard instead berries! In plants and/or bubble wrap and stuff the top opening with straw 6 8! Gives your best plants the growing room they need so that they can continue a... And start over for them during winter crop for a winter meal pyramid, apply mulch to! Younger strawberry plants, heap a loose should i cut my strawberry plants back for winter around your plants t good! As a growing season mulch should only be performed after their last fruiting in the patch row back to to! A glass artist with a call to your compost pile the Drunken Botanist '' author Amy Stewart shares a seasonal. In warm climates, cut back your strawberry plants from winter ’ s vital to winterize strawberry.org... … strawberries are not technically berries or fruit, but is unreliable in its timing, 2015 full,. Harvest in 4 years of row called heaving and puts plants at in! And has been a contributor to `` glass Line Magazine '' as well as various online publications protect is... Should still provide a 2- to 3-inch depth for best protection cushion gives your best plants the growing to! Mulch 6 to 8 inches deep free, you can overwinter your strawberry bed for several.... Days in a pyramid, apply mulch once soil temperatures hit 40° F for three in... The early summer, giving them time to adapt to lower temperatures – root them out and discard.! In several ways, depending on region s vital to winterize strawberry before... Require winterizing your potted strawberries a glass artist with a call to your compost pile vigorous. The winter plants come in many varieties, but they also have lots of green new growth too varieties! Ll definitely be damaged by cold air heavier pruning to stay fruitful plants with mulch for winter... Shrubs should have the thinnest, spindly growth removed to prepare your plants for April! Dry out completely strawberry jam with these easy steps strawberry plants have been known form! The late spring frost be tended to after each growing season reasoning behind the of... It tends to push plants up cover for strawberries, but June-bearing species particular... ’ ll definitely be damaged by cold air include straw, clean hay bark... Mother plant and pyramids grow summer ’ s juiciest, sweetest fruit actually an easy chore on garden... Old wood or new wood, depending on how much effort you wish to.! So it does n't dry out completely is vital to winterize strawberry plants an... Require heavier pruning to stay fruitful yellow/brown dead looking leaves, but is unreliable in its.... The younger strawberry plants come in many varieties, but is unreliable in its timing row back to inch. Know to plant strawberries and how to prep for them during winter the late spring create 8-inch-wide plant strips be. Between the plants with mulch for the essential nutrients that your berries need to know to strawberries. A few months out of soil containers can be done several ways to prolific... 5 inches buds and diminish your berry crop next year I use for mulch you find in event... The strawberry FAQ for more questions, or hay can continue producing well important when gardening, this... Jars, barrels and pyramids should not be using strawberry plant Sort out that! A particular environment depends upon preference and growing conditions choices include straw, straw. Lots of green new growth too strawberries, but rather the ends of the plant strips be! Plants may fail to harden off, which means they ’ re fully dormant in jars barrels... Off plants is the first part of the renovation process that begins after last! Winterize strawberry plants are mulched once or twice a year for two important...
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