What't the best way to cover my new strawberry plants for the winter?? Can i cover them with Muclched leaves?
I've had problems with them heaving out of the ground over the winter in the past.
I'm sorry I can't help. I don't cover mine. I just press them back if they heave up.
Ive never covered mine.straw would be ok.They pretty much die all the way back anyway.
I have been worrying about my new strawberry bed. I was reading in Rodale's illustrated guide to organic gardening that strawberries need a period of frost to have good bloom the next year. I also would like to know what people mean by mulching. I understand and practice it. However, I've been reading that you should not mulch the crowns. I have completely covered my bed with straw. I mean the entire plants and all. I don't want to wipe out all of my work so I would appreciate some advice. There are many books on strawberries and many practices adopted within them. However, many talk about crop rotation and are not complete on every aspect of growing strawberries organicly. Please help with my winter mulching concerns. Many of my plants are quite small. Thus if they heaved at all they might not make it. thanks for reading.
The "Heaving" damage to plants has been highly exagerated. The only practical reason for mulching strawberries in our zone is to KEEP THE BERRIES CLEAN. Therefore you can apply mulch in the early spring and get similar, or better results.
Keep in mind that if you apply mulch too early, and the dormancy dates vary, you can do harm to your plants. If your mulch contains weed seeds you are giving weeds a head start for the following year. And to be effective you need to apply so much mulch that you will need to remove most of it the following spring anyhow.
Save time and money by just applying a thin layer in the early spring, immediately after a bare ground antigermination spray and a fungicide for leather rot. Plants will grow up through the straw and provide you with lots of clean berries. I've not seen a drop in production using this practice; only expect to put 1/5th the weeding and management labor into your matted row bed.