It’s time to consider what to do with strawberry plants at end of season as the growing season draws to a close. If you are a gardener, then taking good care of your strawberry plants towards the end of the planting period is essential for a robust crop the following year.
Today I will discuss the best practices for dealing with your strawberry plants and how to prepare them for winter.
What to do with Strawberry plants at end of Season?
Here are some actions you can take for your strawberry at the end of the season
Remove dead leaves: Cut back any dead leaves and pull out any runners that have started to spread too far from the parent plant.
Cut back the foliage: Cut back the foliage on your herbs once the old leaves and weeds have been removed. This can be done by trimming the leaves back to around 1 inch above the crowns of the plants. In addition to encouraging springtime development, this will keep the plants from becoming overly top-heavy and vulnerable to snow and ice.
Adding Mulch: With the use of mulch, plants are better protected from the harsh cold, wind, and erratic temperatures that can cause the plants to heave out of the ground. Additionally, a solid mulch covering aids in the retention of moisture around the roots and helps keep them from drying out.
To mulch your plants, spread a layer of straw, leaves, or pine needles around the plants, making sure to cover the crowns and roots but leaving the foliage uncovered. Mulch should be buried 2 to 4 inches deep.
Fertilize: To assist your plants in getting ready for the winter, fertilize them with a balanced fertilizer.
Cover the plants: If you live in an area with harsh winters, cover your plants with a layer of burlap or frost cloth to protect them from freezing temperatures and snow.
Note: If you are wondering about pruning your strawberry plants as a winter preparation, I have a whole section for that in next step.
Create a new bed: If your plants are aging or are already overcrowded, you might want to think about creating a new bed in a different part of your garden. This will offer your plants a new start and aid in preventing the buildup of disease and pests in the soil.
Defend against Wildlife: During the winter, wildlife like rabbits and rodents might harm your strawberry bushes. You can enclose your plants in a barrier made of netting or wire mesh to safeguard them. In order to prevent any wildlife from digging beneath the barrier, make sure to anchor it firmly to the ground.
Pruning Strawberry plants for Winter
Pruning is not really necessary for your plant in winter preparation but, if required then you can follow these methods. All of these are experienced by me in my own farm.
Simple trim Method: For strawberries that bear in June, a straightforward trim should be sufficient to remove any sick or dead leaves. This is done by cutting off the leaves that are brown or yellow, leaving only the green leaves.
Crown removal: Remove the old crowns from everbearing strawberries in the winter so that new ones can take their place. To accomplish this, the old crown is chopped off slightly above the leaves. This should be carried out in late autumn or early springtime when new growth is beginning.
Matted row renovation: This technique is my personal favorite and entails removing the older plants and runners to make a place for new growth. Cut off all the leaves and clean the bed of any trash first. The elder plants and runners should then be removed by mowing over the bed. Last but not least, thin the remaining plants until there are 4-6 plants per square foot.
How to save Strawberry plants for next year?
What to do with strawberry plants at end of season? Storing is really useful, especially if you plan to replant them in your garden for next season. Here are some storage methods:
Bare-root storage: In this method, the herbs are lifted from the ground and shaken clean of any excess soil before being stored in a cool, dark area. Keep the plants moist but not excessively wet, and the roots should be wrapped in damp paper or fabric. This method is effective when preserving items for just a few weeks to a month.
Potting up and overwintering indoors: This option might be worth considering for gardeners who want to cultivate their plants in the upcoming year or who have a restricted amount of outside growing area. The plants will continue to grow slowly and may also be planted once more in the spring.
Freezing: Refrigerator storage is a possibility for plants that need to be preserved for a more extended period. The roots of the plants are retained moist by placing them in plastic bags with some damp sawdust or peat moss after they have been pulled up and the excess dirt has been shaken off.
The plants should be stored in a refrigerator for up to six weeks at a temperature of 32–40°F (0–4°C). But it’s essential to keep in mind that plants frozen in this method might not endure thawing.
Heel-in storage: Strawberries are laid on their sides in a shallow, well-drained trench for heel-in storage. The roots are then covered with soil. When storing items for only a few weeks, this method works nicely.
Planning Stored Strawberry for the next season
The best months to plant preserved strawberries are early spring or late summer when the weather is more relaxed, and there is less possibility that the heat will harm the plants.
If the preserved strawberries are healthy and carefully stored, you can plant them once the ground has thawed and the temperatures have increased enough for the plants to start developing.
Usually, this occurs during the first weeks of spring. However, your surroundings and geographical location can have an impact on this. You can perform replantation in following 7 easy steps.
- Prepare the planting area. Pick a location with well-draining soil that receives full sun for the majority of the day.
- Add compost or other vegetable matter to increase the fertility of soil.
- Create strawberry plant holes that are just a little bit bigger than the root balls. Ensure that there are at least 15 to 18 inches of space between each plant.
- Carefully remove the strawberry plants from their storage container, using caution so as not to harm the roots.
- After setting each plant in its prepared hole, gently fill the hole with soil. Thoroughly cover the roots and ensure that dirt around the plant’s base should be tamped down to remove any air pockets.
- Water the newly planted strawberry plants deeply to aid in leveling the soil near the roots.
- Continue to provide regular irrigation to the strawberry plants to keep the soil equally moist.
Do Strawberry plants come back after Winter?
Yes, most strawberry plants can constantly grow because they are perennials. A few of the factors that will affect whether or not your specific strawberries will come back after winter include the strawberry plant variety, the severity of the winter weather, and how well the plants were cared for throughout the growing season.
During the winter, the majority of strawberry plants frequently enter a dormant state and stop growing and bearing fruit. The plant may appear to have perished during this time if its leaves wilt and turn brown.
The plant should start to develop as the temperature warms up in the spring, provided it has been well-cared for and has strong roots.
Do you cut back Strawberries for winter?
In general, strawberry plants do not need to be pruned back for the winter. And I will only recommend you do so if required. But there are a few instances where it might be helpful to do so.
If your strawberry plants are day-neutral or everbearing varieties that give fruit all through the growing season, removing the old, dead leaves from the plants in the late fall or early winter can be beneficial. This helps new growth and pest prevention.
It is not required to cut your strawberry plants back for the winter if they are June-bearing kinds that produce one sizable crop in the early summer. In fact, until the first harsh frost, it’s usually advised to leave the old leaves on the plants. This can shield the plants from winter damage and aid in their insulation.
What to do with Strawberry plants at end of season? Final Thoughts
So, now you know what to do with strawberry plants at end of season. Although saying goodbye to your strawberries can be bittersweet, with the proper care, you can ensure they’ll be back more vital than ever next year. I hope you picked up something new and valuable from this post. If you have additional queries, you can ask me in the comments. Thank you!
Each plant has its maintenance requirement at the end of the season. Read my other articles to learn more: