First year Strawberries

Asked July 22, 2018, 3:45 PM EDT

Just planted my Hood strawberries this May. They are very healthy now with lots of leaves. Should I trim away some of the leaves as you would with older strawberries?

Clackamas County Oregon strawberries horticulture

1 Response

Hi, and thank you for contacting Ask an Expert in regards to your strawberries.

Pruning is an important part of proper edible plant care, but many people find the task overwhelming merely keep these things in mind:

  • You can have confidence in knowing that not everyone will prune the exact same way (even the experts).
  • There are several reasons to prune: to maintain the size and shape of your plant, stimulate strong growth, and overall fruit quality.

Pruning Tips

  • For June bearing types, plant this spring, harvest next June. In early August, remove foliage by mowing at 3-4” height and fertilize. In the third spring, start a new bed. Harvest fruit in June on the original bed. Destroy plants after the second harvest to prevent disease and since production goes down.
  • For everbearing varieties, start harvesting in mid-summer of the first year. Start a new bed the next spring. Continue to harvest all summer long on the original bed then destroy it. The finest and best yields are from young vigorous plants that are allowed to crop for a maximum of two seasons.
  • If you are unable to use a mower on your strawberry plants, due to it being in a raised bed or potted, you can use shears or scissors. Cut about 1 inch above the crown when trimming.

So to answer your question, yes, trim your new plants as you do your older established ones.

Additional reading: New York Times

Happy Gardening and again, thank you for contacting Cooperative Extension Ask an Expert.