Prepping new strawberry bed for winter?
Hi, I planted 30 crowns from Freecycle (so don't know what cultivar, but a June-bearing) in early April. They came through the freezes the end of that month and started sending out runners like crazy this summer. I pinched all blossoms off, and didn't mow them "after fruiting" since they didn't fruit and I was still trying to get them to spread in July - which they did (still sending out runners!).
So, how to prep them for winter? Should I thin them out (my matted rows are basically just a solid mat!), cut off runners, mow or weedwhack the leaves (how far down?)?
What about covering for the winter? Got down to low 40's a couple times the past few weeks, so far so good, but first frost isn't too far off. I was thinking of covering with burlap and then old hay, but is that too heavy a covering? Last winter was mild (except for 2ft of snow from freak Halloween storm), but the winter before had record-breaking snowfall amounts - actually I think I worry more about bitter cold without snow cover to insulate.