Winterizing strawberry plants is necessary for gardeners in many areas. As the temperatures drop each year, people write in asking when and how to winterize strawberry plants. This post will cover the basics and help you determine how and when to protect your strawberry plants as the weather cools.
Why Winterize Strawberries?
Strawberry plants are perennial. They produce for many years after the initial planting, and they can thrive for very long periods if a rotation is used to keep plants fresh. But, there is a problem with perennial plants. How do they survive the freezing temperatures of the winter months? Well, strawberries are classified as forbs. Consequently, they don’t have the thick bark that protects many other perennials like most trees. If they don’t get extra protection (at least in the colder Zones), they will either die or suffer cold injury. Both death and injury can significantly hamper your plants’ ability to grow strawberries for you!
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For any home gardener, birds can be a problem. Berries of all sorts disappear down the beaks of our feathered foes. Unfortunately, strawberries are not exception. Frustrated people ask fairly frequently how to keep birds away from strawberries. Well, fret not, my friends. I have full faith that you can out-smart the flying fiends. Most folks know that birds aren’t brilliant. In fact, they are quite mentally diminutive. However, they do learn quickly where the fast food may be found. If you have already surrendered a crop of strawberries to the neighborhood aviators, this method might be more difficult to pull off. If you haven’t, you might take a subtle satisfaction at tricking the fluff-brains into leaving your harvest alone…
How to Keep Birds Away from Strawberries (with trickery!)
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If You Plant a Strawberry Top, Will It Grow a Strawberry?
Over the course of the years, I have had several people ask me this question, or a version of it: “If you plant a strawberry top, will it grow a strawberry?” This year, however, I have received a noticeable increase in the number of curious questioners hoping to make good on the part of the strawberry most commonly used as a grip while the rest of the fruit is gnawed in happy contentment. After all, the little bit of white flesh left under the calyx and stem isn’t good for much other than, perhaps, making a bit of strawberry water. I don’t know why the curiosity has spiked, but it is a valid question. Since curious minds want to know…
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Q: When Do Strawberry Plants Die?
On September 13th, 2011, Elenor asked:
When do strawberry plants die? My strawberry plants are doing badly. They used to flourish for the first 3 years, but now are thinning out and getting scraggly. It is mid-September, I read about renovation – to be done around June after harvest. Can these plants be dug up and dried out through the winter, and replanted in the spring? When I bought them they were just dried out looking bare clean roots. What should I do to keep them happy and healthy?
Answer to: When Do Strawberry Plants Die?
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Q: How Old Are My Strawberry Plants?
On June 7, 2011, Diane asked:
We have strawberries in raised beds. We are getting smaller and smaller berries every year. I think I need to thin the plants. Is there a way to tell by looking at them which plants are oldest? I need to know how old are my strawberry plants. We also need to fertilize and water them. We were really just letting nature take it’s course. With a fair amount of success until now. The berries are just mostly really small this year. Thanks for this site. It was very helpful. I’m also wondering if when you create new plants from runners are you supposed to pinch off the blossoms on those or just on new bare root plants? If you are supposed to pinch them off the new runner plants, how can you tell which plants are new in the Spring? They all look the same to me in the bed. Thanks.
Answer to: How Old Are My Strawberry Plants?
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Q: When Should Strawberry Plants Be Mulched for Winter?
On November 20, 2015, Danny Abbuscome asked:
I have a few raised beds with strawberry plants planted in them. I got them as potted plants and had a decent crop and got several gallons of strawberries from all my plants combined. I planted them this spring, instead of last fall like you recommended (I hadn’t found this site yet). I followed all the instructions for renovation and mowed them and limited the runners so they didn’t overgrow everything. It may have been mentioned somewhere else, but when exactly do I mulch the plants for winter? I seem to get different information on a quick google of mulching strawberries. Exactly when should strawberry plants be mulched for the winter months? I don’t want to smother them or cause any harm if the plants aren’t ready. I still have some green living-looking leaves on my plants, although most of the big leaves have turned mostly brown and look dead. Can you give me some advice as to how to go about mulching? Any help would be much appreciated!
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Q: Problems Growing Strawberries in Containers?
On September 23, 2015, Bob asked:
I have a large container on my patio with strawberry plants in it. This was the 2nd summer for these strawberries. Unfortunately, the plants only put out a handful of strawberries back in early June. I was very disappointed to say the least. I had stopped by a local nursery to pick their brains about the lack of yield I had this summer. The lady there told me that strawberries grown in containers don’t typically produce a lot of fruit compared to those growing in the ground. She also asked me if I had fertilized my strawberry plants last fall before winter set in. I had never heard of doing this. Why would you fertilize a plant that is about to die from the coming cold months? If this is true, when do I fertilize? Now, that the plant is still green and alive, or do I wait for it to curl up and die after winter hits? It should be noted that I leave this container outside on my patio uncovered and exposed to the snow and elements all winter long. It survived fine this way last winter and grew back really nice this past spring, so I really didn’t have to baby it at all to keep it alive. It survived! Also, what fertilizer, if any, do I use for this fall fertilization?
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Q: Why Are My Strawberries Small?
On July 18, 2015, Michael Johnson asked:
Hi, I was hoping you could help me with a problem I have. I need to know what causes small strawberries. I planted my strawberries last year during September, and they put out some greenery before dying back for the winter months. This spring they came up and looked to be doing pretty well. They put out flowers on stalks that started to grow, but the size of the fruits that are produced are all tiny. They are only about half an inch big, give or take a little.
I’ve done my best to water them, and follow the instructions for what should give a good crop, but I’m still stuck wondering what causes small strawberries after doing everything I can to make them big. Can you tell me why are my strawberries small instead of big and plump like they are in the store? Any help would be appreciated! Thank you.
Answer to: What Causes Small Strawberries?
It is difficult to pinpoint exactly what causes small strawberries without being able to visualize your setup and without knowing all that has gone into their care up until this point. There are a number of things that can cause your strawberries to smaller than the ones you may be used to buying at the store or from farmers markets. So, let me point out some of the most common causes of small strawberries:
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Strawberries are relatively simple little plants. Their genomes have been completely mapped, and their life cycles are fully understood. But, as simple as strawberry plants may seem, they are still complex enough to warrant study; and, the study that goes into them continues to reveal much fascinating information. This post is dedicated to that topic of plant fertilization that sometimes can induce somnambulism in all but the most ardent botanists: strawberry pollination. But, once you’ve reviewed this information, you’ll be ready to tackle hand pollination of strawberries or be better able to situate your strawberry bed in the most ideal location for growing gargantuan berries!
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* Manual Format: Digital Download
Strawberries. Everyone loves them. The small red fruits meld their aroma and taste together perfectly for what many food connoisseurs describe as a truly sublime gustatory experience. So delightful is the fruit that literally billions of dollars are made each year from the sale of the savory succulents. The enormous Californian strawberry companies that produce tons upon tons of strawberries don’t want you to know something, however. In fact, they don’t want you to know several things…
They don’t want you to know that you can easily grow your own strawberries at home in as little as one half of a cubic foot of dirt! You don’t need acres upon acres of land.
They don’t want you to know how much money you can save by growing your own strawberries instead of buying berries from them! Strawberry plants are one of the most productive garden plants based on size-to-harvest ratio.
They don’t want you to know how enjoyable it is to see little plants produce heaps of strawberries that you can immediately eat! There is no need to fight the crowds at the supermarket or grocery store to enjoy ultra-fresh berries.
And, my friend, those are just a few of the myriads of benefits you’ll realize by growing your own strawberries. Let me tell you briefly about the value you will be able to realize by using The Strawberry Growing Master Manual to produce your own strawberries. To best understand this value, let’s start with some of what makes strawberry plants so amazing…
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