Saturday, October 31, 2009

Putting the Strawberries to Bed for the Winter

Hubby got my strawberries all boxed in today. From this picture it looks like it takes up half of my garden. It doesn't though, only about 1/3. The box measure about 10'x23'. My patch really grew this year. While I didn't get very many strawberries I am anticipating that I will get a good crop next year (fingers crossed). I have been having a MAJOR issue with deer though, even now. They are always out there eating the shoots. Today after hubby made my box I covered the plants with straw to help protect them this winter. Has anyone ever done this?

Last year I didn't do anything to the bed over the winter. I moved them in the Spring and I didn't really get any strawberries this year. Then late Summer they went crazy shooting and spreading all over the place. Since I have gotten such a nice crop going I decided to do a little research and make sure that they survive the Winter ok. I read that you should protect your berries from the cold temperatures. Dormant strawberry buds can be damaged in temperatures that reach below 15 degrees F. Along with the cold temperatures the constant freezing and thawing of the soil can cause the roots to break.

Mulching is recommended to keep your strawberries safe from the extreme cold. Hay or straw is best. Leaves and grass clippings are not recommended because they tend to get matted down and suffocate the plant. 3" of mulch is about all you should need. I used one bale of straw that I bought from the Tractor Supply store. It costs me $5.99 and it covered my entire bed.

Hopefully this will protect them from the cold and maybe keep the deer out for the rest of the Winter.

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