Should I protect young strawberry plants from cold?

raleighkcMarch 13, 2009

I just planted 30 bare root strawberry plants in a raised bed two days ago in the RDU area. Now the weather has dropped down to around 38 degrees and raining. I put a blanket over the bed (laid over a protective chicken wire cover) last night and took it off this morning. Do you think I need to put something over the plants in the daytime too until this nasty weather passes?

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jellyman(6/7VA)

Raliegh:

Strawberry plants are very cold resistant, and require no protection from the temperatures you expect, or even much, much colder than that.

I would not put a blanket or anything else over them at this point. What's the chicken wire for? Do you have active deer problems?

Don Yellman, Great Falls, VA

    Bookmark   March 13, 2009 at 3:47PM
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tigrrrl(Zone 9)

Raleigh,

I use plastic covering (clear or black) with "x" slits in them for the strawberry plant to fit through. The plastic is snug to the ground and weighted down, the drip lines stay under the plastic. This is the first season I've done that and it has proven beneficial. I already have fruits! I am in Southern California, so I know the timing is different, but in recent weeks we've had lows in the low 40's at night. I planted the strawberries back in late december and plan on removing the plastic in about 3 weeks.

On the Central coast of California you can see strawberry fields for miles, all of the farmers use plastic sheeting as well, just make sure not to cover the leaves, as it is used to keep the soil and roots warm. When the weather stays consistently over 55F or so at night you can take off the plastic for the spring and summer for good.

Have fun!

    Bookmark   March 15, 2009 at 3:45PM
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raleighkc

Thanks for the advice! Jellyman, the chicken wire is to keep out two of my dogs, who love to eat compost. My shi-tzu/bulldog mix will try to get right into raised bed and chow down on compost. I am also hoping it will keep squirrels, rabbits, and neighborhood kids out of the strawberry bed.

    Bookmark   March 16, 2009 at 8:11AM
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strawberryjohnjohn

last year here in michigan on june 2nd and 3rd the air temp went down to 20 degrees both nights. i lost 3/4 of my berries but never lost a plant. strawberry plants do ok in the cold. i would think that you would do more damage taking the covering on and off the plants. sparkle is my favorite varity. good luck and try making strawberry -rhubarb jam. JOHN

    Bookmark   March 17, 2009 at 12:25PM
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