Inside: When nighttime temperatures dip into the lower 20s, it’s time to revisit the garden, preparing strawberry plants for winter. Read on to find out how.
Normally by this time in November, I’m heading out to my strawberry bed to cover plants for winter. It’s not a difficult job, but here are a few things to keep in mind.
Wait until temperatures have fallen to around 20 degrees for several nights. This year it’s been unseasonably warm, so it’s actually not time to cover plants yet, but in a typical year by now I’ve already put a six- to eight-inch layer of hay or straw over my strawberry plants. With the colder temps the plants become dormant and won’t get moldy under the mulch.
Once the plants have been covered, check the mulch a day or two later. You might need to fill in with additional straw or hay in thinner places where the mulch has settled or blown away. Then pat yourself on the back! You’ve successfully put your babies to bed for the winter.
Keep the mulch in place until new growth begins in the spring. In my neck of the woods, and taking my microclimate into consideration, that’s usually sometime in March.
Carefully remove the mulch and place it around the plant. That will insulate the plant in the event of a cold snap and also get ahead of the weeds as the strawberry plant grows.
Simple, right? Take care of your strawberry plants, and they’ll provide you with bowlfuls of sweet red berries in late spring. I can almost taste them now!
Is your garden ready for winter? Tell us about it in the comments.