Mowing Strawberry Plants

mowing strawberry plantsStrawberry plants are perennials.  The fact that you can reap the benefits of your labor over the span of multiple years is a great benefit.  However, to ensure that the strawberry plants survive the harsh conditions of the winter months, a little extra tender loving care is required.  As discussed on the Growing Strawberries page, June-bearing strawberries need to be renovated each year.  One aspect of the renovation process that confuses some people is the mowing strawberries part.

“Mowing strawberries!  You must be kidding, right?  You surely don’t mean running over your strawberry bed with a lawn mower?!!”  Actually, that is exactly what it means.  And, hopefully, this post will help you understand how to mow strawberry plants and give you the confidence you need to begin mowing strawberry plants in your own garden.

WHY DO YOU NEED TO MOW STRAWBERRIES?

Mowing strawberry plants serves several functions.  As part of renovating strawberries (see the Growing Strawberries page for more details), mowing helps increase the subsequent year’s strawberry yield, extend the vitality of both the strawberry plants and planting area, and facilitates the rest of the renovation process.  When the harvest ends, the growing season for the following year begins as flower buds and runners are produced.

The strawberry plant begins forming the buds that will turn into next year’s flowers within the crown after the harvest has completed.  These buds begin forming in late summer and continue forming until early fall.  Mowing strawberry plants encourages them to develop more buds after harvest.  This means more flower stalks the following spring, and, consequently, a higher yield.  (Water is also crucial for flower bud formation.  To ensure maximal production of strawberries in the following year, 1 inch of water must be applied to the strawberry plants per week until the first frost.)

WHEN TO MOW STRAWBERRIES

June-bearing strawberries are usually the only types of strawberries to mow.  Day-neutral and everbearing varieties are generally not mowed.  For the June-bearers, the time to mow strawberry beds is within one week after the final harvest has been reaped.

WHEN NOT TO MOW STRAWBERRY PLANTS

It is best to mow strawberry plants within one week after they produce their last harvest.  Mowing strawberries after this week will likely result in damage to new foliar growth.  No strawberry plants should be mowed after the first day of August.  The flower buds will begin forming around the middle of August across most of the United States, and overhead strawberry leaves are needed.  If a very late season variety was planted and harvesting is occurring in the last week of July, mowing probably should not take place.

Also, if the strawberry plants are thinly spaced within your garden or strawberry patch, either forego mowing the strawberries or raise the deck of the mower so that the strawberry runners won’t be destroyed and will be able to root afterward.

MOWING STRAWBERRIES

Mowing strawberries may sound drastic, but it is easy.  Take your chosen rotary mower and set the deck so that it cuts a full inch above the strawberry plant crowns.  Then mow over the plants.  Easy as pie.  As some varieties of strawberries are particularly sensitive to hot, dry weather, it is a good idea to water the plants prior to mowing.  Jewel strawberry plants are particularly sensitive, and some plants may die after mowing a strawberry bed during hot and dry weather.

After mowing, rake up the debris and leaves and remove them from the garden.  This helps air circulate and removes a hospitable environment for fungi and other strawberry plant pathogens.  The moist or rotten leaves and congested areas are a haven for things that hurt strawberries, so rake soon after mowing.

PRUNING STRAWBERRY PLANTS AND ALTERNATIVES

If you have a raised bed or unique gardening system that prevents running a mower over your strawberry plants, other alternatives can be substituted.  Pruning strawberries can be done with any type of pruning shears or applicable scissors.  Additionally, if skilled with a weed eater, they can be used also.  However, due to the instability of your typical weed whacker, they aren’t recommended.  It is just too easy to permanently damage or kill your strawberry plants with an errant tilt.

If you prune strawberries with shears or scissors, it will take longer than mowing your strawberry plants.  When trimming, cut about 1 inch above the crowns.

BENEFITS OF MOWING STRAWBERRIES

1.  Mowing strawberry plants as the first step in renovation makes the rest of the process easier.  The beds will also appear more orderly.

2.  Increase flower bud formation and next year’s yield

3.  Younger, non-rooted runner plants will be mowed off which helps prevent overcrowding

4.  Increases the average size of strawberry collected from next year’s harvest

5.  Decreases opportunities for strawberry pathogens due to clearance of excess and/or dead foliage.  Mowing can even break the disease cycle for some pathogens

6.  Mulching is easier after mowing a strawberry patch

7.  Planting new strawberry plants or transplanting runner plants is also easier after mowing, if needed

MOWING STRAWBERRY PLANTS: CONCLUSION

Mowing strawberries is not all that complicated or difficult.  However, it is important to remember two final things.  First, crown placement is important and should be noted.  If the crowns were not set properly at planting and are too high, the mower deck will have to be raised to accommodate them.

Also, the top part of the plants may look terrible after mowing.  Fear not!  The roots and crowns will be totally intact and happy and will continue producing delicious strawberries!  And, if you have a raised bed or other difficult-to-mow area, remember that you can always prune strawberry plants by hand.

92 comments to Mowing Strawberry Plants

  • Mr. Strawberry

    Jennifer Martin,
    Hand-pulling the weeds is typically the most effective and safest method, but it is time intensive. You can very carefully spray with herbicide, but if ANY of it gets on the strawberries, they will die also. Plus, the herbicide is not safe for human consumption if some gets on berries. You can get a flame weeder that basically uses a torch to specifically scorch and burn up the weeds. Regardless, applying a liberal layer of clean straw as a mulch can help with weeds (but won’t prevent them completely). Good luck!

  • Jennifer Martin

    Hello, last year my husband mowed over our strawberries after the June harvest and this year my berry patch continues to be overgrown with weeds that have choked off my strawberry plants resulting in decreased plants even though I continue to try to stay on top of the weeds. Is there something I can put on to kill the weeds but not the strawberries? I have never had an issue with weeds like this in my berry patch in the past.

  • Mr. Strawberry

    Nancy W Collotti,
    Typically, you only want to renovate June-bearers. So, with a mixed planting like yours, I would probably hold off to ensure I got the maximum Pineberry harvest. Even though they are June-bearing, they will often have onsies/twosies blooms throughout the year, and the pollen from the Sonatas can really help the production of the Pineberries. So, I’d leave them be. Good luck!

  • Nancy W Collotti

    Hi Mr. Strawberry! I planted 2 4’x3′ elevated beds on casters on my deck last spring with a 4:1 mix of Albino Pineberries and Sonata Strawberries. If I’ve read correctly, Sonatas are June-bearing and the Pineberries are ever-bearing. Should I mow/hand-clip or not? It’s only late May now and I’m just starting to harvest so it is too early now of course, but should I be planning on this for July? Thanks! 🙂

  • Mr. Strawberry

    Grace,
    It is difficult to appropriately renovate with the plastic on. If you have a drip irrigation system installed underneath the plastic, you can add soluble fertilizers to the water source and workaround that way. Or, you can remove the plastic, if possible, and renovate like this. Good luck!

  • Grace

    We have about 10000 camarosa planted in Feb/Mar 2016. They continued to fruit until Jan 2017. They are now producing abundant runners. What is the best way to renovate them? They are on raised beds covered in plastic. We are located in Bundaberg, Queensland, Australia. Thanks for your help.

  • Mr. Strawberry

    Richard,
    Once the plants go dormant, gently rake all the dead leaves/vegetative matter off and then mulch. It is a little too late to mow this year, although you probably could do it without causing any damage. Good luck!

  • Mr. Strawberry

    Arthur,
    If you are planning on running a commercial operation, the June-bearing options is probably best for total yield. If you are using hydroponics, day-neutrals do well. As for the planting method, use the search box at the top right of this page to search for “matted row” and “plasticulture” to learn about the two major growing methods. Good luck!

  • Richard

    We stated a new raised strawberry bed this summer. We live in northeast Iowa. We did not harvest them but did pick off the buds. Should we mow them off in Oct. or Nov. before we mulch them? We planted June bearing plants.

  • Arthur

    Hi,

    I am planting about 3000 plants this year of two ever bearing day-neutrals and one June bearer. I am in souther California. My questions is do I need to buy new plants each year and pull out my old ones or can I plan to leave the plants where they are for a few years before buying new plants and replanting? If I leave them, do I want to leave only the runners, only the old plants or a combo of both? Can I use runners as if they were new plants and transplant them elsewhere the following fall? Some of my plants are in ground and some in gutters. I’m curious if your answers to the above questions change in the gutter context.

    Thank you!!

  • Mr. Strawberry

    Cherie Bose,
    You might want to try a liberal application of diatomaceous earth. Good luck!

  • Cherie Bose

    Thanks… Someone told me I needed to add calcium and boron during fruiting. Would that help? If it is an insect how do I identify it. I don’t “see” anything but it may not mean it’s not there. I’d rather not use chemicals. What else could I use?

  • Mr. Strawberry

    Cherie Bose,
    Most likely, you have a pest that is feeding on the berries. That will often cause what you describe. And, yes, you can still mow if you do it soon. Good luck!

  • Cherie Bose

    Had June bearing strawberries for 3 years…. Lush beautiful plants but berries all 3 years were not worth picking. The were like buttons and not filled out to the end. What went wrong. Also, it is August 3 can I still mow down the berries. In northern Wisconsin thanks

  • Mr. Strawberry

    Craig,
    Unfortunately, in my estimation, most of the people selling strawberry plants on eBay that don’t sell a well-established variety are just re-naming some other variety (who knows which it might be) that they purchased for cheaper somewhere else. All four of the other varieties are June-bearing varieties and will be done producing their major crop soon, if they haven’t already. For what to do and when, I’d recommend starting here. Good luck!

  • Craig

    Last fall I started a strawberry bed in my garden that includes All Star, Honeye, Surecrop, Earliglow & a variety I purchased on eBay referred to as Gigantic due to the berry size. It is now the middle of June and all of the plants seem to be done producing berries for this year except for the Gigantic. The plants have sent a lot of runners. When should I mow, mulch and fertilize? Is it expected that the berries would be done producing already for the year?? I’m new to strawberries so I appreciate any and all info that is provided – thanks in advance!

  • Mr. Strawberry

    Ami,
    Start here. Good luck!

  • Ami

    I have roughly 2 dozen plants in some pots. When planting them they only put off a few fruit but the plants are still green and continue to grow. I’m in Alabama it is October 21. What should I do to ensure they produce next season? Thanks!

  • Mr. Strawberry

    James B,
    Yes! Good luck!

  • Mr. Strawberry

    jackie,
    Gently rake any dead foliage and plant matter out of the bed and mulch well with clean straw when the plants enter dormancy. Good luck!

  • James B

    In mid-July, after our strawberries were finished for the year and we were home from vacation, I cut back all the plants to about an inch above the crown as you suggest. The plants have grown back and the patch is covered in green leaves. However, it also appears that runners have been shooting out and planting themselves. I think there may be more plants than I intended. It is now mid-October and we’ve had freezing temperatures at night the last couple days. Can I still cut of the runners and remove the plants I don’t want so the patch won’t be crowded in spring?

  • jackie

    We did not mow our strawberry patch and it is Oct so what should I do now

  • Mr. Strawberry

    Gary,
    The weeds definitely need to be pulled. You could mow the whole bed, but that would likely make the weeds harder to pull as well. I’d recommend pulling the weeds through the strawberry foliage. Good luck!

  • Mr. Strawberry

    Ashley West,
    This should help! Good luck!

  • Gary

    Thank you. Had vigorous strawberries for two years, near Richmond, VA and wire-grass has gradually moved-in. Past two years, I covered strawberry leaves for winter with pine-tags and, by summer, tags served as mulch to keep weeds down. This year, due to particularly early-season wet weather, weeds flourished as did strawberries, but now weeds seem to almost engulf the strawberries and are about two feet high. Wondering if cutting back to about two inches high and then pulling weeds would be recommended or must weeds be pulled though strawberry leaves are no longer visible in some rows. Any recommendations welcome for saving the strawberries.

  • Ashley West

    Hi! I just moved into a new home that had a raised strawberry bed in the backyard. The neighbors said it produced tons over the summer! It was horribly over-grown with weeds, so I have taken care of that, but about half of the plants are totally brown and dead looking, and half are green with a few flowers. It is mid September now. What should I do to help them through the fall and Tennessee winter so that they produce next season?

  • Mr. Strawberry

    Jim,
    You can go either way. There is probably still enough warm weather, but whichever you choose, you should remove all the dead or dying plant material from the bed. I would probably just wait and winterize if it were me, however. Good luck!

  • Jim

    Mr Strawberry,

    I planted June bearing Strawberry plants last year and we had a great harvest this past June, but I didn’t know I should have cut them back. I live in New Hampshire and it is the end of August. Should I cut them back or is it too late and I should just leave them and winterize in November?

  • Mr. Strawberry

    Strawberry Jim,
    It is normal for a smattering of berries to be produced after the main crop comes in. It sounds like you might have had a bit more than is to be expected for June-bearing varieties, but they should do fine. If you haven’t renovated, it is probably best to go ahead, although it is a bit later than usual. Good luck!

  • Strawberry Jim

    Last year in July I mowed my strawberry patch and removed most runners. This year I had a bumper harvest – 80+ lbs from 13’x24’patch. I failed to mow them down in July as I was out of town most of the month. Strangely, some of my June-bearing plants have put on another crop – I just harvested a couple pounds today and might get enough to pick some more in a couple days or a week.

    Is this normal, or bad? Should I continue to harvest what grows?

    Is it too late to mow them down?

  • Mr. Strawberry

    DChristopher,
    As long as the crowns weren’t damaged, they should pop right back by the end of the summer. Good luck!

  • DChristopher

    My daughters received a strawberry kit as a gift and we planted them last summer. This year they started producing berries and were accidentally mowed down. Do the have a chance to come back next year or are they done for good?

  • Mr. Strawberry

    Courtney,
    If you haven’t actively managed your strawberry patch, it is likely that the runner plants that have rooted have become too densely matted to allow for all of them to produce well. Too much competition for nutrients will lead to smaller berries. You may want to thin the plants if you have more than 2-3 per square foot. Good luck!

  • Courtney

    I’ve made some rookie mistakes and am trying to get educated now to make up for them. I’ve had strawberries growing successfully for 3-4 seasons now (June-Bearing) and never knew to mow them down at the end of summer. It is March now, and as usual my beds look like a mess. With spring right around the corner, is there anything I should do at this point to help them this year? (I will of course trim them down at the end of the season now that I know!)

  • Mr. Strawberry

    rod,
    No, I would let them be unless it will be a hard frost. Strawberry plants do fine even at 32 degrees Fahrenheit. It isn’t until the temperature stays in the twenties for several nights that they will go dormant. So, I’d let them make the most of the warmer days with their foliage intact. Good luck!

  • rod

    I planted june bearer plug plants last week.We just had our first frost warning here in east central Mo. Would’nt it be a good idea to cut the plant back with scissors?Thought this might help the roots to get a better hold before the freeze.

  • Mr. Strawberry

    Jerry,
    See here, and good luck!

  • Jerry

    I have two varieties of everbearing strawberries. The berries are starting to turn red. What has startled me was i picked one of the berries, before i bit into it i saw a small worm or larvae. What could thin be and how can i kill them. HELP

  • Mr. Strawberry

    John,
    Sounds like you have some truly matted rows! It is good to separate the rows, if only to keep it so you can know which plants are which. At this point, I would probably wait until the plants go dormant, however. Be sure to gently rake out all the dead and wilted leaves once the cold hits. Then, mulch with straw or other appropriate mulch. Good luck!

  • John

    I planted two 50ft rows of June bearing berries this spring. 1 allstar and 1 earliglo side by side with rows about 4 ft apart and with the plants 18 inches apart. The plants are doing great, but I wasn’t able to control the runner growth and it looks like 1 big 6’+ ft wide row now. I started to just weedeat the center out and then run the roto tiller between, leaving two 18 inch ish rows like was intended. Would it be best now to wait until they die back, roto till between, and thin the plants to 4 to 6 per square foot when I can better see what is/was under the mass of green. And just so I am clear, since it was their first year I did or didn’t need to mow/renovate in July? I should now mow them off after they die back and go dormant before mulching, after a 3 or 4 days of 20ish degree temps?

  • Mr. Strawberry

    Nancy Clark,
    Go ahead and remove them. You can transplant them elsewhere if you’d like! Good luck!

  • Nancy Clark

    I have a raised bed of ever-bearing strawberries. This is the 2nd year for them. The bed is now very crowed; way too many plants. Should I remove some now before winter; or, wait until next spring?

  • Mr. Strawberry

    Julie Hoffman,
    Try reviewing the information on the Growing Strawberries page. That should help! Good luck!

  • Julie Hoffman

    My strawberry patch has been very healthy until this year. First they did not produce fruit nor flowers this year. Now the whole middle of the patch looks dead. What should I do?

  • Mr. Strawberry

    Nina,
    I’m sorry to hear of your trials! If your patch is several years old, your plants are likely losing their vigor and should be replaced. To avoid this in the future, you can adopt a transplanting strategy. Good luck!

  • Nina

    Hi. About two years ago I was picking strawberries and got bit by what I thought at the time was a snake in my strawberry patch (we had a good crop then). I realized it was a wasp instead but that was after a hospital trip and my husband setting part of the patch on fire trying to kill the snake. Anyway, our patch has not been producing as well since then and I just mowed it now. Should I give up on the patch and just start a new one next year?

  • Mr. Strawberry

    debbie,
    Late frosts did do a significant amount of damage to strawberries this year. Even so, it is unlikely that you would have gotten NO strawberries. You might have an wildlife problem or pest problem. As to renovation, yes, it should be done each year. More details can be found here. Also, check your “wild” strawberries for the color of their flowers. If it is yellow, it is a weed and should be pulled up. If the flowers are white, it actually could be a wild strawberry variety IF you are sure that the new plants are different from the old. Good luck!

  • debbie

    My strawberries were renovated last yr and had tons of blooms this yr but no strawberries. We had two late freezes in May & I covered the plants but noticed black spots on the blooms after that. Now they are just as crowded as last year and I think some wild strawberries have mixed in. Is there any way to tell them apart? And should I renovate them again this year?

  • Mr. Strawberry

    K2Farm,
    You can probably still trim them. If you don’t want to propagate the runners, you can trim them also. You might, however, want to consider setting up a transplant system to increase your harvest. Congratulations on your bumper crop! Good luck!

  • K2Farm

    We planted our June bearing plants in 2013. We live in Eastern Ontario. This summer the strawberries were a bumper crop. Since it is the end of July – is it too late to mow the plants? Could we still hand trim them? If hand trimming, do we also cut the new runners? Thanks,

  • Mr. Strawberry

    James,
    It should be fine to mow now. Good luck!

  • James

    We live in Hamilton, Ontario, and have a small garden. We decided to try strawberries this year and planted 12 plants in 6 square feet. We got a few strawberries in June. We’re new to this and so I just came across your website.

    I pruned back all the runners which were spreading everywhere inside and outside the strawberry area and trying to get into our other vegetables. I’ve left some runners staked down so that we will end up increasing from 12 plants to about 30. The rest were pruned back to about an inch or inch and a half from the crown.

    Now I’m left with strawberry plants that have quite tall leaves. From reading this page, it sounds like I should also prune back the leaves to about an inch from the crown. Is that right? In one place you say that mowing should be done within a week of the last harvest. Any later and we could damage the plant. But later on you say that mowing should be done by the end of July. It’s now July 10. We haven’t seen a strawberry for about 3 weeks. Should I still prune back the tall leaves? Or am I too late?

  • Mr. Strawberry

    Kevin,
    That is fantastic! Enjoy your strawberries!

  • Kevin

    Planted 25 plants about 4 years ago. I planted ever bearing and june bearing both and layed down straw. First two years, I did not generate much produce….after the second year after losing my rows and tripling my plants due to runners and also having quack grass completely take over my patch due to the straw being full of that seed apparently, I mowed them in the fall….probably around October I’d guess and let the mulch lay. In the spring I sprayed hi-yield weed killer to get rid of the quack grass as soon as it started showing up.
    My patch produced the largest berries and the most berries I’d ever imagined….I picked so many, ended up calling friends to take away quarts upon quarts of berries.
    Last fall in October I mowed it again….(I never water after the berries are picked in June actually.)This spring I used the high yield weed killer again. I water a couple times/week….I got up in the morning early in may to turn on water on frost mornings too to protect the blossoms….anyway, this year again, the leaves are huge, I have hundreds of plants, and hundreds of flowers….all turning to berries..looks like another bumper crop.

  • Mr. Strawberry

    Shayla,
    Yes, prune and remove all the dead plant material as soon as possible. The dead plant material can harbor fungi and other pathogens/pests that can damage or kill the strawberry plants. Do that, care for them appropriately, and you’ll likely have a nice strawberry harvest this year! Good luck!

  • Shayla

    Hi! I ran into your website after researching what to do with the strawberries in my garden. We bought our home this winter (in North Dakota) and there is a nice big raised garden bed in our yard. It is now getting nice and i noticed about 1/4 of the garden is strawberries. It doesn’t look like the previous owners harvested the garden last summer/fall or prepare it for the next years harvest. The strawberry plants have a lot of dried dead leaves and wiggly vines. I dont have much experience with gardening but would like to see if I can keep the strawberries in the garden for this year. There are areas of the strawberry plants that are green and starting to grow. Should I prune all the dried dead leaves and twiggy vines? Any help would be appreciated! Thanks!
    Shayla

  • Straw Berry

    Krista Stadnicki,
    If the deer didn’t damage the crowns, they should come right up this spring and produce a bucket-load of fresh, juicy strawberries for you! You might want to get some netting, though, to keep the birds and squirrels and rabbits out. Good luck!

  • Krista Stadnicki

    Mr Strawberry,
    Last spring I started my first strawberry garden. My newbies looked great by the time fall arrived until a deer paid me a visit and chewed off the leaves. It appears that the crowns were not touched. What should I expect this spring?

    Krista

  • Mr. Strawberry

    gordon smith,
    You likely have everbearing or day-neutral varieties if they are still producing. Renovation is intended for June-bearing varieties that produce one large crop in the spring or early summer and then essentially cease producing. So, if your plants are still producing, just enjoy the strawberries! When they go dormant with cold weather, you can remove any dead vegetative matter then. Good luck!

  • gordon smith

    My plants are still producing (Sept 30th). It is my understanding that I should not mow or trim them this late in the year. Is this true?
    From Cincinnati OH

  • Mr. Strawberry

    Jona Hale,
    Strawberries are notorious for absorbing chemicals used to kill pests and herbs. As such, I don’t usually recommend chemical spraying, although it can be done. I would recommend weeding them by hand, either now or when it gets a bit cooler. If hand-weeding isn’t an option, you can try to smother the weeds by laying down multiple layers of newspaper on top of them (going right up next to the strawberry crowns). Wet the newspaper thoroughly, and then put a clean mulch on top of the paper. That will keep weeds to a minimum next year. Good luck!

  • Jona Hale

    It is now September 25th I have not cut back strawberrys and there is a lot of grass growing in them .can I spray them and with what?Andshould I still cut them back?

  • Mr. Strawberry

    charles suddath,
    Weeds are the devil. Pulling by hand is the best way to get rid of them, in my opinion. Certain grass killers can be used, but strawberries are notorious for absorbing/taking up herbicides and pesticides. So, you may end up eating the residues of the poisons you spray to kill the weeds. An alternative way to minimize weeds is to lay down a thick layer of newspaper all around your strawberries and then cover the newspaper with a thick layer of mulch. Adding mulch to the top each year provides compost and a weed deterrent. Either way, good luck!

  • charles suddath

    what can i do about weeds. is pulling by hand the only way or is there a spray weedkiller i can use? i am getting ready to mow then spray.

  • Mr. Strawberry

    dave,
    Here is an organic way to get rid of those little devils: watch this video. Good luck!

  • dave

    i have a problem with thisle weeds in my strawberry patch. i keep removing them by hand and they continue to comr back. help

  • Mr. Strawberry

    David,
    Failing to mow the strawberries shouldn’t harm your crop this spring as long as you don’t get fungal or other infections. Yes, do get rid of the dead leaves in the spring. As for other advice, this site is full of it! Start here: growing strawberries. Good luck!

  • DAVID

    I planted strawberry plants this year but did not mow them off.Will this harm my spring crop? Should I get rid of dead leaves and stems in the spring when I uncover them? What other advise can you give?
    Thanks for your advise,
    Dave

  • Mr. Strawberry

    Howard,
    I’d recommend starting here: Growing Strawberries. Pay special attention to all specific articles that are linked at the bottom of the page under the “More” section. That should get you off on the road to success! Good luck!

  • Howard

    Mr. Strawberry,
    I have a bed of 25 first year Allstar June bearing strawberries. What should I do to prepare them for the winter months ahead and what is the first thing I should do this coming spring? As you can probably tell I am a beginner at this.

    Thanks

  • Mr. Strawberry

    firedancer,
    You can probably still do it, although the window is closing. You need to clear out the dead plant material from amongst your plants either way, however. As long as the crown at ground level is unharmed, your plants should be fine. Good luck!

  • firedancer

    I just read that I should have trimmed back my strawberry plants before now. Is it too late (now near September) to trim the plants back? How far back should they be trimmed? Thanks.

  • Mr. Strawberry

    Sarah,
    No, probably not. That was very kind of him to try to help you out! As long as he didn’t set the mower blades too low and damage the crowns, they should be fine.

  • Sarah

    My father mowed my strawberry patch a week ago – They are ever-bearing. I did not know he was going to do this. Are my plants gone for good?

  • Mr. Strawberry

    Dylan,
    Yes, you can remove the older plants without harming the new runner plants as long as there is enough space between the two. However, the older plants likely have more established root systems than the newer ones. I’d recommend transplanting the newer ones instead of uprooting the old ones. See this page for a how-to: Transplanting Strawberry Plants

  • Dylan

    I have a bed of strawberries that are around 2 or 3 years old now and it’s gotten very thick, they are budding a lot now but there is a lot of dead leaves and runners under them, can i pull out all the older plants that are not budding to clean it out without effecting the new ones? I have already taken out the oldest ones and moved the new runners and seems it just got very thick again.

  • Mr. Strawberry

    Susan,
    Yes, feel free to mulch only between the remaining crowns at this time. That can help minimize weeds. However, don’t confuse mulching now with pre-winter mulching, which is much heavier. Winterizing your strawberry beds to preserve your perennial strawberries over the freezing months will help them avoid cold injury and will be a much heavier mulch application. Good luck!

  • Susan

    I just mowed my strawberry plants and cleaned out the dead foliage yesterday, should I mulch with straw or pine needles now?

  • Mr. Strawberry

    Shirley,
    Thanks for stopping by! The details of yearly strawberry care can be found on the Growing Strawberries reference page. For a general month-by-month overview of strawberry care, see here: Monthly Growing Strawberries Guide.

  • Mr. Strawberry

    pat,
    At this point, it is probably best to get them ready for winter. Check the Growing Strawberries reference page for all the details.

  • Shirley

    I have ever bearing strawberries that produce small berries. Do I prune these or not. You said not to prune after August lst. but is that just for the June bearing variety? Not at all sure what I should do this winter and it is September, nearly October now :< Thank you.

    Shirley

  • pat

    Hi, I planted my Strawberry plants in large hanging baskets in my Polly Tunnel, they stoped producing fruit about a month ago, Now this my first time I have ever growen anything let alone Strawberries, I fully expected them to die off for the winter but there they hang strong and healthy, On reading your artical I now realise I should have Mowed them, Is it to late if so what should I do I have transplanted several runners and they are doing nicely

  • Mr. Strawberry

    Rob,
    Yes, remove the brown/dead foliage. It no longer helps the plant but can be infected with diseases or provide a haven for fungi if it falls to the ground and rots. You don’t have to clip the runner plants once they are rooted as the connections will shrivel and break on their own eventually, but you can if you would like. It won’t hurt either plant. For more help, be sure to check out the Growing Strawberries page.

  • Mr. Strawberry

    walter,

    It is not uncommon for runners from everbearing plants to produce flowers and fruit in the manner you mention. However, the production of flowers takes the plants energy away from rooting and establishing itself for the long haul. See this page for more on transplanting strawberries.

  • Rob

    I have a new bed with mail order plants (Earliglow)I planted this past April. The runners are growing nicely, but there seems to be a lot of brown foliage on the mother plants. Should this be removed? Also, should I clip the runners from the mothers once they have rooted? I removed the mulch when I saw runners starting (on advice from neighbors that this would prevent the runners from rooting). Should I keep a light pine needle mulch around the plants all year? We are in drought conditions but I have begun watering.

  • walter duda

    I planted everbearing berries last year, they are now if full blossom and producing. However the runners also have blossoms though not rooted yet, is this standard procedure for these berries. I’ve been raising june berries for years.

  • Mr. Strawberry

    Dolores,
    You do not need to cut the leaves. The strawberries will ripen just fine without being exposed to sunlight. The sunlight does hasten the process a bit, but cutting healthy leaves decreases the photosynthetic capacity of the plants and isn’t a good idea when the leaves are healthy.

  • Dolores

    My strawberry plants are producing quite a few berries now, but have very long and many leaves. Can I cut some of the leaves away so as to let the sunlight in on the berries to ripen them, or will this stop the growing process? tx

  • Mr. Strawberry

    sira,
    That is a good question. True June-bearers shouldn’t produce strawberries after they set their harvest and are mowed/renovated. I guess it is possible that some strange genetic expression occurred that caused the plant to begin producing again, or the plant was confused by climate or environmental conditions. My next best guess is that the company that shipped the plants to you (or however you got them) accidentally mixed an everbearer or day-neutral plant in with the lot they sent you.

  • sira

    After mowing my june-strawberries in august, one plant began to produce strawberries.
    Why?

  • Mr. Strawberry

    Nancy,

    Thanks for stopping by Strawberry Plants .org! My recommendation would be to wait another month or so and transplant them in late August. This page may be of assistance: Transplanting Strawberries

  • Nancy McAuliffe

    Just read your article. I have Hoods it is the last week of July and I want to move them to other beds. It is best to move the whole plant, wait for the runners and plant them and/or mow the bed at this time. Thanks for any help.

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