Strawberries, those juicy, delectable summer treats, are worth the wait and the work; but you will only get them if you know how to winterize them. When it comes to the winter season, just when you think the hard work of cultivating strawberry plants is over, it is then time to winterize these delicate fruiting plants so that they can provide you with luscious strawberries again when summer returns. Winterizing strawberry plants is an essential step since plants will produce the buds that will become the following year's strawberry crop at the very end of fall. Failure to winterize strawberry plants will endanger their ability to produce strawberries the following season. Learn from experts how to easily and effectively winterize and safeguard your strawberry plants.
There are several steps to take to effectively winterize your strawberry plants. The first step is to choose the right moment to begin the winterizing process. It is important not to begin winterizing strawberry plants until they have become completely dormant in preparation for the winter. The first step in winterizing strawberry plants is to prune away all damaged or diseased growth, including fallen foliage, weeds or debris around the base of the plants. After clearing the planter beds, spread a thick layer of mulch down between the strawberry plants. Mulch will insulate and protect the fragile strawberry plant roots from winter's harsh temperatures. Mulching too early while strawberry plants have not yet gone dormant and temperatures still hover around warm weather can cause root rot and fungus that leads to decay. Ensure that the mulch layer is at least three inches high and replenish mulching as soon as the layer begins to thin. The best time to mulch for most climates is between November and early December when temperatures fall but have not yet reached 20 degrees Fahrenheit or lower. Remove the mulch when spring temperatures return.