How to winter strawberry plants?

Discussion in 'Fruit and Vegetable Gardening' started by rebekkahm, Sep 22, 2006.

  1. rebekkahm

    rebekkahm Active Member

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    I've got 4 strawberry plants that I started this spring outside. They are potted so it's possible to bring them in for the winter, but I'm not sure if that's the best procedure or if they should stay outside to "hibernate", if that's the right word. I live in NW ontario so it gets pretty cold here, -25 C is normal and it can dip down to -40 C. Some advice on what to do with them would be most appreciated!
     
  2. jimmyq

    jimmyq Well-Known Member 10 Years of Activity

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    if its that cold, just spend the 10 bucks (or less) next spring and get some new ones bare root perhaps?
    otherwise try taking the pots to the root cellar for the coldest parts of winter and store them over there, the key is to keep them cold enough to stay dormant while keeping them warm enough to survive..
     
  3. GreenGoose

    GreenGoose Active Member

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    Depends on the variety. Both Quebec and Ontario have developed cold-hardy varieties that will survive your winter.
    If your plants are well rooted you might try leaving them in the ground. Cover them with a breatable cover like straw or wood chips or the like for a little protection from drying winds.
    I remember as a boy in Saskatchewan going from patch to patch of wild strawberries in the spring and lying on my tummy to snake along eating sweet berries the size of a little finger nail.
     
  4. abgardeneer

    abgardeneer Active Member

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    Common cultivars of strawberries are hardy and don't need any protection here in zone 3. Commercial "you-pick" strawberry farms exist through zone 2, at least, so I'd have to say that you are underestimating the hardiness of your plants... assuming you've chosen hardy varieties to propagate. So, if I were you, I'd just plant them out, assuming that was the original intent (and I can't imagine any other intent... house plants?) If you want some insurance, you can apply a winter mulch of straw, for example, after you start getting killing frosts, and then remove it in spring.
    Okay, another thought... if you don't have a permanent spot for a strawberry bed (is that why they're still in pots?), then just bury the pots to their rims and then mulch if desired, and plant them in their permanent spot next spring. These are not tender or delicate plants.
     
  5. rebekkahm

    rebekkahm Active Member

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    Very good ideas, I'll plant them to the rim in their pots and see if I can find some mulch to keep them warm. I don't have a permanent place for them as we're moving next year. If they don't make it, it won't break my heart. I was just hoping to find a way to keep them alive.
     

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