Wintering And Cutting Strawberries

Wintering And Cutting Strawberries

Strawberries are perennial and can be successfully overwintered. In preparation for winter, it can be useful to cut the strawberries.

Strawberries ( Fragaria ) in the hobby garden ideally stay in the same bed for about three years. For the plants to produce good yields over these three years, they have to come back unscathed over the winter every year. Because the flowers of the strawberries are already formed in autumn, overwintering has a major influence on the yield for the next year. So-called single-bearing strawberry varieties are also overwintered. The ‘once in foal’ refers to the fact that it can only be harvested once per season.

Cut strawberries in preparation for winter

Freshly planted strawberries are not cut in autumn. For plant protection reasons, the leaves are removed from plants that have already borne fruit. This important measure before overwintering is used as a precautionary measure to remove leaves that have not yet visible fungal diseases so that diseases cannot spread. This “cleaning” of the strawberries should be done as soon as possible after the harvest and no later than mid / end of July. Leaves must not be removed from late-bearing varieties. The remaining vegetation time after harvest is too short for new leaves and flowers to form. Therefore, a cut after mid-July would hurt flower formation and the yield in the next year.

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Wintering & cutting strawberries

When removing the leaves, it is essential to ensure that the heart leaf remains undamaged. If this is guaranteed, the cutting can also be carried out with a lawnmower (set as high as possible) or brushcutter. The leaves should not remain as mulch on the strawberry bed, after all, fungi can also survive on dead leaves and the cut would have lost its meaning. Anyone who has a well-functioning and strongly heating compost heap can put the leaves there. In addition to the leaves, all superfluous tendrils and runners are also removed. After cutting, the strawberry fertilization is followed by covering the stubble around the plant (leaving the heart leaves free) with ripe compost or composted manure. The plants grow through the compost layer and have enough nutrients for flower formation.

Summary cutting strawberries:

  • The leaves of the strawberry plants are removed after the harvest or mid/late July at the latest
  • All plants with a later harvest close will not be pruned
  • Heart leaves must not be damaged when cutting
  • Do not leave leaves lying in the bed as mulch, but remove them

Successfully overwintering strawberries

In the year of planting, the strawberry plants are still very small and particularly sensitive. So that they have a chance of growing well and successfully surviving the winter, the strawberries should be planted by mid-August at the latest. Both the roots and the flowers of the strawberry plants need to be protected from frost. The roots are not very deep, so they are not particularly well insulated. The flowers are particularly sensitive in spring and should therefore be protected from late frosts.

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