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Winter Care for Strawberries

Winter Care for Strawberries

Good winter care for strawberries ensures a luscious yield in the summers. The following passages provide a few tips for the same.
Gardenerdy Staff
Last Updated: Aug 11, 2018
Strawberry
Strawberries are cool weather fruits, and their quality and quantity depends upon the prevalent climatic conditions. It is different from other plants in its propagation method. Its crown is perennial while the roots are annual. Here's the explanation.
Strawberry plants
Strawberry plants are stoloniferous, they grow or propagate by stolons or runners. The branches sprout from their crown and go down to the soil to shoot roots. Its leaves are trifoliate and small. It bears white colored flowers, turning to fruits depends on the air, soil temperature.
Strawberry Field
Plant growth increases with a higher temperature and reduces when it is lower. During winters, the plant does not bear fruits, but its health matters to ensure next year's yield.
Care to be Taken
Strawberry Harvest in Central California
The strawberry plant stops growing once the temperatures drops below 40°F. Temperatures below 20°F damage the roots and crowns, thus, making winter gardening a very important factor for strawberry plant care.
In fact, the real threat to this plant, more than pests, are cold temperatures and repeated thawing and freezing of the soil throughout the winters. Primarily, there are only two ways by which one can ensure strawberry plant care during this season; reduced watering and heavy mulching.
Watering
strawberries plants
Strawberries thrive on moist and well-drained soils. Soil moisture is needed because water is required to maintain moisture in the fruit throughout its development and maturity. A parched plant will bear fruits which won't reach their true size.
However, during winters watering should be minimal, as it can send a chill down to the roots and kill them.
Mulching
White Flowers And Mulch
Mulching is the only natural way to ensure that the soil and plant remain warm and frost-free. Allow the strawberry plant to acclimatize to the fall in temperature before you begin the process of mulching.
Ideally, one should start mulching before temperatures drop below twenty degrees; October to November, depending upon the zone you live in.
The timing of mulch is important. An early application will not give the plant time to get used to the fall in temperature. Conversely, if applied too late the plant's crown will get damaged, affecting next years crop and making all your winter care efforts go down the drain.
There are many types of mulch to choose from. Experienced gardeners recommend using weed-free straw or chopped cornstalks for mulching. Avoid mulching with fresh fallen leaves, as they tend to not only smother new growth, but also trap air and create space for ice to form.
The layer of the mulch should be three to five inches thick. It will protect plants and soil from cold and variations in temperature. It should be forked out when the strawberry plants show signs of growth in spring. Ideally, remove it between March to April, once it starts aging.
fertilizer
This also depends on the zone you live in. Pull out all weeds. Water and use fertilizers for strawberries as per the requirement.
Strawberry
Provided you take good care of your strawberry plants in the winters, you can rest assured that you will never be out of stock of these luscious plumply, tasty fruits!