How do I winterize strawberries?

Asked November 14, 2015, 10:50 PM EST

I have new crop strawberries and need to know how to winterize them for winter in SD. I have both Everbearing and June bearer in the same patch. I have wheat straw available for winter cover if that will work and I need to know when to apply it.

Hand County South Dakota

1 Response

This information should help you decide on your strawberry winterization:

Keep the soil damp until fall frost. Then, withhold water to help harden off the plants. A final November watering before soils freeze helps prevent winter-kill from drying.

In cold winter climates, a winter mulch of clean, seed-free straw (or similar material) is recommended. Apply it when the ground freezes . Apply two inches, but not more as it could smother the plants. In windy areas, bird netting over the mulch helps hold it in place. Mulching helps protect plants from drying winter winds and from root damage by alternative freezing and thawing of the ground.

In climates with late spring frosts, leave the mulch on as long as possible to restrain plant growth in the early spring. In March, start checking plants under the mulch for growth. As growth begins, remove mulch over time, allowing sunlight into the plants. Some may remain on the soil to keep strawberry fruit off the ground.