I planted my first strawberry plants in the spring. Had a decent first year and now I'm not sure what to do prior to winter. I "think" I am supposed to cut these back flush with the ground.....is this accurate?
No, don't cut all the leaves down to nothing. I've had success here both ways, with covering them up, or even just leaving them alone and not doing anything to prepare. It is probably best to cover them with 6-12 inches deep of straw (hence the name "straw berries"!) or similar material to keep them from freezing hard. I think I'm going to do that with mine this year, although probably not until like December when it starts getting really cold. It seems to me that they can tolerate some cold, but maybe not 20 degrees below or something like that. Last winter was extremely mild here so mine survived the mild winter without any protection at all. But I shouldn't be taking chances this year because who really knows what the weather will do. In spring then, as soon as the snow melts, the straw can be removed and they'll be fine from then on out. If they are well rooted, they are fairly tough plants in my experience. This is year #3 for mine. The same mother plant from a few years ago is still alive and still producing berries, even though I neglected it for an entire year (2011).
Really? Others have said to cut back the leaves flush with the ground...Why such different methods on what to do?