Most people have no business with their strawberry plants after harvest.
They always have this ‘mission-accomplished’ smirk on their faces and arms stingily wrapped around the produce bowl filled with HUGE, plumpy berries.
Admittedly, abandoning your plant until next year after a successful harvest can be tempting.
But a little care now will keep them in good shape, so next year’s crop will be as healthy as this one.
So if you don’t know what to do with strawberry plants at end of season; care for them. In turn, they will keep rewarding you with plentiful berries each year.
Don’t worry if you don’t know how I will teach you.
What To Do With Strawberry Plants At End Of Season [3 Simple Care Tips]
To care for your straw plants, you just have to do the basics:
Firstly, remove the straw mulch spread. Old straw is the perfect breeding ground for pests like slugs.
It has already served its purpose.
Next is to work along each row of your strawberry plants in the garden bed.
Prune any dying or dead leave, as this frees room for new leaf growth and generally promotes a healthy overwintering plant.
If any berry plants look unhealthy and are about to die, remove them altogether.
Also, shear off runners going nuts –although you might want to save some for propagating.
Since strawberry plants are pretty sensitive, you don’t want them dragging grounds with weeds and competing for nutrients.
That said, you MUST weed out the unwanted. Air circulation is vital, too, so remove any netting or covering protecting the fruit from air predators.
Generally, you are observing renovation –an essential step for strawberry management after harvest.
So you want to throw in a bit of fertilization and irrigation to the ring to encourage growth vigorously and prepare new fruiting buds.
These steps are crucial, particularly for mature stands of June-bearing strawberries.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Many Seasons Do You Get Out A Strawberry Plant?
Since strawberries are perennial plants, they are the gift that keeps on giving every year. Although, the average strawberry plant can only span for six years.
And after the first two years of fruiting, you will notice a massive decline in the amount of fruit produced.
This is why some gardeners grow strawberries annually and replant each year.
Not only do your strawberry plants allow you to enjoy the most fruitful harvest of large, juicy berries, but they also skip the hassle of preparing the plant for another year of harvest.
Hence there is no need for renovation, weed control, mowing, cultivation, fertilization, and irrigation —since you will start with new plants the following year.
Moreover, people who prefer this plant annually opt for Everbearing Strawberries than the June-bearing variants.
And you can see the reason because it offers a more extended fruiting season. You will be rich in berries in spring, summer, and fall.
How Do You Increase Strawberry Yield?
Have you ever wondered why most green thumbs’ strawberry yields are so shocking?
Not only are their harvest a multitude, but they are also huge fruits.
Well, it is because they are doing things to help boost their yield that you are not.
And having a prosperous strawberry harvest depends on several factors:
- Selecting and planting the high-yield variants
- Sowing at the appropriate season
- Utilizing growth regulators to help improve fruit size
- Trimming runners and other helpful tips that encourage more berries
- Proper spacing at least 12 inches (31cm) apart
- Fighting your strawberry’s pest and disease battles
- Sufficient fertilizing
But I desperately want to touch on selecting the high-yielding strawberries and the soil in demand because most growers need to catch up on these areas.
Not all types of strawberries will yield large fruits. However, the variants that give you an edge are mostly:
- Red Cost
- Florida 90
- Pusa Early Dwarf
Any of the strawberries have the natural tendency of high productivity, with solid and fragrant fruits.
However, they should be grown in an open sunny site with humus-rich, moisture-retentive soil that should be slightly acidic (pH 6.5–6.8).
You should also shelter them from the wind and avoid waterlogged soil —they hate it.
Can You Eat Strawberry Leaves?
Now before you stare me down, let me explain.
We are used to lobbing off the top of strawberries before consuming them. However, they are edible.
While the leaves aren’t a superfood, they are nutritious enough to think twice before de-leafing them.
For instance, the leaves contain more polyphenols than the flesh –whether dried or fresh strawberry leaves.
And you can benefit more from this offer in making health-boosting smoothies with much of that be-thump ba-thump feel.
Aside from that, you can use strawberry tops (the slice of the flesh with the leaves) for infusing liquids like booze, kombucha, vinegar, or even water.
There is zero health risk in consuming these leaves. They are not poisonous or have any side effects. But allergic reactions are possible, so take note.
What Grows Best With Strawberries?
There are few crops strawberries can cope with in the garden.
While it is best planted alone, you can grow vegetables alongside berries with limited land. And they will live in harmony.
Some of the strawberry companion plants are:
- Crimson Clover
Some of these flowers are triple-threat companion plants.
They benefit your strawberry by attracting pollinators whenever they bloom, help build the soil, and repel pests by inviting in beneficial insects like ladybugs, lacewings, and predatory wasps.
Don’t worry. These bugs aren’t there for your berries. Instead, they are the “good guys” that help keep destructive pests in check.
What Is The Best Natural Feed For Strawberry Plants?
Organic growers understand using natural fertilizers like leaf humus or bark compost to stimulate garden growth.
Strawberry plants are no different.
Natural slow-release fertilizers are the key to a successful harvest of large, juicy berries.
Now you know what to do with strawberry plants at the end of the season, how would you ensure they survive winter? Strawberry plants are small and sensitive, which makes them vulnerable, especially in the first year.
Their roots are not deep, so they aren’t insulated properly. This makes them even harder to survive the frost.
However, if you want to give your berry plant a chance of survival, you should grow them healthy by mid-August.
Instill fleece protection for your strawberry plants. Yes, they aren’t hardy enough, so a little extra protection goes a long way in the cold winter.
Although this method varies depending on whether you are overwintering your strawberries on a pot or in a bed.